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