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Frustrated trying to learn Swedish

Don't seem to be allowed to speak Swedish

ElijahBenjamin
post 27.Feb.2012, 02:29 PM
Post #31
Location: Stockholm county
Joined: 23.Nov.2011

QUOTE (gplusa @ 24.Feb.2012, 09:43 AM) *
That's where going to school is invaluable. And not just "reading kids books". Don't know who dreamed up that gem of advice. Sweden is very different from En ... (show full quote)

Reading children's books is a good idea mixed in with a book on Swedish grammar, language cds that are thorough, classes and a lot of enthusiasm. The idea of reading children's books is that after a while you move up a level and start reading books for Swedish teenagers, until you get to the point where you can read novels by famous Swedish authors. It may sound pedantic, but it is still a good idea. Reading books on grammar is a good idea because those are the kind of books that will explain everything you need to know.
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Streja
post 27.Feb.2012, 05:26 PM
Post #32
Joined: 10.Jul.2006

My sambo bought a book on phrasal verbs. Very good! If I could only find it.

I still think many Swedes are not nice when they speak English to people who make an effort. I still get angry when they want to speak English to my sambo. The silliest thing is when I'm with like three Swedes and my sambo is the only one who is English. And they speak English to me as well! It's so silly. They then get confused when I speak Swedish and my sambo as well.
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BritVik
post 27.Feb.2012, 06:04 PM
Post #33
Joined: 22.Oct.2011

QUOTE (ElijahBenjamin @ 27.Feb.2012, 02:29 PM) *
Reading children's books is a good idea . . .

When I came here, there was only Swedish for Foreigners available, and my teacher quickly became enamoured with a Canadian boy in the group, who then got full attention and we others ended up right out in the cold. End of course for me after 5 evenings. Since when I have simply picked it up as kids do. EB's comment about kid's books is very good. It gives you the 'small words' that are often hopped over in class.
I learned technical Swedish fast, and got into trouble from my workmates because I could correct their texts on drawings long before I could speak Swedish. They were not amused!
Do not despair. Even after over 50 years here, people still ask me where I come from in England!! It still comes through when I speak Swedish - as I do - to all but my daughter and grandsons.
Swedish is not an easy language, and consists of many sounds that are truly foreign to us foreigners. A 'K' that can be a k or a sh presents difficulties, and there are so many regional variations that add to our difficulties. Try asking the way to Kristianstad - only to learn that it sounds more like Krishanstad, or Skärhamn on the island of Tjörn, which the locals pronounce as Skeerham.
There are pitfalls everywhere, and the only way to overcome them is to jump in with both feet, and take a chance. You have a great advantage that I never had. You have learnt Swedish grammar. Now you need to put it into verbal practice, so don't give in to anyone trying to go over to English. Your only way to learn is by speaking - yes and making mistakes. But persevere my friend. I say that to all here who may still have problems with Swedish.
We shall overcome - the language to some extent at least. laugh.gif
laugh.gif
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Streja
post 27.Feb.2012, 06:13 PM
Post #34
Joined: 10.Jul.2006

Tjörn, an island full of monkeys and thieves. Ask any Bohuslänning.
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BritVik
post 27.Feb.2012, 06:52 PM
Post #35
Joined: 22.Oct.2011

Now that is generalising, and absolutely of no help to Anouka. She is hardly likely to visit the island, since they have just a slight tendency to speak their own language there.

Problems speaking Swedish - they even have that on the island. Many Bohuslänningar need a translator when visiting, and that when Bohuslänska is almost a language of its own, seemingly a combination of Swedish, Norwegian and even English, dating from the granite and herring era. You do not have to be a foreigner on the west coast, to have language problems. wink.gif
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Streja
post 27.Feb.2012, 06:59 PM
Post #36
Joined: 10.Jul.2006

Hehe... wink.gif

I have sent you a private message.
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ElijahBenjamin
post 28.Feb.2012, 09:08 PM
Post #37
Location: Stockholm county
Joined: 23.Nov.2011

By the way, I am not on SFI. I am going to classes at a Swedish Church, but the classes are not helpful. I had to look for linguistic professors who have written about the Swedish language. In my opinion, you have to start with the grammar before even learning new words. You need to understand the mechanics of the language and that is why I am able to pick it up quickly. That mixed in with my cockney confidence smile.gif

I highly doubt I could effectively learn any language in a classroom because I was always the quickest learner in the class, my current class is made up of students who have never seen a European alphabet or heard European sounds and as such they need to recieve the teachers full attention. The rest of the class is made up of people who don't want to even learn Swedish and then there is me, however I must say that (säger, att smile.gif ) the middle-eastern students are fascinating because of the way in which they get to grips with the language. They are impressive.

I liken learning Swedish to practicing your lines for a new role you are about to take up in a stage-play. Learn the fundamentals, get a strong foundation and then build your self a mansion. It's a technical ability, that is all it is.
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Stebro
post 28.Feb.2012, 10:19 PM
Post #38
Joined: 27.Mar.2007

you could listen to swedish music and watch programmes at svt with subtitles, that helped when I learned english at least:P
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erik68
post 28.Feb.2012, 11:02 PM
Post #39
Location: Sweden
Joined: 8.Sep.2011

QUOTE (Streja @ 27.Feb.2012, 04:26 PM) *
I still think many Swedes are not nice when they speak English to people who make an effort.

Are you sure it's done to be deliberately difficult?

I've been learning Polish for some time and the same thing happens to me when we visit Poland. They speak fast, I don't since I'm still learning, so some people who can speak some English think I feel more comfortable if we switched to conversation to English. It can be irritating at times, but I wouldn't say that that was trying to be difficult. If it's family and friends, then I just tell them that I need them to be patient with me. A bit harder to do with shop staff etc.
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Mbenzi
post 29.Feb.2012, 02:56 AM
Post #40
Joined: 28.Feb.2012

The first reply (from "gplus a") may sound bold but I think it is correct.
People just welcome the opportunity to speak English, and they become rude enough to forget about your needs.

A language is so much more than a glossary and a grammar - when you live with people in a foreign country and learn their language, you also transform part of your thinking into becoming a changed person. Your soul is affected.

I am an engineer and have a technical job. But I taught English and Swedish in the past, also SFI for some years.

I can only say that you are right and they are wrong. Try to make your boyfriend understand that.
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darreldj
post 29.Feb.2012, 07:59 AM
Post #41
Location: Stockholm county
Joined: 22.Mar.2011

For working on pronunciation I started watching shows on www.svtplay.se. I turn on the subtitles so I can follow along with what they are saying and how they are saying it, pause and look up any words I don't know, and repeat what they've said trying to imitate the accent as much as I can. Most of the shows are sh*t but that's beside the point.

I did SFI through distance so this was a huge help for me as I had no classroom conversation. People would always switch to English with me too but now it's pretty much all Swedish, with a few exceptions of course.

Joining a club or sports team is also an excellent idea.
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gplusa
post 29.Feb.2012, 08:23 AM
Post #42
Location: Luleå
Joined: 4.Sep.2009

I based my "tough love" decision (to completely drop English) on my personal observations whilst attending SFI classes. I observed the progress around me of those people who were in Sweden alone, of those who were fluent in English (native or otherwise), and those who did not share a common fluent language with their partner. I noted that those students who were not fluent in English progressed much more quickly in their Swedish language studies than those who could use English as an effective form of communication. That led me to the conclusion that I was making use of English and that my comfort level with English was holding me back. As long as I already had an alternative means of communicating with my partner, the incentive for me to learn Swedish was not as great as it could be. In dropping English, and being forced into embracing Swedish in order to survive, my rate of learning increased instantly and dramatically. I'm sure that there are people out there who are self disciplined enough to go through the process without taking the drastic steps I did, and good luck to them. I thought that I was, before I found out that I wasn't.
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Baned
post 29.Feb.2012, 11:00 AM
Post #43
Joined: 22.Feb.2009

QUOTE (anouka @ 22.Feb.2012, 03:05 PM) *
It seems that I have to be fluent for a swedish person to deem that I am worth talking to in swedish. Did other english speakers have this problem? How do you get over it? Is ... (show full quote)

I'm Asian, and people seem to think I'm from Thailand and can't speak English, although I'm American. Though it's annoying, it doesn't really matter in the end, but I do wonder if that's the reason why strangers are more apt to speak to me in Swedish. So no, I don't have that problem at all - quite the opposite, actually.

Since the day I stepped foot into this country, people expected me to already know Swedish. As in, they would talk to me in Swedish, email me in Swedish (to help me practice) and imply that Swedish is an "easy language" and I should be fluent within a month! No joke.

The result was it didn't motivate me to learn Swedish. In fact, it demotivated me. When you use a language to EXCLUDE someone, and the person is an adult, there's a high chance of offending them. I come from a culture of non-conformity, so no, I will not try my hardest to be part of the "group" when I've been constantly ignored and talked over. I was once told by a retired teacher that it took many years for her adopted niece to speak to them in Swedish -- I could not fathom the idea that people can just ignore someone for years and expect them to just comply and conform, even if it is a child.

But I digress. So yeh, at least they're putting effort into communicating with you. It could be worse!
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Puffin
post 29.Feb.2012, 11:17 AM
Post #44
Location: Dalarna
Joined: 5.Apr.2006

I think that there are benefits of putting yourself into an immersion situation where you are forced to speak Swedish - people often think they are being helpful by speaking English instead of watching you "struggle"

For example after SFI I fought for the right to take GRUV (with Swedes) rather than SAS grund as I found it hard to make the jump from slow "immigrant Swedish" lessons to the way people spoke in normal life - especially when you don't speak Swedish at home

If you have a Swedish OH perhaps agree on certain days each week to only speak Swedish no matter how tough it gets

I also went to some evening classes taught in Swedish - very tough going but useful - perhaps start with a practical class though before you move on to literature wink.gif
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Spuds MacKenzie
post 13.Mar.2012, 01:35 AM
Post #45
Location: Uppsala
Joined: 23.Feb.2012

@baned - that is exactly my experience here as well! Every Swede I've encountered expects me to be fluent in Swedish after a month or two of living here! They can all speak perfect English in Uppsala, and my American accent is very obvious, yet it is very rare that anyone talks to me in anything other than Svenska.

I also feel the same way in my SFI course: it moves waaaaay to fast and too much is expected of those of us who are not good at learning a foreign language.
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