Talk:Swedish Chef

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(random heading)[edit]

(inserted by ... said: Rursus (bork²) 08:34, 5 January 2009 (UTC))

I remember hearing somewhere that the actual dialect of Swedish that the Swedish Chef's speech is a parody of had been identified, and also that the actual chef that he is a parody of also was identified. I can't remember who it was, or what the dialect was, and I can't seem to locate any info on it. But if I stumble across it again and it hasn't been added, I could write it in. It's a fun bit of trivia at least. --Mickel 19:24, 14 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Quoting the article: The Swedish Chef character is actually based on real life Swedish chef Lars Bäckman. His rather unsuccessful appearance on "Good Morning America" caught the attention of Jim Henson, who later bought the rights to the recording and created Lars Bäckman's muppet alter ego. I guess that's what you mean? :) // Gargaj 00:48, 2004 Dec 15 (UTC)
I think the dialect he spoke was some kind of Dalecarlian, which sounds unlike most major dialects in Sweden. (I don't think he spoke real Dalecarlian language, though,)

This website contains some details on Bäckman. - Nunh-huh 01:12, 19 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Funny tho... First off the article says "Jim Henderson" :D Next, I did a Google search on his nickname and the first article that turned up was this, which actually denies the claims... God knows. Probably the only guy who knew the truth was Jim Henson himself... // Gargaj 11:19, 2005 Jan 19 (UTC)
Seems like "Kuprik" was a nickname for Lars Bäckman. I have no idea what it would mean, though... =S
  • "Børk! Børk! Børk!" is not Swedish! The letter "ø" is never used in Swedish, it uses "ö" instead. So the proper Swedish version would be "Börk! Börk! Börk!" 19:40, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)
    • I guess this is just part of the screwieness of the character (the "Børk" was written Børk everywhere :) // Gargaj 21:19, 2005 Feb 13 (UTC)
      • I believe ø would look more Scandinavian/exotic than ö to an american, it was for that reason the Øresund region chose to spell its name with ø in all its Public Relations press material.

I remember one episode of either The Muppet Show or Muppets Tonight where a female guest star (All I can remember is that she's blonde folks) is able to understand The Chef as she speaks "Faux Swedish" (I believe it was faux or fake I can't remember it's been so long). Sam the Eagle, who is also there accuses the Chef of being a fraud and demands that he speak in his original tounge. The Chef speaks a rather strange, almost asian sounding, gibberish phrase much different than his usual, when Sam asks what he said the guest star replies "I don't speak faux japanese." Like I said this is going from my own recollection hence the fuzzy details. I'm sorry I cannot provide anymore Namrepus221

Yeah, that was Jean Stapleton. You can see Muppet Wiki for more information on the episode. -- Danny Toughpigs 22:48, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

Source material?[edit]

Is this wikipedia article the source for absoluteastronomy, or vice versa?

--SilasM 10:28, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

  • That article was sourced from Wikipedia. At the very bottom, it says: "The source of this article is Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL." What it has to do with Astronomy, though, is anyone's guess. Andrew Lenahan - Starblind 10:39, July 26, 2005 (UTC)

"Bort bort bort!"[edit]

I took away the part about the pronounciation being closer to "book book book"; I never heard that one before, so it could be original research, and anyway, to me, the R sounds loud and clear. What I remember from when The Muppets ran on Norwegian TV, was that people interpreted it as "Bort bort bort" (away away away), which actually makes a lot of sense, since he's tossing his kitchen utensils over his shoulders as he says it. "Bort bort bort" is good, idiomatic Swedish when you're really annoyed and want to get rid of someone or something. "Get away from me!!!" I don't know if anyone actually wrote it down, but it's not original research. I'm not saying it couldn't be a phonetic coincidence, though. Juryen 20:39, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

I'm sorry if I'm being picky on this "bort bort bort"-thing, but I really must object to it. I agree that "k" and "t" can sound quite alike. However, the way "bork" is pronounced by the Chef is not as similar to the Swedish pronounciation of "bort" as one might wish. The o-sound in "bork" is a 'long' or possibly 'half long' vowel and the o-sound in "bort" is a 'short' vowel, (which is actually pronounced like the short vowel-form of the Swedish letter "å", not "o".) I'm not sure that these are the correct terms but I hope you understand. Some examples? The o-sound in "Bork" corresponds to the o-sounds in the words "oar" and "door", whereas the o-sound in "bort", is _more similar_ to such words as "dozen" or "mother". Now, my knowledge of the precise pronounciation of English words is not perfect as I am not a native speaker. I am, however, a native Swede, and I can assure you that the o-sound in "bort" does not sound like the o-sound in the Chef's "bork". Therefore, I think that the whole bork => bort-connection is too speculative and doesn't fit in.

I think otherwise. Consider that the voice actor for the Swedish Chef presumably don't know any real swedish. Why should the (mis)pronounciation of the o-sound be a logical reason for "bork" not to be connected to swedish "bort"? I don't see how you can make any conclusions at all based on the fact that the o-sound sounds much more like the o-sound an English speaker would make (even when trying to imitate swedish) than the o-sound of a Swedish speaker... it might still be an attempt. After all, if it weren't just an attempt, and a failed one, it would probably not be as humorous (to the English-speaking audience it was targeted). 13:40, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
All during my youth watching The Muppet Show, it sounded to me like the Swedish Chef was singing "boort! boort! boort!" It didn't sound anything like "bork" or "boork" to me. Now I find this article, which says that "bort" actually means something in Swedish. Given what I understood it to sound like, and my newfound knowledge of Swedish from this article, I now think that "bork" is incorrect. Ah well, original research and all.... -Amatulic 00:37, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
"Bork" could very well be some mispronounced swedish, f.ex. björk or burk. ... said: Rursus (bork²) 08:39, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
P. J. O'Rourke in Eat the Rich (book) has a similar phrase "Orgy-borgy" which he got given by a (Swedish?) friend, noting that "[the swedes] do not talk orgy-borgy talk", it is in the Acknowledgments at the front that he stole the phrase. Is that at all relevant? Si Trew (talk) 21:49, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Guild Wars?[edit]

Since the trivia mentions that Google has a Bork Bork Bork language option I feel that we should include that the game Guild Wars also has this option. Does anyone feel opposed to this? 05:38, 30 November 2006 (UTC)cambellsoup

Guuld - vers :P 13:48, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Original research prevalent in article[edit]

This article reads a lot like it was written by a fan, and several personal interpretations pepper the entire article. Anyone from the Films project feel like tackling it? If not, I'll get to it in due course. It may even need to be merged with the Muppets article. Sidatio 15:35, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

The importance of "Trivia"[edit]

The article is headed by an alert that:

Trivia sections are discouraged under Wikipedia guidelines.

I'd like to offer that there may be many users such as myself, for whom such information is very useful cultural anthropology. Halibutron 19:22, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

I like trivia sections too, but we'd have to have a lot of people who agrees with us to overturn the current consensus. — Val42 17:07, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Oh Danny Boy[edit]

Don't forget that Swedish Chef was in a sketch with Animal and Becker singling ' Oh Danny Boy' for St Pats Day. Truly the three are the Muppet's most gifted singers. (talk) 03:57, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

Very popular in Sweden[edit]

He was (is) very popular in Sweden, and made some guest appearance in some non-muppet shows. ... said: Rursus (bork²) 08:36, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

This article needs a photo. Can't we get a fair use iamge? ChildofMidnight (talk) 18:13, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

On a related note, the 'reaction from Swedes' section was clearly written by a disgruntled Swede, not to mention the fact that said section is rife with unverified opinion stated as fact. (talk) 02:41, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

Did you read the reference provided? If you did, what specific examples do you have of opinion stated as fact that aren't supported by the ref? Sjö (talk) 08:15, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
"The sing-song quality of the character's mock language is suggestive of Norwegian, not Swedish." That's an opinion, not a verifiable fact supported by empirical evidence. The fact that the citation is a lighthearted magazine article only serves to support my position, particularly when the sub-heading of said article reads, "They think he sounds Norwegian." (talk) 01:06, 2 August 2015 (UTC)
The article by Tomas Riad that's linked in the source supports that the chef speak with a Norwegian intonation (though it has the same kind of intonation as some other dialects in Sweden). I think that together with the interviews in the source is enough to support the statement. Since Slate is a reliable source according to Wikipedia standards I see no reason to remove the sentence. (It also happens to agree with my own experience, for what it's worth.) Sjö (talk) 06:07, 2 August 2015 (UTC)

Computer translations section[edit]

I've just added a bit to this about how the Norwegian company Trolltech used to encourage encheferization as part of internationalization and localization.

Nevertheless, and not because it is now longer, I think this is too prominent. The top of the article should be about the Muppets character etc, not its use in computing. I think it is OK to have it, even maybe promote it up to a top-level section (and I will try to find better refs), but to have it come first I think too much, it should come nearer the foot of the article.

Opinions? Si Trew (talk) 21:45, 3 December 2009 (UTC)


"Bork, bork, bork" is used as a language option for Google.[1] Perhaps that should be mentioned in the popular culture section. (talk) 04:52, 14 June 2010 (UTC)

Börk vs. Børk[edit]

It has been rightly pointed out in this "talk" section that Swedish would never use the spelling "Børk" but would, instead, use "Börk". In fact, either spelling would be pronounced "berk" if we were to spelling it for American English speakers -- like the first syllable of "Berkeley, California".

Just to explain -- the three Scandinavian languages Swedish, Danish and Norwegian, have three extra letters -- vowels -- added to the alphabet. There is an "a" with a ring over it (Å or å) which exists in all three languages and replaces the obsolete double-a, which only shows up nowadays in certain proper names.

The other two vowels in Swedish are a and o with an umlaut (Ä or ä and Ö or ö). In Norwegian and Danish, the corresponding vowel sounds are instead written as a ligatured a and e, and as an o with a slash through it (Æ or æ and Ø or ø).

As to the suggestion that Øresund shows that Swedes do use the o with a slash through it, I have to state that that is simply not true. The Öresund (its Swedish name) or the Øresund (its Danish name) divides Sweden from Denmark and the bridge and tunnel system that now crosses it for automotive and rail traffic is operated by an agency that decided to go with Øresund Bridge for its English-language literature and website -- they had to pick one of the two possible spellings, it would seem, and they chose the Danish one and not the Swedish.

All of that is confusing for a lot of English speakers who haven't dealt with a foreign language that includes diacritical markings that are required for correct spelling and pronunciation.

In the end, I have to say that what the Swedish chef says is "Bork, bork, bork" (rhyming with the English word "pork") and neither "Børk, børk, børk" nor "Börk, börk, börk" because either of those latter two spellings would rhyme with the English word "lurk").

Don't get me started about the time the Muppets sang a song led by the Swedish chef and they singing "Ja, das ist der _______" which is, of course, German, and not Swedish at all. Swedes would say "Ja, det är _________" and the definite article would be suffix on the noun or it would be den or det if the definite form of the noun were preceded by an adjective. (Leave it to the Muppets to have the Swedish chef speaking German -- I guest most English speakers wouldn't know the difference.)Toddabearsf (talk) 23:21, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

To Germans he's Danish[edit]

Maybe it should be mentioned that he's Danish (der dänische Koch) in the German edition of the Muppet Show and his opening song has the words "Smørrebrød Smørrebrød rømpømpømpøm ..." (spoken by famous voice actor and author Eberhard Storeck who also had to rewrite quite a few lines to make them still funny in German). Not sure if his identity changes likewise in other languages. --Tobias b köhler (talk) 20:11, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Inspired by Ernie Kovacs' Hungarian Chef Miklös Molnar[edit]

In the book "Jim Henson" by James Robert Parish [2]: "Yet another one of Jimmy's TV favorites was the wacky slapstick comedy of mustached, cigar-smoking, comedian Ernie Kovacs." One of Kovacs' characters, the hungarian chef Miklös Molnar [3], looks very similar indeed.

Dreaminguitarist (talk) 14:36, 29 December 2014 (UTC)

Yes, but we would need some reliable source to make that connection, otherwise it's only WP:SYNTH. Sjö (talk) 15:16, 29 December 2014 (UTC)