How not to translate cinnamon buns to Swedish

I’m from Sweden. We’re known for being among the top consumers of coffee in the world (second only to the Finns).

We’re also, in some less particulate, places, known to eat lots of cinnamon buns while we’re doing “fika” (which, I’ve been told, was a 1700s construction of coffee “kaffi” used to circumvent the coffee bans of that time while planning to have some “fika”… however, the Internet disagrees, at least on the date (the early 1900s), and perhaps the cause… and why that may be is a long story with only Swedish references… so… moving on…)

With our fika we have cinnamon buns. Their spelling, however, is not at all as easy to get right as the “fika”, and, here are a couple of examples where the misspelling actually means something, I am sure, was not intended:

  • “Kanylbullar” (syringe buns) — if you ever wondered if you could get HIV from cinnamon buns… now you know
  • “Kanelbuller” (cinnamon noise) — this would be the noise traffic makes… or thunder… not the noise a stale cinnamon bun might make when you chew it… or, for that matter, the noise you make when you break a tooth on that stale cinnamon bun (not that it happens often, but still… not that noise…)
  • “Kanelbullar” (cinnamon buns, kanel = cinnamon, bullar = buns), right! The ones we’re always having with our “fika” (no, we’re not —  mostly we just have the coffee… it’s way easier to install a coffee machine than a cinnamon bun machine… — and the coffee will always be fresh longer… and the number of workplace accidents involving teeth will also be kept on a level that won’t excite the international rumor mill overly much…)

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