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How hard is it to learn Swedish?

Time needed to become fluent in the language

Puffin
post 28.Aug.2009, 04:16 PM
Post #31
Location: Dalarna
Joined: 5.Apr.2006

QUOTE (Eel @ 28.Aug.2009, 03:16 PM) *
Sure, some people find learning new languages difficult no matter what. But I think most Scandinavians - or people fluent in one of the languages - will find learning another ... (show full quote)


Well there are total differences between the written and spoken languages - I agree that if you are fluent in a scandinavian language you can usually read quite a bit of the others - by the spoken language is a different matter entirely - the Danish practice of swallowing half ot the word so that:
Jeg kan godt lide det
is pronounced
Ji-ka-go-li-di
Causes immense problems - when I lived in Denmark there was an interesting discussion as to why Danish children learn to read later than their other Scandinavian counter-parts and one of the problems was the lack of connection between the written and spoken languages.

I have been to academic conferences where both Norweigens and Swedes have struggled to understand the Danes biggrin.gif

The Danish island of Bornholm is of course a very special case as ownership was been in dispute for centuries and passed frequently between Denmark and Sweden
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Gwrhyr
post 1.Sep.2009, 12:04 AM
Post #32
Joined: 7.Mar.2009

QUOTE (Puffin @ 28.Aug.2009, 05:16 PM) *
The Danish island of Bornholm is of course a very special case as ownership was been in dispute for centuries and passed frequently between Denmark and Sweden


Bornholmsk is very interesting precisely because it is considered to have been historically a type of Skånska, but today it is a type of Skånska influenced and somewhat replaced by modern Danish, much as Skånska today is standard Swedish with a Skånska accent along with some local colloquialisms. Comparing Swedish Skånska and Danish Bornholmsk gives insight into what Scanian was really like at the height of its time of being away from both foreign influence and the historical Proto-Germanic language.
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7zijian
post 18.Nov.2010, 11:11 PM
Post #33
Joined: 18.Nov.2010

Thank you...
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Garry Jones
post 19.Nov.2010, 12:28 AM
Post #34
Joined: 20.Feb.2005

I did a year at night school 1985-86 in London. Two hours a week, twice a week. It gave me an understanding. When I moved here in 1988 I went straight into the intermediates at SFI. I was fluent two months after moving here. My main advantage was moving to a small village in Dalarna where nobody wanted to speak English as they were too shy. I had to learn.
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*MicrosoftCRM*
post 19.Nov.2010, 04:41 AM
Post #35


I suspect that Swedish is a pretty language to learn.


Rick
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swozzie
post 19.Nov.2010, 06:17 AM
Post #36
Joined: 8.Oct.2009

Providing you didn't grow up with Sesame street and the swedish chef !

My first weeks at SFI were spent cracking up at how I sounded and not being able to take anything seriously. All I heard was hurdy gurdy bork bork bork ! and coming out of my own mouth !

After a few months it got pretty ! biggrin.gif
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Garry Jones
post 19.Nov.2010, 06:57 AM
Post #37
Joined: 20.Feb.2005

> Providing you didn't grow up with Sesame street and the swedish chef !

What channel was that on? The same one with Clive James as Edna Everage? smile.gif

> All I heard was hurdy gurdy bork bork bork ! and coming out of my own mouth !

O dear! did we really need to know that? smile.gif
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Puffin
post 19.Nov.2010, 07:16 AM
Post #38
Location: Dalarna
Joined: 5.Apr.2006

QUOTE (Garry Jones @ 19.Nov.2010, 06:57 AM) *
> Providing you didn't grow up with Sesame street and the swedish chef !What channel was that on? The same one with Clive James as Edna Everage? > All I heard wa ... (show full quote)


You've never heard of Sesame Street? It's a US pre-school educational programme - but has certainly been shown in the UK for the past 30-40 years
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Garry Jones
post 19.Nov.2010, 07:28 AM
Post #39
Joined: 20.Feb.2005

Of course I had, it just never had any Swedish chefs on you m*pp*t!
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*christinaray*
post 19.Nov.2010, 07:56 AM
Post #40


According to me Swedish is much easier to speak than that of the other Scadanavian Nations language. Swedish is a tone language – words are pronounced with a specific rising or falling pitch.Learning Swedish tones is best done by listening to native speakers and imitating them.
Thanks,
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Johno
post 19.Nov.2010, 10:39 AM
Post #41
Joined: 23.Jul.2008

We should all be grateful for the spelling reform of 1906 which makes Swedish pretty regular in many respects (as opposed to English). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swedish_language Also that we have basic words common across English, Swedish (and German also). And of course Swedish has lots of words that seem English in structure even though with different meanings. And even the pronounciation is pretty regular (again unlike English). The few exceptions seem to be in a handful of common words which are grasped very early on in learning, so that you dont even notice. I dont know that much about the other languages, but wonder how you cope in Norway with different official languages? (And by the way, although Finnish is hideously complicated in our eyes and very different grammatically, it also benefitted from a similar spelling reform making it very very regular in pronounciation and not that hard to grasp). The tone bit in Swedish may be important in making your speech more acceptable, but aint the most important part of learning Swedish in my eyes. (Another aside, note the way Finns speak Swedish, very flat, very easily recognised, like Klingström in Beck, they get by ok).
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Opalnera
post 20.Nov.2010, 02:24 AM
Post #42
Joined: 16.Aug.2010

QUOTE (swozzie @ 19.Nov.2010, 06:17 AM) *
Providing you didn't grow up with Sesame street and the swedish chef !My first weeks at SFI were spent cracking up at how I sounded and not being able to take anythin ... (show full quote)


Lucky you! 3 months and I still sound like Steve Irwin's female incarnation speaking Swedish. Reading and writing is a lot easier but I am not sure I will ever be able to speak it fluently.
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swozzie
post 20.Nov.2010, 06:54 AM
Post #43
Joined: 8.Oct.2009

Crikey ! that bad eh ? smile.gif

Hang in there Opal - the first year is the worst - after that it all starts to flow - promise smile.gif
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roch
post 20.Nov.2010, 07:42 AM
Post #44
Joined: 28.Aug.2007

After 3 years of giving it my best shot a German friend (who has lived here for 20 years plus) and her Swedish husband subtly told me that my spoken Swedish was getting better BUT I still spoke with a very strong kiwi accent. Something I never realised or heard!!!!! I had no idea that I sounded so"bad" to others and I was difficult to understand.

It has made me really try to work on my pronunciation!
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Garry Jones
post 20.Nov.2010, 07:49 AM
Post #45
Joined: 20.Feb.2005

> but I am not sure I will ever be able to speak it fluently.

None of us are (or were). To be honest my ambition was to understand a little just to get by. Then I started to understand more and more. Then I got to the blankety-blank stage and then I was fluent. It grows on you.

Consider (in English)

Last night I had a pint of XXXX in the pub.
I put my clothes into a XXXX and zipped it up.
After my shower I XXXX myself with a towel.

Thats what I mean by "blankety-blank". You can understand the sentence even if you dont recognise every word. And this teaches you the new word. Of course in my example above it would be likely to be "beer, bag and towel" even though it could be "cider, hanging wardrobe and "hair dryer". So you can never be too certain but once you start believing your confidence grows.

Words I remember puzzling over are "iofs" and "liksom".
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