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Ååtabaks Polska

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Information: A dance.

Natives of Fölllinge village used to spell the dance Åtabaks Polska (AAtabaks Polska) but changed it to Ååtabaks Polska (Aaatabaks Polska) to encourage the correct long aa sound instead of a short aa sound.

Translation: Ååtabaks is probably a word consisting of three words: å, ta, bak (oh, take, behind). Polska is a family of music and couple dance forms shared by the Nordic countries.

Pronunciation: OH-ta-bahks POL-skah

Other names: Åtabaks Polska, Aatabaks Polska

Region: Föllinge village, Sweden


The summer I was in Föllinge (1993) and Ååtabaks Polska was taught. They spelled it like the village is spelled with a single A-circle as the first letter. A couple of years later they began to spell it with a double A-circle (Ååtabaks Polska) in an effort to get the Swedes from Stockhom and where-ever-else to pronounce it with a long aa sound instead of with a short aa sound. At least that's the explanation they gave us.

–Sarah Kirton

This made me a bit confused. As far as I know Ååtabak is not a village. The village where Ååtabak comes from is Föllinge. My explanation for the word Ååtabak is: it's a word consisting of three words: 'åå', 'ta' and 'bak'. 'åå' (å) is the way the word 'och' (=and) is pronounced in Swedish. 'ta' = take. 'bak' = back. In english it would be 'and take back' or 'andtakeback'. Maybe this should be understood as 'and take a step backwards' or how you would express it in english.

(A couple of years – at least that's the explanation they gave us.)

This could be correct: "ååta," pronounced with short 'aa', sounds like 'aatta' which means 'eight'. 'Eight back' would be another dance.

–Lennart Hedlund


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