Patrick has in the meantime been sharing his Swedish adventure with readers of The Local on his new blog – Swedetalker.
“Like many before me I followed the path of a glamorous blonde. It brought me to Malmö last November and the first thing I did was to sign up for a Komvux language course,” Patrick Reilly told The Local.
But glamorous blonde notwithstanding, Patrick felt he needed some additional inspiration to pursue the path less travelled to mastery of the Swedish language.
“I figured that having to update my blog would give me an extra motivation for attending the classes,” he explained.
Patrick has already managed to post a wealth of anecdotes from his early SFI (Swedish for Immigrants) classes and reports that the feedback has exceeded expectations.
A further goal has been set by this ambitious Irishman and that is to write a full-length article in Swedish by the time the SFI course ends in July. No easy task for an Irishman, he says, despite his background as a freelance journalist.
“We Irish are not very good at learning new languages, we do not even speak our own,” he joked.
While Patrick has come into contact with the Irish expat community in Malmö, even penning an article for The Local on the budding Swedish sport of Gaelic football, he says that the intensive tempo of the language classes and the international blend of his classmates keep him occupied.
“I have colleagues from Australia, Costa Rica, Poland, Iraq. Many of them don’t speak English and so socializing together is a great way for us to practice the little Swedish that we have acquired so far.”
So despite the obvious attraction of meeting friendly countrymen overseas, Patrick recommends newcomers to immerse themselves in Swedish culture as much, and as soon, as possible.
“I would suggest signing up for SFI straight away, there can be a wait. Then Malmö has a great library; I practice by reading children’s books. Then it is just a question of getting out and speaking to people.”
In response to a question as to when Swedetalker’s readers can expect to see their first post in faultless Swedish, Patrick Reilly replied:
“I have said a full article by the end of the course – in July. But in reality when I can write something that is me, in my own words, and that expresses what I want to say.”