My Swedish was never great when I lived in Sweden, so it’s odd that, a year after moving away, and without any use for it, I think in Swedish sometimes.
Usually it’s one word in a sentence that’s shorter or easier or just plain nicer to say in Swedish.
“Cucumber”? Nah. Gurka.
“Cinnamon”? Nice word, but kanel gets the job done faster.
Glad Påsk! is what I’d prefer to wish you over “Happy Easter!”
Most of my stand-in words have to do with food. For one, they’re easy, and something you learn early on. Probably, though, they stick with me because I used to write grocery lists in Swedish (most of the time) when I was there, and because something about the grocery shopping experience made me less likely to force a switch into English.
A grocery store is a grocery store wherever (even if their layout is way different and they don’t have any peanut butter). It’s comfortable. Also, if you know you’ll be going to a particular shop regularly, you’re motivated to stick with the language to create as little friction as possible with its employees. Another bit that made grocery stores feel “safe” for speaking Swedish: checkout cashiers don’t engage in small talk there, so it’s relatively certain that you’ll have a pretty easy interaction when it’s time to leave.
Now I’m learning Russian from a workbook and occasionally brushing up on French with Duolingo. Already, I’m tempted to replace “knock-knock” with the newly-learned and very cute тук-тук. This could get complicated.