Interview with a Swedish learner – James

Learning Swedish – interview with a learner

James is a radiographer working in an NHS hospital in the UK. He was raised in Southport, Lancashire, but currently lives in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, UK, but he is hoping on finding work in Sweden in the not-too-distant future. James likes to ride his bicycles a lot and successfully completed Vätternrundan, a 180 mile ride around Lake Vättern, in Sweden in 2015.

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What led you to want to learn Swedish?

I’ve always been interested in Nordic history and culture, the cause of which was probably being exposed to a 1980s adventure game I used to play on my computer as a boy called Valhalla. More recently, I had been looking at job adverts for jobs in my profession across Norway, Sweden and Denmark, and wishing I could apply for them. But after separate trips to Sweden, Norway and Finland, and enjoying experiencing life as a tourist in those countries, in 2014 I thought I’d bite the bullet and give learning a language a go. I plumped for Sweden as I felt the size of the country would be good.

When and how did you start learning Swedish?

I started using the Babbel app on my iPad, in May 2014, and shortly after started taking lessons from Anneli over Skype.

How much do you currently use the Swedish language, and why?

I try to use it when I can. The chances to use Swedish in the UK are limited but there’s a few groups across the country that arrange meetings through the meetup.com website, in London, Manchester and Glasgow. Other than that, if I visit Sweden I try to use my language skills there, but this is made more difficult by the natives’ excellent English skills and their eagerness to use them in conversation with an Englishman!

What have been the challenges for you in learning Swedish?

Trying to fit my lessons and homework around my job and other interests.

What is your proudest moment as a Swedish speaker?

When arriving on a campsite in June 2015, I did manage to hold a good conversation with the management telling them my name and that I had booked a pitch for a few nights. I think they may have been confused by my arriving in a right hand drive car!

Can you recommend any Swedish books that are good for learning Swedish?

Swedish: An Essential Grammar, by Philip Holmes and Ian Hinchliffe, is an excellent grammar book for those starting out in Swedish.

Can you recommend any online / media resources for learning Swedish?

The aforementioned Babbel app, which you can use on iOS and Android, plus their version for desktop computers, is excellent but you have to pay a monthly subscription to use it. You could consider switching your phone’s language setting to Swedish, although it may be a good idea to memorise how to switch the language back to English should you need to. Swedish TV shows seem to be quite in demand on UK television these days with Wallander and The Bridge being shown on the BBC and there’s plenty of DVDs of Swedish TV shows available too, with English subtitling of course, plus you could consider watching English language films with Swedish subtitling. Listen to Swedish records, from the likes of Melissa Horn and Linnea Henriksson, and have a look at the lyrics booklet with the album.

Do you have any other advice for future, budding Swedish learners?

Learn little and often, maybe try and think about what you’re doing in Swedish rather than English, maybe keep a written diary in Swedish and write about your days.

 

10 unmissable bars in Stockholm

Want some tips on where to go for a drink in Stockholm? The following list includes 10 bars, courtesy of The Local: http://www.thelocal.se/20150429/ten-unmissable-outdoor-bars-in-stockholm

1. Södra Teatern and Mosebacke, Södermalm

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2. Mälarpaviljongen, Kungsholmen

Mälarpaviljongen, Kungsholmen

3. Orangeriet, Kungsholmen

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4. Rosendals Trädgård, Djurgården

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5. Josefina, Djurgården

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6. Nosh and Chow, Östermalm

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7. Piren, Kungsholmen

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8. Pharmarium, Gamla Stan

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9. Berns, Östermalm

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10. Trädgården, Södermalm

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http://www.thelocal.se/20150429/ten-unmissable-outdoor-bars-in-stockholm

 

 

Who let the cows out? Kosläpp season starts now

Throughout April and May in Sweden, there will be kosläpp on many farms in Sweden. This is a rather lovely event, where the farms let the cows out for the summer. Not surprisingly, the cows are very happy about it – and they show it too. They turn into playful little puppies!

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The events have become real tourist attractions, and many farms are already fully booked in terms of audience capacity.

Here are some of the Arla farms schedules for this year’s kosläpp: http://www.arla.se/om-arla/korna/koslapp/

Artist home in Stockholm for rent in July

Hej!

A family member is renting out their lovely 1 bed flat in Stockholm from 22 June and throughout the whole of July. This artist home close to trendy Södermalm, Swedish nature, lakes and with a communal roof terrace with 360 panoramic views is the perfect spot for your holiday in Stockholm!

Living space and separate bed room

Living space and separate bed room, with unique curved wall

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open plan kitchen/living area

  • Price per week: 5000 SEK (appr 450 GBP/550 EUR/750 USD)
  • Price per weekend (Fri-Sun): 3000 SEK (appr 270 GBP/330 EUR/450 USD)
  • Deposit: 1000 SEK (appr 90 GBP/110 EUR/150 USD) – to be refunded as long as the flat is returned as you found it 🙂
  • Including bedding, sheets, towels, basic kitchen items (a pint of milk, tea, coffee, salt, pepper, sugar etc)
Communal roof terrace with west-facing panoramic views over Södermalm (where the sun sets)

Communal roof terrace – west-facing panoramic views over Södermalm (where the sun sets)

  • 1 double bedroom
  • open plan kitchen/living space
  • 1 bathroom with bathtub, shower and washing machine
  • fully furnished
  • TV, wifi
  • in Sickla (click for Google map) – walking distance to Hammarby sjöstad (Eco town, 5 min) and trendy Södermalm (30 min). Regular buses to Slussen/Old town (10 min journey), bus stop only 2 min walk from flat.
  • designated parking space included
  • communal roof terrace with 360 panoramic views over Södermalm to the west and Nacka nature reserve to the east
double bed

double bed

Study area in bedroom with beautiful curved wall, door to the kitchen/living area

Study area in bedroom with beautiful curved wall, door to the kitchen/living area

Beautiful nature reserve just outside the flat (Nackareservatet) with a golf course. Lake beach minutes away.

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Sickla beach, family friendly beach 2 min walk from flat

Large shopping centre 10 min walk (Sickla köpkvarter), with shops, restaurants, cafés, Systembolaget and more.

  • Payment policy: full payment no less than 14 days in advance
  • Cancellation policy: more 7 days before: 500 sek cancellation fee plus full refund. less than 7 days in advance no refund.

If you are interested, contact me ASAP.

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Bright summer eve at 10 pm, looking out from Mosebacke bar on Södermalm

Restaurant Göteborg in Hammarby Eco Town, only 5 min walk from the flat

Restaurant Göteborg in Hammarby Eco Town, only 5 min walk from the flat

Beautiful Södermalm

Beautiful Södermalm

 

Redo för ett nytt år!

Hej alla!

Gott Nytt 2013! I hope you have all had a nice relaxing time and are ready to get back into your svenskalektioner again? I have just got back from 10 days in Sweden – Stockholm and mainly Dalarna – and I am really excited about getting started again with lessons this year and help you improve your Swedish even more.

They say you should study the professionals if you want to excel in something. Therefore I thought I’ll share some typical characteristics of successful language learners, which I hope will be inspiring and motivating.

I hope to see and speak with you all real soon. In the meantime I’ll also leave you with some pictures from a magical dog sledging – hundspann – experience that me and my husband had in Orsa, Dalarna last week. We absolutely loved it – det var helt underbart!

Hälsningar – Anneli 🙂

See Northern Lights in Sweden

The Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis, or Norrsken/Polarsken in Swedish), is the natural light display in the sky particularly in the high northern latitude regions. It happens due to the collision of energetic charged particles with atoms in the high altitude atmosphere.

The result is stunning.

In Sweden, one of the best places to catch a glimpse of this phenomenon is Abisko Mountain Station in the very north.

Travel

Best way to get there is to fly to Arlanda, Stockholm and then catch a regional flight with Scandinavian Airlines to Kiruna. From there, you can rent a car and drive the 1.5 hours northwest to Abisko Mountain Station. You can also take the bus or train from Kiruna Airport to Abisko. Furthermore, you can book a Taxi with City Taxi at +46(0)980-61500 and it cost about 1000 SEK from the airport to Abisko.

You can also take the train all the way, but it will take you between 18-20 hours to get there.

Accommodation

The winter season starts in December. You can rent rooms and cabins at the mountain station.

Twin-bedded room: from 740 SEK /room
Bed: from 270 SEK /person
Double room: from 1360 SEK /room

Additional fee for non-members : 100 SEK per person per night, children 50 SEK per person per night

There is a Sky Station that you can visit to view the Northern Lights (695 SEK), and there are also many different package options available.

For more information, visit the FAQ section at the Abisko Mountain Station website.

 

Skansen

Have you ever been to Skansen in Stockholm? It is the first open air museum and zoo in Sweden and is located on the island Djurgården in Stockholm. It was founded in 1891 by Artur Hazelius to show the way of life in the different parts of Sweden before the industrial era. I went there last Wednesday, and here are some pictures.