Say what?

So.  Swedish.  Now there’s a challenging language!  I heard a little story about one of Chris’s coworkers who wanted to learn Swedish before coming to Vasteras on business.  He studied with one of those self-paced learning programs.  Feeling quite confident, he spoke Swedish to a local.  The Swede listened to him and enthusiastically encouraged him to continue his efforts to speak Chinese.  She thought his Swedish was Chinese!  This, I fear, would be me.  And therefore, I did not make an effort to learn Swedish before I arrived here.  My mistake.  I do not like that I don’t understand or speak Swedish.  I try in earnest to get in and out of stores without the salespeople knowing I don’t speak Swedish.  Mind you, Swedes speak English very well.  When I admit my lack of Swedish language skills, everyone seems happy to speak English to me.  It’s just that I would like to be able to speak Swedish.  This is something I’ll definitely work on between now and the time I return for our next visit.

I sought a little intro to Swedish on line and found this very helpful video: Simple Swedish.  There are actually three installments even though I have only posted a link to the first one.  Watch the video and you will see what I am up against.  Oh, and it is true – Swedish television isn’t censored like in the States.

So, while I have no Swedish language skills, I do enjoy trying to figure out the language as I go.  I am picking up some words here and there and enjoying stretching out  my brain a bit. Some Swedish words are very similar to their English translations, or just obvious in their use: Hatt= hat.  Ut= out.  In= in.  Hamburgare= hamburger. Bageri= bakery.  Hej= hello.

Then again, some words make me think I am inside one big Ikea, where the Swedish names of things sound almost like English words (but not quite) or the Swedish words sound like what the item’s function.  Consider:  muggar= mug.  Nudlar= noodles. Kollegieblock= notepad.  This phenomenom led for a major giggle-fest the last time Chris and I went shopping.  I commented about this topic and mentioned a few examples (like I just did here).  Then I told him that I saw a plunger in the store and it was called a poopenpusher.  I just about had him going, but  thenI burst out laughing.  Alas, he caught on.  But I had the giggles anyway.  Then he started reading Swedish sounding like the Muppets’ Swedish Chef and I was a goner!  For the record, I love the Swedish Chef.  ‘Bork Bork, Bork!’

The Swedish Chef

Okay, I also love all the other Muppets, too!



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2 responses to “Say what?

  1. chris

    I would like more frequent updates. Your trip is interesting to see from your eyes.

  2. Lori

    Oh my gosh!! You just had me laughing out loud reading your blog at work. Shhh…don’t tell anyone! I really am working, too!

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