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How to convince a friend to help learn Swedish?

Says it's not worth it. :(

Meridia
post 22.Mar.2014, 11:27 AM
Post #1
Joined: 22.Mar.2014

Here's my dilemma:

I've been looking to learn Swedish for about 3 or 4 years now. The main setback I'm having is that I would prefer to have someone that speaks the language help with it.

No, I can't afford lessons. This wouldn't be a problem if I could. There are no courses where I live(California... /sigh) and I already know a native speaker up in northern Sweden that could do it...

... except that he won't do it, citing "everyone here speaks English anyways" and "you should learn something practical" and basically, "You're wasting your time learning a language you don't really need to know."

Now, while I can totally understand his side of it, he doesn't seem to like actually speaking English either. He prefers spoken Swedish, and written English. He keeps spoken messages short, and prefers instant messages to my TeamSpeak server.

I'm planning to fly out next year, so he's going to have to pull his head out of the sand and actually speak with me then, I'd like to at least *attempt* to speak Swedish with him.

Now, the same reason he dislikes speaking English is the same reason I was afraid to even ask him for help in the first place: Confidence issues. I had this problem with Spanish classes in school, and to this day I will not speak Spanish with my family that speaks it. I'm afraid of butchering it horribly, and making myself look like a fool. Gathering the stones to ask him was hard enough, and getting told I'm wasting my time was a serious blow to my feelings on it(yes, I know it sounds like I'm a big baby...don't need to tell me) and I was upset enough to walk away from the computer and stop talking to him yesterday.

Any suggestions for how to deal with this? I don't want to upset him by continually bringing it up, but I can't seem to convince him that the only reason I need to learn the language is "I want to." I don't need any other reason to widen my knowledge.

Being American I already feel bad enough I only speak English and am incredibly embarrassed about various aspects of my country so this is *really* bothering me.

Why in the world must he be a stubborn mule? *sighs*

Thanks in advance!
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Hallander
post 22.Mar.2014, 12:40 PM
Post #2
Joined: 4.Mar.2009

I am not going to repeat what has been said on other threads many times, but I suggest you look them up.

"everyone here speaks English anyways". Not true. For example, dont expect to go into every shop and speak English. With younger folks, in tourist spots and those really wanting to sell you something almost always ok. With older folks, not true. And there are plenty of instances where those whose English is not so good, and who have to get their facts right eg banks, health care may refuse to speak in English.

" I had this problem with Spanish classes in school, and to this day I will not speak Spanish with my family that speaks it. I'm afraid of butchering it horribly, and making myself look like a fool." Get over this. You will find that trying to speak Swedish will pay dividends. They will swap to English if they are confident. And if not they will be pleased you are making the effort and still try to communicate.
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nickoledlaird
post 23.Mar.2014, 11:43 AM
Post #3
Joined: 14.May.2011

Where in California are you from? Theres a weekly course in SF that I took before I moved here. Worth the money.
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jostein
post 23.Mar.2014, 02:23 PM
Post #4
Joined: 22.Mar.2011

QUOTE (Meridia @ 22.Mar.2014, 11:27 AM) *
..Now, the same reason he dislikes speaking English is the same reason I was afraid to even ask him for help in the first place: Confidence issues. I had this problem with Spa ... (show full quote)

Just do what i do, take your own foolishness as a given? Then you stop worrying about being perceived as foolish, it becomes a given baseline that we sometimes surprise by rising above?

QUOTE (Meridia @ 22.Mar.2014, 11:27 AM) *
Being American I already feel bad enough I only speak English and am incredibly embarrassed about various aspects of my country so this is *really* bothering me.

As Mencken said, "Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under"

Your friend has a point. Swedish is a small, pointless language. And, in my opinion, sweden is a small sad state busy getting sadder.
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Crackers and Cream
post 6.Jun.2014, 09:18 AM
Post #5
Joined: 5.Jun.2014

I'm not going to help you when I say this but I'm American and you often have 2 reactions from the Swedes when you speak English (depending on where you live in Sweden):
1) They turn and run to the hills!
2) The reply in accented but very comprehensible English!

Chances are that you'll get a 2 most of the time if you're going to live in a city setting.

Further still; when Swedes talk to anyone in Sweden, they speak to you in Swedish...as soon as you say something like "pardon me?" they'll probably give you a 1 or a 2.


That said; if your friend won't help you achieve what you want then you probably don't have a friend at all...you may wanna think that through.
With a language, you need to have people around you that are willing to throw you into it at different intervals so that you get the language over time.

This person isn't completely wrong though; I've studied Swedish and I actually decided to stop because it has very few uses in the country and almost no uses outside Sweden.
I would actually invest my time in Spanish if I was you and go over to Spain...it's so much warmer there! smile.gif
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