Hur säger man ... på svenska?
This common Swedish phrase means: How do you say ... in Swedish? As a student learning Russian, I instantly saw a striking similarity with the Russian language. Russians will end the same phrase with по-шведски (po-shvedski), pronouncing the preposition exactly the same.
Curious, I had a look at the Swedish numerals and was left speechless. Two is två in Swedish and два (dva) in Russian. Why is the Swedish two closer to the Russian two than to the English two? Likewise, null/zero is noll in Swedish and ноль (nol) in Russian.
Curious, I made a cursory Google search and instantly found some other surprising similarities. When a Swede says björntjänst, literally a bear service, he means exactly the same as what a Russian means by literally saying a bear service in Russian (медвежья услуга), namely a disservice. A doctor is läkare in Swedish and лекарь (lekar) in Russian. A lamp is lampa in Swedish and лампа (lampa) in Russian. A plate is tallrik in Swedish and тарелка (tarelka) in Russian. The list goes on and on.
I'm very much surprised by such similarities, given that Russian is a Slavic language and that Swedish is a North Germanic language. I'm not aware of any considerable past interactions between Russians and Swedes, except for some skirmishes for control of the swampy East shores of the Gulf of Finland.
So how are such similarities explained? Are they mere coincidences, or is there any reason behind them?