Swedish is not a language that is taught in UK schools and you may not ever have thought of learning Swedish. But with the increasing popularity of “Nordic Noir” Sweden is getting more on our radar – how about learning some of the language to get to know Sweden better? Here’s 3 reasons why Swedish is a great language to learn!
1. 3 languages for the price of 1! Swedish is an unusual and interesting language spoken by about 9 million people in Sweden and as one of the official languages of Finland. Once you start learning Swedish, you will also be able to understand some basic Norwegian and Danish as the three languages are so similar. It would be like getting three languages for the price of one.
2. Simple grammar: On the whole, the Swedish grammar is simple but, similarly to English, there is a considerable difference between the written and the spoken language. Swedish has a pitch accent, which gives it a musical quality.
3. Swedish culture: Learning Swedish will not only help you if you travel around Scandinavia but also when being abroad. Many Swedes travel around the world and meeting someone who can speak your native language is always welcome. Furthermore, if you pay a visit to IKEA you will be able to translate and understand the meaning of all the products they sell as they are named after Swedish things or people. If you are interested in film or TV, many series and films were originally Swedish such as The Bridge, Wallander, Let the Right One in and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Every language has its way to express emotions and ideas, and Swedish is particularly rich in phrases – some of which translate to an English equivalent, some that don’t. For example, Swedes don’t “beat around the bush”, they “walk like the cat around hot porridge”. (Gå som katten kring het gröt)
Fingertoppskänsla is used to describe people who are really skilled at something. It translates to “fingertip feeling” and refers to someone having the ability to intuit what needs to be done.
Someone who has “ice in the stomach” (is i magen) is a cool customer. This person is someone who doesn’t panic in stressful situations but stays calm. Another saying related to calmness is Ingen ko på isen or ingen fara på taket, which means “no cow on the ice” or “no danger on the roof” – you could translate this as “no worries”.
The word färgglad literally means colour-happy and you can use it to describe the use of exciting colours to make your outfit more fun or to liven up an otherwise boring living room. In a country where the winters are long spring colours are greatly missed, and you can buy brightly-coloured articles for the home – IKEA’s range owes a lot to the Swedish climate!
If you’d like the challenge of an entirely new language and are happy to wrap your teeth around å, ä and ö, contact la Academia on 0161 491 1444 to give it a go!