New version of Teach Yourself Complete Swedish (Hodder & Stoughton) publishes 8 March 2018
- Dr Anneli Beronius Haake from Swedish Made Easy is the author of the new book
- The book includes 20 units with online audio support, plus verb reference and word glossary, with relevant and up-to-date topics, including politics, education, gender equality and popular entertainment in Sweden.
A perhaps unexpected trend in recent years is the rising popularity of Swedish in the world. It is unexpected because Swedish is not traditionally one of the more popular languages in the world, as it is typically ranked around the 90th most spoken languages in the world. But according to British Council, Swedish is in the top 10 languages in demand for export markets, along with much larger languages like French, Spanish, Dutch and German.
So why is Swedish becoming more popular? There are several theories for this rise. One is the rise of Scandinavian culture in general on an international scale, with books, TV-series and movies, many of them falling into the category known as Nordic Noir. Also, one in six Swedish residents in 2015 were born outside of Sweden (Statistics Sweden SCB), meaning that many Swedish residents are in full swing of learning the language.
On the 8th of March, the International Women’s Day, Dr Anneli Beronius Haake, director of the e-learning school Swedish Made Easy, publishes a new version of Teach Yourself Complete Swedish (Hodder & Stoughton). “What is particularly useful about this book”, she explains, “is that the platform language is English. Many Swedish course books made in Sweden are all in Swedish, which means that learners need a teacher to help explain the grammar at beginner’s level. This book, on the other hand, has all the grammar points explained in English.”
The book uses authentic conversations, vocabulary building, grammar explanations, online audio support, and extensive practice and review to equip learners with the skills they need to use Swedish in a variety of settings and situations, developing their cultural awareness along the way. The book follows several characters through a storyline enabling learners to engage with Swedish culture and contextualise their learning. The book suits the self-study learner, lessons with a one-to-one tutor, or the beginner classroom. It can be used as a refresher course as well as to support study for the ‘Swedex’ Swedish proficiency test.
Notes to Editors
Haake, A. B. (2018). Teach Yourself Complete Swedish (Hodder & Stoughton) https://www.amazon.co.uk/Complete-Swedish-Beginner-Intermediate-Course/dp/1444195107/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1517488103&sr=8-3&keywords=teach+yourself+swedish ISBN-10: 1444195107 ISBN-13: 978-1444195101
Mikael Parkvall, “Världens 100 största språk 2007” (The World’s 100 Largest Languages in 2007), in Nationalencyklopedin.
- About Swedish Made Easy and Dr Anneli Beronius Haake
Swedish Made Easy was founded by Anneli Beronius Haake in 2005. It is an e-learning and Skype-based language school, which specialises in the teaching and assessment of Swedish language skills, including SWEDEX levels A2-B2. Swedish Made Easy believes in using modern technology to share the Swedish language and culture across the globe.
Dr Anneli Haake is a native Swedish language and culture specialist and translator. Anneli was awarded a BA (Hons) at University of Stockholm in 2003 before transferring to the UK to complete her PhD and a PCHE (Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education) at University of Sheffield, UK. Anneli has been featured in numerous media outlets, including the BBC and The Guardian. Anneli has experience of teaching students from a broad range of nationalities and has worked with organisations such as Örebro University, Lund University, Jönköping University, as well as large multi-nationals including Abercrombie & Fitch, E-ON and Spotify and various language agencies.
A common conception is that Eskimos have over 100 words for snow, as they have so much snow in their everyday lives. By the looks of things, Swedes spend the whole winters rubbing snow in each others’ faces – at least judging by a survey a few years ago that found 95 ways of saying ‘rubbing snow in someone’s face’.
The survey was carried out by a radio programme on Swedish radio (Språket i P1), asking what words people use, or have used as children, to describe the act of ‘rubbing snow in someone’s face’. 6,000 people from the whole of Sweden participated in the survey, which revealed 95 ways of saying this. Here are some of the verbs, from south to north.
80 people use the word mula.
In the rest of Skåne, mula dominates, but not as clearly as in Malmö.
Mula 267, kröna 53, tvätta 17, salta 10, mosa 7, sylta 4, gnida in 4, gnugga 3
The survey states that kröna is typical of Skåne.
The survey found one unique word in this region: mora.
Mula 32, mora 24, gno 7, mosa 5, döpa 2
It is interesting to see how different the words are in Blekinge, compared to Skåne – even though they are so close geographically.
The Halland-dialect also had a unique word: molla.
Mula 91, molla 29, möla 13, klena 4, göra 4, kröna 3
There were large variations throughout Småland, but the general trend is as follows:
Mula 311, mylla 79, bryna 19, myla 16, mosa 12, gno 11, mulla 6, myra 2
Notice how some of the words form a kind of cluster, which is probably illustrating how one form has transformed into another one. This is probably the case with for example mula, mulla, myla, mylla and myra.
Apart from mula, mylla is considered typical for Småland.
Among people born after 1970, almost only mula and mylla are mentioned.
Mula 14, mylla 4, pula 2
Very similar overall patterns to Småland in general, according to the survey.
Bryna 19, mula 12, bröine 3
Bryna is the typical word for Gotland.
Myla 148, mula 142, pula 5, mylla 3
Myla is typical for this region. It is also interesting to note only 3 examples of mylla, which is the typical expression of Småland, just south of Östergötland.
Mula 126, pula 87, pöla 23, snöpula 5, möla 4
There was only 1 example of myla in Södermanland, which was the typical word in Östergötland – the neighbouring region. Some of the strong dialect boundaries are fascinating, don’t you think? Instead, Södermaland belongs to a greater pula-area, which can be found in Närke, Västmanland and neighbouring regions.
Mula 206, göra 86, grosa 23, möla 18, tvätta 16, gnosa 12, pula 9, gno 8, mylla 6, snötvätta 5, gni(da) 5, gnugga 4, sylta 4
Mula is top of the chart here, and möla is probably also a variation of mula.
Typical for Västergötland is the (hard g -pronounced) göra as well as grosa och gnosa.
Mula 159, göra 69, gira 43, môla 36, sylta 34, gura 16, salta 3
Typical for Göteborg is mula och môla, but also the words göra, gira, gura and sylta. Gura and sylta is not as common among younger people, but göra, gira and môla could be found across generations.
Mula 66, môla 11, mulla 9, mölla 7
All appears to be variations of mula.
Mula 17, môla 7, tryna 7
The last form, tryna, can also be found in Värmland.
Kryna 81, mula 45, tryna 27, krôna 14, bryna 11, mölla 7, mölja 7, pula 5, snöbryna 3
Typical for Värmland are kryna, tryna, bryna and krôna. Together, they are three times as common as mula. Mula and tryna are common among younger, whereas kryna, bryna and krôna are less common.
Pula 56, mula 35, snöpula 6, snötvätta 5
Pula is clearly dominating in this region.
Pula 64, mula 35, snöpula 6, bryna 2, tryna 2, snöpudra 2
Very similar pattern to Närke.
Mula 153, mulla 62, pula 24, snöpula 5, mudda 5, snömulla 3
Typical for Uppland is mulla.
Mula 800, pula 8
Stockholm is suprisingly homogeneous, despite a total of 843 participants: 98 % state mula. How come Stockholm has not been influenced by neighbouring regions?
Purra 18, pula 18, mula 15, snöpula 11, snöpurra 9, snötvätta 2
Typical for Gästrikland is purra and pula.
Pula 31, mula 27, snöpula 9
Hälsingland also belongs to the pula-area.
Mula 58, pula 2
Pula pretty much stops by the border between Hälsingland and Medelpad.
Mula 55, pula 45, snöpula 13, myla 6, möla 3, mulla 3, snötvätta 3
Dalarna also belongs to the pula-area. But how about myla – are there any connections to Östergötland?
Lack of participants here.
Mula 45, purra 21, pula 8, döpa 7
Typical was purra, alongside mula. Purra is thus used in both Jämtland and Gästrikland, even though these areas do not share any borders.
Mula 11, pula 7, möla 3, myla 2, snödöpa 2
Mula 78, mjula 6, mjöla 4, pula 3
Mula is definitely dominating.
Mula 78, mubba 10, möla 7, snödränka 6, mobba 5, möla 3, pula 3, snödöpa 3, snömula 3, döpa 2, tvätta 2, mööl 2
Second most common word was the unusual mubba, which was only used by participants born between 1950 and 1970. However, it may be related to the word mobba (bullying), which would make sense.
Mula 47, snöbada 29, snödöpa 7, snödoppa 4, gnida 4
Typical for Norrbotten are combinations with snö. 21 different words were mentioned, for example måda, mosa, gnugga, gnogg and, from Överkalix, gnäir.
Österbotten: mula 3, pesa 3, tvätta 2, tåväl 1, såvla 1, dövla 1, myla 1
Nyland: mula 6, pesa 6, tvätta 3, snötvätta 2
Åboland: mula 5, pula 2, snötvätta 2
Åland: måda 5, skura 2, mula 1, gnosa 1, gno in 1
In Österbotten and Nyland, the word pesa comes from the finish word for ‘tvätta‘ (to wash) with a Swedish infinitive form.
Of course, this is the ongoing quest for all language learners. What method is the most effective? Are there any good shortcuts? With so many different apps, programmes, methods and so on, which ones are the most effective?
I found a very useful summary by a language coach called Gruff Davis (yes, that is his name!), which I wanted to share because I wholeheartedly agree with all his points. He is using French as an example, but it can of course be applied to Swedish as well. Here it goes.
1. Understand the Language Learning Journey
Language learning has an appalling abandonment rate. A mere 4% of students embarking on language courses in schools achieve a basic level of fluency after three years. 96% fail to achieve fluency and/or abandon courses completely!
People almost always wrongly conclude two things from this:
Myth 1) Learning languages is hard.
Myth 2) Other people (but not them) are naturally good at languages.
One of the biggest reasons cited for abandoning is that students don’t feel any sense of progression. A GCSE student with an A* will visit France and find they can’t even have a basic conversation. People largely give up because they had the wrong expectations set. So let’s bust some myths:
1) Learning a language isn’t hard. It’s just LONG.
2) Everyone is naturally good at languages. You already learned one, remember? You’ve just forgotten how long it took.
I’m going to use a metaphor that I hope will help you get the knack.
I think of learning a language a bit like climbing a mountain (a large but easy mountain, the sort that anyone can climb so long as they keep going).
Here’s what most teachers won’t tell you: It takes 600+ hours of study & practice to reach fluency in French (unless you already speak another latin-based language – a so-called romance language). Think about this. If (say) you learn 1 hour of French per week, then in forty weeks you’ll do 40 hours. You’ll need fifteen years at that rate to become fluent, not counting all the stuff you forget because of the gaps between study. (Harder languages like Russian or Mandarin can take 1,200 hours!)
At the other extreme, if you study really intensively, you can rack up 40 hours in one week!It’s possible (but not guaranteed) to achieve fluency in ten to twelve weeks at that rate. Most people don’t have the spare time to give that level of intensity, but understanding the journey helps you be realistic about what you can achieve so you won’t get demotivated.
2. Intensity is vital to learning a language quickly.
This is a double-whammy. 1) Immersing yourself as deeply as possible in the subject allows you to rack up the hours as quickly as possible. 2) Memory fades unless it’s used. Low-intensity studies (i.e. school French) are ineffective because their intensity is so low that you end up forgetting a large percentage of what you learn. So, try to learn as intensely as time will permit you to.
To use my mountain metaphor, the ground is icy and slippery and if you go slowly, you’ll slip back as much as you progress. The faster you can climb, the less you will slip back.
3. Be kind to yourself
I’ve used sunlight in this mountain metaphor to give you an indication of how it feels to be at these levels. It’s not until B1/B2 that the light comes out and it starts to feel really good speaking French. That happens around the 350-400 hours mark if you’ve never learned a second language before.
Expect a lot of fog and confusion for the first few hundred hours. It’s completely normal and you’re not stupid. EVERYONE feels this way, even the people who seem really gifted at languages. The difference is, anyone who’s already been through that and reached the sunlight expects this stage, and it doesn’t phase them because they know they’ll get there eventually. So, if you catch yourself saying things like, “I’m rubbish at French” or “I’m stupid” just stop for a moment and remind yourself that you’re neither and you will get it if you persevere.
4. Prepare for the journey
If you’re a complete beginner I find it’s really important to absorb the sounds of the language before beginning serious study. I listen to hours of audio (audio books are great for this) without trying to understand the content, but still actively listening to the sounds of the language to embed them. I usually find after a while I end up babbling them a little like a baby which can feel a bit silly . Which brings me my next piece of advice:
5. Practise looking stupid
Being self-conscious is your biggest enemy. You cannot speak a foreign language without feeling stupid at some point. You have to get over that. You have to twist your mouth into strange new shapes that make you feel like a caricature; you will speak and not be understood and you will listen and not understand. A LOT. It’s really okay and in fact necessary to learning. If you think about it, what’s the big deal? So you look stupid. Who cares?
If you instead give yourself credit every time you feel stupid you can turn this around. Give yourself a little mental gold star each time you feel stupid because those moments are learning moments. Feeling stupid is actually a sign of progress, or the moment just prior to progress.
6. Find out where you are (and therefore what the next stage is)
I strongly advise you measure your level using CEFR levels ( ) as these are now standard across Europe.
(and here is a self assessment test you can do to find out your Swedish level according to the CEFR levels).
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.
- Which Swedish storybook/cartoon character turns you on the most?
Pippi Långstrump! I love her total non-concern about convention and her hedonistic happy-go-lucky attitude. It’s very inspiring!
- Can you play any instruments?
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 =)
- What was your favourite TV show when growing up?
- Midsummer, Lucia or Christmas?
Midsummer definitely. It feels so magical, there is just something about in the air during that time of the year.
- How old is the oldest pair of shoes in your closet?
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.
- What, or who, are you a “closet” fan of?
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…
- What is the oldest thing in your fridge?
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.
- What Swedish food do you never want to live without?
Salt liqourice! I love ‘Turkisk Peppar’.
- What is the nerdiest thing you do in your spare time?
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…
- Do you have any strange phobias?
Not really. The worst fear I have is going on planes and boats I think. Especially boats. They might sink!
- Favourite Swedish saying?
‘Ingen fara på taket’ (no danger on the roof), and my own ‘Kom igen, det blir kul!’ (come on, it’ll be fun!).
- What are three things still left on your bucket list?
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.
Daniel is a Swedish teacher here at Swedish Made Easy. He teaches all levels, from beginner to advanced. He comes from Göteborg in Sweden (which he would adamantly argue is the best city in Sweden), and lives with his family in London, UK. He has worked in education for over 8 years, and taught Swedish since 2013. He has a real passion for languages and has helped to improve literacy levels of children in secondary schools in London (and even helped a school to set up a library!). He also writes books and short stories (check it out).
Here are 11 quick questions for Daniel!
1. Can you play any instruments?
I learned to play the guitar when I attended a music course at university. Wrote and composed a Gospel song called “Godissången” for the children’s musical we performed at the end of term. Radio stations across the world played it for years and years and … oh, right. That part was just a dream.
2. What was your favourite TV show when growing up?
Transformers, He-Man, and Star Fleet in the 1980s; X-files and Twin Peaks in the 1990s.
3. Favourite Swedish band?
I realised in 2000-2001 that my favourite band was Kent. Favourite “foreign” band is R.E.M.
4. Do you collect anything?
I had a strange fascination collecting postcards for a long time, but these days that obsession has changed to coffee mugs. I like drinking my fancy Italian coffee in style.
5. Choose a movie title for the story of your life.
A Life Less Ordinary.
6. What is the oldest thing in your fridge?
A frozen House elf from 1821. Mind you, the fridge is from the glorious year of 1816.
7. What, or who, are you a “closet” fan of?
8. What is the nerdiest thing you do in your spare time?
I’m a member of a Swedish film site and record each new film I watch. So far, I’ve watched 2603 of them. The latest one was Independence Day: Resurgence, which I gave a solid 1 (out of 5).
9. Favourite film?
Are you crazy? There are too many to pick from! Help! Okay, okay, depends on the genre. Overall I’d go with the original 12 Angry Men.
10. What about a favourite Swedish film, then?
That’s very difficult too. I’ll go with a timeless classic comedy and say Att Angöra en Brygga. All my favourite Swedish actors gathered on an island to celebrate Midsummer, what can go wrong?
11. What are three things still left on your bucket list?
Publish books, travel outside Europe, and provide tools for my children to become decent and caring human beings.
To book a lesson with Daniel or to check his availability, click on “Swedish with Daniel” on the booking system
Jessica is a conversational trainer here at Swedish Made Easy. She offers “Skype-fika”, which is an opportunity to get to practice improvised conversation with a native Swede. Jessica is born and bred in Stockholm but has roots in Austria. She is married and has one child. She has always been interested in people and communication and various contexts, perhaps since she has three fluent languages under her belt. When she worked as an ambassador for “The Swedish Number“, she spoke to people from all over the world, which she found fascinating and fun. She has lived abroad, both in Germany and Austria, through different periods in her life. Jessica works in finance in the entertainment industry for a company in Stockholm (SoFo), and prefer to visit cities and beaches to soak up some sun when she can.
Here are 10 quick questions for Jessica.
1.Which Swedish storybook/cartoon character turns you on the most?
Birka Borkason when I was a child.
2. Can you play any instruments?
Played the Clarinet for 3 years.
3. What was your favourite TV show when growing up?
4. Midsummer, Lucia or Christmas?
5. What, or who, are you a “closet” fan of?
I don’t kiss and tell 😉
6. What Swedish food do you never want to live without?
7. What is the nerdiest thing you do in your spare time?
I don’t know if it’s nerdy but I clean and organise a lot.
8. Do you have any strange phobias?
9. Favourite Swedish saying?
“Det man inte har i huvudet får man ha i benen”
10. What are three things still left on your bucket list?
So so much!!!
To book a Skype-fika with Jessica, go to the booking system and select “Skype-fika” and then “Jessica” as your trainer.
Sophie works as a Swedish teacher at Swedish Made Easy. She is a native Swede who spent her 20’s in London, but these days she is based in Stockholm where she lives with her husband and two children. She works as an rhetoric consultant as well as a equality consultant, with a focus on communication. She has a great love for the Swedish language, its development and uses of languages generally.
Here are 12 quick questions for Sophie.
1.Which Swedish storybook/cartoon character turns you on the most?
Pippi, because she did everything the other way around, didn’t follow conventions and had her own very cool look.
2. Can you play any instruments?
A bit of piano and a little bit of guitar
3. What was your favourite TV show when growing up?
Laverne and Shirley
4. Midsummer, Lucia or Christmas?
5. How old is the oldest pair of shoes in your closet?
My Doc Martin, I bought them in 1996!
6. What, or who, are you a “closet” fan of?
Make up tutorials
7. What is the oldest thing in your fridge?
A year of coconut butter. I know it’s good, but can’t eat it.
8. What Swedish food do you never want to live without?
9. What is the nerdiest thing you do in your spare time?
Play simpsons on my phone
10. Do you have any strange phobias?
11. Favourite Swedish saying?
Det ordnar sig!
12. What are three things still left on your bucket list?
Jump out of an airplane (preferable with a parachute), Tatoos, My own TV show.
Sophie is available on Thursday mornings for lessons. To book Sophie, go to the booking system and select “Swedish with Sophie”.
Skype-fika seems to be a sought after service here at Swedish Made Easy! So much so, that we now introduce another conversational trainer: Amanda. She will be available to book for some Skype-fika (conversational training).
Skype-fika does not include specific grammar training, but it is a chance to increase your confidence in speaking, by speaking with a native Swede, who will of course help you with new words, correct pronunciation and grammar glitches. You should be on at least B1-level to do conversational practice with Amanda. You book her through the booking system.
Here are a few words from Amanda:
My name is Amanda, and I offer Skype-fika; conversational training. I grew up in Sweden in a small town called Lindesberg, though I have my roots in Stockholm and in Jukkasjärvi. I live in Exeter in the U.K now since a couple of years back, and I lived in Colchester when I was studying at university. I have always had a great interest in and passion for language and literature, and I have a BA in both Creative Writing and Literature. I currently work for a travel company called Risskov, and I also work with ceramics and art. My wife and I also have two crazy happy dogs, a hamster and a big stash of yarn since we are both avid knitters. I love talking to people about anything and everything, and I can’t wait to have a chat with you at a fika! Because of my flexible schedule, I’ll be offering fika almost all times of the day.
Jag heter Amanda, och jag erbjuder Skype-fika; konversationsträning. Jag är uppvuxen i Sverige i en liten stad som heter Lindesberg, fast jag har mina rötter i Stockholm och Jukkasjärvi. Nu bor jag i Exeter i England sedan ett par år tillbaka, och jag bodde i Colchester medan jag pluggade på universitetet. Jag har alltid haft ett stort intresse och passion för språk och litteratur, och jag har universitetsexamen i både Creative Writing och litteraturvetenskap. Just nu jobbar jag för ett resebolag som heter Risskov, och jag jobbar också med keramik och konst. Min fru och jag har två galna glada hundar, en hamster och ett stort lager garn eftersom vi båda älskar att sticka. Jag älskar att prata med folk om allt och inget, och jag ser verkligen fram emot att prata med dig över en fika! Tack vare mitt flexibla schema, så kommer jag erbjuda fika nästan alla tider under dagen.