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Frustrated trying to learn Swedish

Don't seem to be allowed to speak Swedish

klubbnika
post 23.Feb.2012, 10:30 AM
Post #16
Joined: 1.Feb.2012

Even the Swedish royals speak Swenglish (svengelska).

The headline for SvD:

"Prins Daniel efter förlossningen: ”Känslorna all over the place” " biggrin.gif
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DaveN
post 23.Feb.2012, 12:21 PM
Post #17
Joined: 28.Feb.2007

Hardly anyone in the village here (pop. 8) speaks english, so they've had no choice but to listen to my swedish. But over the years they have managed to 'tune in' to it, just like we do when listening to shite english - wrong tense etc. But if people are happy to talk english to me, then I'm happy. The swedish will come eventually.

On the odd occasion that someone has commented on how bad my swedish is, then I revert to really fast english full of slang - just to see how they like it.
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Leonie
post 23.Feb.2012, 12:38 PM
Post #18
Location: Jämtland
Joined: 10.Oct.2005

For me I hadn't been In the country for 6years my pronunciation use to be very good,November iwas back In Sweden ordered a sandwich and drink in Swedish and Got a reply in english I continued in Swedish till good bye, I felt it was very rude, but I was not giving in.
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Ankinette
post 23.Feb.2012, 12:39 PM
Post #19
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 26.Jul.2011

Conversation groups could increase your confidence smile.gif http://www.meetup.com/intercambio/events/47870752/
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Willy
post 23.Feb.2012, 01:16 PM
Post #20
Joined: 10.Jul.2005

First make sure that your Swedish is actually understandable. Subtle differences in pronunciation that might seem insignificant to native English-speaking ears might make the difference between being understood or not.

Some common mistakes that native English speakers make, observed by this amateur linguist:

-- Pronouncing long vowels as diftongs,: for example, long o and long e sound like ou and ei to Swedish ears.
-- Reducing unstressed short vowels to schwa-like sounds. You don't do that as much in Swedish.
-- Not getting the prosody right. Pitch accent and stressing the right word of the sentence is extremely important to sound natural (or even be understood) in Swedish.
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Brunette Babe 5
post 23.Feb.2012, 04:22 PM
Post #21
Joined: 10.Dec.2005

schwa? smile.gif

I think the OP's sambo is rude.
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Willy
post 23.Feb.2012, 04:47 PM
Post #22
Joined: 10.Jul.2005

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schwa
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mid-central_vowel

The vowel-at-large in the middle of your mouth that many unstressed vowels turn into in English. Written as an upside-down e in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). Is has a strange name, apparently it came from Hebrew through German.
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james1664
post 23.Feb.2012, 05:02 PM
Post #23
Joined: 27.Nov.2008

Hi there, you could also use www.babbel.com

You need to pay 70SEK a month but the courses are well worth it, I have been using it for a while and because their is constant sound, you get the intonation correct. After that people will speak swedish with you.

If you get the usual pricks trying to speak English to you just talk only in english, 'cup of cha please' always results in them reverting back to Swedish. The other alternative is to say politely in english ' sorry I really don't understand your bad english very well then speak in Swedish. I have found the staff then get angry and immediately blast you with Swedish, exactly what you want!
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Fishtank
post 23.Feb.2012, 05:21 PM
Post #24
Location: Västra Götaland
Joined: 25.May.2007

QUOTE (gplusa @ 22.Feb.2012, 05:15 PM) *
Once we've dealt with what ever it was that I've done wrong, we switch back to Swedish again.


LOL!!! How true mate!!

OP>> After SFI, direct SAS B?? Quite a jump in levels me thinks.

May be join the skype group someone formed and chat with them... Read books and watch English shows on Swedish TV with subtitles.
It will increase your level of patience for crap programs as well as improve swedish skills.

Lycka till.
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klubbnika
post 23.Feb.2012, 05:24 PM
Post #25
Joined: 1.Feb.2012

It's even better to watch SVT with swedish subtitles so you can make a connection between how the words are written and spoken.
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cattie
post 24.Feb.2012, 09:22 AM
Post #26
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 28.Sep.2009

@Willy makes some important points. Prosody is often a big problem for others to understand you.

My first place in Sweden was on Karlbergsvägen. I thought this was quite easy to pronounce, compared to some street names in Sweden. Yet, no one knew what I was saying when I gave the address. I recall a particularly drawn-out explanation with a taxi driver. I wound up trying to geographically orienting them by saying by S:t Eriksplan or having to spell it out. Then they would say (as if they just found their lost car keys) "Ahhh! KarlBErgsVÄgen."

The rhythm and prosody really matter in Swedish, Swedish sings. English is flater than Swedish and if you don't feel a bit uncomfortable speaking/singing Swedish, you probably are not well-understood. If you feel like you are making fun of the Swedish language then you are probably just sounding right.
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dave.smith
post 24.Feb.2012, 09:40 AM
Post #27
Joined: 12.Jan.2007

Anouka, don't get all down in the dumps. Take a look at my posting history, you'll see some horrible (written swedish) and during that period my spoken swedish was even worse. Now, I am perhaps better in swedish than english, people who don't know I am british are surprised to learn that I am, and I only started learning in my late 20s. You may get to the point even as a forgeiner where your swedish is just as good as most swedes. Don't let the negative nancies get you down.

Now I speak almost only swedish at the office (although ebglish is used because we have international clients). At first when people spoke swedish I had to poke my buddy in the back and ask him what they said, even if it was a common phrase.

It sounds like you are on much better footing than I was when I first started out. Don't give up. smile.gif
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dockmandock
post 24.Feb.2012, 09:43 AM
Post #28
Joined: 30.Jul.2008

I just don't bother with Swedish. I have learnt it, but it has been all self-taught, as not one single Swede has helped me.

I can communicate in Swedish. I use Swedish in shops, etc. Over the years less and less people in stores etc have switched to English with me, nowadays almost never, so I am quite proud of that. If they do switch to English I just go with it and switch as well.

But with my Swedish friends I just speak English. Most of them have either lived in the US or UK, work for international companies or study/have studied at a high level in English (i.e. using English academic texts on university courses). A lot of them are "Anglophiles" and fans of British music and TV shows. They are bi-lingual; I am not. They want to speak English with me and that's the language we communicate best in.
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gplusa
post 24.Feb.2012, 09:43 AM
Post #29
Location: Luleå
Joined: 4.Sep.2009

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 English in the way it combines several words to form one word. English does that on a small scale, but not as common as it is in Swedish. Most English speakers make the mistake of trying to pronounce the Swedish word as a single entity, instead of breaking it up into it's original forms and applying the correct stress to each of those small words as if you were saying them on their own. As cattie's taxi driver did. It's not enough to simply learn the word. You have to be able to recognise and understand the root words which make up the finished word. I remember sitting at a project meeting and reading the word "Huvuddel" several times. I recall scratching my head and thinking "what the f*** is an "uddel" ? Felt a right twit when I figured it out. Fortunately I hadn't asked anyone.
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kiaat
post 27.Feb.2012, 11:31 AM
Post #30
Joined: 1.Aug.2011

I remember when I started speaking German in Berlin on my exchange course. Most of my friends preferred to benefit from my English and we invariably stuck to English.
But slowly over time my German got good and then it was more comfortable to speak German with them. Some of them kept at the English. Some of them switched back to German.
I believe the same to be true here in Sweden. As soon as your Swedish reaches a sound level then you will not have a problem. To get there it is helpful to have friends and close people to interact with you, but your focus should be learning at school. I think it is the easy way out to say that others do not get you the chance. I got into huge arguments with my partner over this topic and it will never go away... until I speak fluently. Which I fully intend to one day!
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