Hollywood Swede YKTTW Discussion
Swedes in Hollywood TV shows have a fixed set of traits: they are blonde, they are athletic, they work as masseurs/masseuses, they have an extremely easygoing attitude toward sex. They speak English in a high tone that goes up and down like a carousel, and they say "Ya" instead of yes, always and often. The men are named Sven without fail, and the women are named Inga. There are some origins for these stereotypes. In the 1960s, when pornography was still illegal in the United States, a series of sex-ed movies were produced in Sweden, drawing much attention, and this is where the sexually easygoing steretype comes from. There is also such a thing as a Swedish massage technique, although most Swedes haven't heard of it. "Ya" is roughly how the Swedish word for yes (ja) is pronounced, but Swedes speak English as a second language better than any other peoples, and would not forget to use the English word. As for the accent stereotype it comes from the Swedish tendency to put emphasis on all syllables in a Swedish word and not just the first one, although this is not done when speaking English. Sven and Inga are old-fashioned names, almost entirely found among the old these days, but they do sound distinctly Swedish. Swedes tend to respond to the Hollywood Swedish stereotype with mild bemusement. They will especially wonder why so many faux-Swedish characters work as masseurs.