Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas – GOD JUL!
Anneli, Daniel, Amanda and Jessica
Want to give someone a Swedish Lesson as a Christmas Gift?
Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know the person’s name, and we will send you payment details. You pay for the lesson (£27 GBP), tell them to contact us to book the lesson themselves. We’ll give you a pdf voucher that you can print out and wrap up.
Lätt som en plätt! Easy peasy!
Today, I (Anneli) am a proud guest blogger on Livefluent, a community website for language learners.
When you are learning Swedish, chances are that the course books include everyday language that is very helpful for getting by in Sweden in general.
However, you will probably not find intimate and sexy phrases in these types of books. Therefore, I wrote a little blog post with some useful phrases that you can use when getting intimate with a Swede.
Best of luck and enjoy! 😉
Teach Yourself Complete Swedish – to be published 8 March 2018
Some of you may know that I, Anneli, have been writing on a completely new version of Teach Yourself Complete Swedish (Hodder and Stoughton) for the past couple of years. Today, I am delighted to share with you that the book is finally out on Amazon for pre-order, the publication date is 8 March 2018. Very exciting times!
The book starts from scratch on beginner level A1, and then moves on quite quickly to A2, and finishes around B2-level. It is basically a beginners to intermediate book, in the usual Teach Yourself format that this series offer.
I’ll talk more in detail about the book later on, but for now, check out the nice cover on Amazon. 🙂
Ever used Google Translate? Technology and the Internet is great, right? There is so much information available by a simple click of a button. Google Translate is a tool that may at first seem helpful when learning a new language. However, there are some issues with using Google Translate as a tool in your language studies. Here are Swedish teacher Daniel’s top 5 reasons for why you should avoid using it when learning a language.
Translation from one language to another is not simply about translating word for word (‘direct translation’). You need to also translate according to grammatical, idiomatic and cultural patterns, which may mean that a sentence might look quite different in terms of the actual words, but mean the same thing. A quick look at direct translations of sayings illustrate this point.
The Vauquois triangle (below) shows different levels of translation. The higher up in the pyramid, the more precise the translation. The highest level of translation (‘interlingua’) is still an issue in Google Translate, which means sentences will still contain errors (sometimes grammatical, and often idiomatic).
Google translate is built on an algorithm that has access to a large amount of texts written in two languages, which allows for a basis on which to predict and make guesses. Translation is made sentence by sentence; the more text available, the better the predictions. The issue here is that a translation with 90% correct translation can still turn out as a result which is 100% wrong. On top of this, there are many poorly translated texts now on the Internet (many of them have used Google Translate). This means that they are now in ‘the system’ and have become part of the basis from which Google Translate predicts, making the errors self-enhancing and re-occurring.
Learning a language is like going on a long journey: you’re planning for the whole trip, preparing for bad weather, and you need routines. Google Translate stops your progress even if you don’t notice at first. When you do, however, you might have to turn back and choose a different road.
A teacher’s job is to know their subject, but it’s also to know their student. They identify the student’s level, where they’re going, and how to help them reach the finishing line. While your teacher knows how intelligent you are, that perfect paragraph with no spelling errors is not your writing and hasn’t even been taught by your teacher yet.
To learn anything from the beginning is an uphill struggle against waning willpower and outside influences. Don’t let Google Translate be part of that negative influence. Use a real dictionary, if you must.
In learning, mistakes are the key ingredients to understanding what is correct. You don’t bake the perfect cake on your first try; maybe not even after your hundredth try. But each time you prepare the next batch of batter, you change something to avoid making the same mistake.
Google Translate doesn’t teach you the nuances of language. A particular sentence can be written in different ways, depending on context, and that is what your teacher will show. We all desire flawless work, but that has to be set aside while learning the language.
The feeling of personal satisfaction is more than ample reward for all the sweating, flicking through pages, and trying to make sense of something you previously knew nothing about. The glint in a student’s eye when they are able to produce a paragraph in Swedish is priceless, and doubly so when it’s written independently.
To book a lesson with a Swedish teacher, go to our booking system to check availability.
Language teachers in Sweden will need to comply with new regulations from Skolverket (The Swedish National Agency for Education), which includes a qualification from the National Language Police Academy, it has emerged. The National Language Police Academy is an educational institute that is a part of The Swedish Police Academy.
The qualification will include legal authority to correct (and in some cases impose fines on) grammatical errors, such as confusion between du and dig, du and ni, de and dem, and also writing words apart when they should be written as one word. The new regulations will take effect as of the autumn 2017. A spokesperson for Skolverket said “Our main concern is personal pronouns, but there are many other areas that are in need of policing, especially now in the age of Internet and social media. We therefore feel it is extremely important to include language teachers in this effort.”
Swedish language teacher Agneta, who works mainly on Skype, said “I cannot wait for the ability to impose fines. I think it will be a really effective way to stress the importance of these rules to new language students. I know it is very popular to try and explain it in different ways, patiently, and give praise and encouragement. But I am more of a believer in the old ‘stick approach’. I think the fear of making mistakes and having to pay extra fines will generate some excellent study results.” Agneta’s students have declined an interview.
Amanda is a conversational trainer and she offers “Skype-fika”, which is an opportunity to get to practice improvised conversation with a native Swede. She grew up in Sweden in a small town called Lindesberg, though she has roots in Stockholm and in Jukkasjärvi (where the famous Ice Hotel is located). She now lives in Exeter in the U.K. Beyond having Skype-fika with people from all the corners of the world, she currently works for a travel company, and also works with ceramics and art. She and her wife have two dogs, a hamster and a big stash of yarn since they are both avid knitters.
Here are 10 quick questions for Amanda.
Pippi Långstrump! I love her total non-concern about convention and her hedonistic happy-go-lucky attitude. It’s very inspiring!
I sure can. I’m really good at playing the flute traverse! I can also play a bit of bodhran drum and African drums. I can also do ‘kulning’, the traditional Swedish herding call – though that’s not exactly an instrument. Unless you count your voice as being one =)
Midsummer definitely. It feels so magical, there is just something about in the air during that time of the year.
Eeeh, five years maybe? I’m not that bothered with shoes so I tend to just have a few that I wear until they fall apart and I am forced to buy new ones.
I’m pretty open with all my weirdness so there isn’t anything I’m afraid to share, haha. However, I am a total Pokémon nerd, and currently I am enjoying catching them all in Pokémon Moon which my wife gave me for my birthday (23rd December). I have loved Pokémon since I first discovered the games when I was 12 years old and have played the games one after another…
No idea, we love food in our household so things tend to get eaten. The oldest thing is probably the garlic, but that will also soon be used up.
Salt liqourice! I love ‘Turkisk Peppar’.
That’s probably playing Pokémon. And it’s not just that I play the games, I know so much about the game world and the different pokémon you can catch. I know which generation the creatures are from, what they evolve into, what type they are…
Not really. The worst fear I have is going on planes and boats I think. Especially boats. They might sink!
‘Ingen fara på taket’ (no danger on the roof), and my own ‘Kom igen, det blir kul!’ (come on, it’ll be fun!).
Learn leather mask making. Get another tattoo, this one along my spine. Buy a borzoi (a beautiful large sight hound dog breed)
To book a Skype-fika with Amanda, go to the booking system and select “Skype-fika” and then “Amanda” as your trainer.