Letters From Svenska

Pyttans AB and CD to Learn is a strangely delightful ABC book dedicated to the Swedish opera singer Marianne Morner, also known as Pyttan. Painted in 1896 by “uncle” Albert Engström, it has become one of the classic works of Swedish literature. But being that my Swedish is next to ingenting, I publish it here to look at the quirkiness of the letters, the wrong strokes and the imagery, which may give you a hint at the word(s).

Be aware some of these images represent the ethnic, class and racial depictions cartoonists used during this period. But on the alphabetic side, how can you not fall in love with that cutesy Q?


albers command002 albers command003 albers command004 albers command005 albers command006 albers command007 albers command008 albers command009 albers command010 albers command011 albers command012 albers command013 albers command014 albers command015 albers command016 albers command017 albers command018 albers command019 albers command020 albers command021 022 023


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2 thoughts on “Letters From Svenska

  1. Gunnar Swanson

    I don’t remember enough Swedish to figure out G and I’m sure there’s an essay’s worth in the racially-depicted Pope. I do remember enough to know that “Svenska” means “Swedish” på Engleska so the letters are from Sverige.

  2. MerryT

    These are fascinating! And I hope that someone who’s fluent in Swedish will share the words associated with each illustration – köttbulle was an easy internet search, but I. Can’t. Even. with “R”. 😉