Mellan hägg och syren – a Swedish expression rich in scent and joy

 

The Swedish expression “mellan hägg och syren” really says it all.

I love this time of the year. Late spring (which came early this year) that promises a long, beautiful summer with endless time outdoors. The green shades are soft and crisp; the white blossoms are abundant and simply breathtaking, and sometimes the white petals fall graciously through the air like soft snow.

It is the time “between Bird Cherry and Lilac” – “mellan hägg och syren”. The expression is said to originate from a cobbler’s sign saying he was closed “mellan hägg och syren”.

The Bird Cherry is in full bloom (depending on where in Sweden you are) and we are awaiting the Lilacs. Both add a wonderful scent to the gardens and the neighborhood.

Another word describing this time of the year is “försommar” – “pre-summer” 🙂

 

 

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Valborg

Valborg (Walpurgis) is celebrated throughout Sweden yet in varying forms. To me Valborg is a celebration of springtime. I also associate it with University students; Chalmers, Lund, Uppsala and their own special festivities. Many a choir is welcoming the spring by singing spring songs. In many parts of Sweden large bonfires play a big role on Valborgsmässoafton (Walpurgis Night).

Read more about Valborg (Walpurgis) and the Swedish traditions here – in Swedish

Watch and listen to Håkan Hellström’s beautiful song Valborg.

 

 

Glad påsk – Happy Easter! Free print in Swedish

A Happy Easter to all my customers, followers and friends! Let there be sun, food, company, love and chocolate!

And a Happy weekend if you do not celebrate Easter.

As usual you can print this mini poster –  put it in a small frame on the counter, or put it up on the refrigerator door to learn or keep Swedish vocabulary alive! Just right click on the picture. Share or leave a comment if the print made you happy!

Charlotta

Swedish Easter vocabulary - learn Swedish

Glad påsk! Free print in Swedish.

10 good things to know about Sweden

About Sweden; well what about it? Want to know a few Swedish essentials? Or are you looking for a list to explain Sweden to your friends abroad? Here it is; from fika to Allemansrätten and Idas sommarvisa – about Sweden

Video by Eductus.

From fika to Allemansrätten and Idas sommarvisa.

 

Practice listening to Swedish – en saga på svenska

Did you know the moon is actually made of ice cream? At least in this Swedish story about Krakel Spektakel by Lennart Hellsing; Glassmånen (the ice cream moon). Listen to this 5 minute tale to practice understanding Swedish. If you are a beginner don’t worry about understanding or not; simply listen to the rhythm of the language as well as the stress and intonation of it (the prosody). This will help you get acquainted with the Swedish language.

Practice listening to Swedish!

glass = ice cream

en måne = a moon

ett moln = a cloud

note: måndag means Monday. However in this text the author is playing with words and måndag in the story refers to “moonday” – the day of the Moon. Pronunciation is different from the day of the week “måndag”. Listen to pronunciation here.

Utlandssvenskar sökes till TV-program

Är ni utlandssvenskar? Kanske på väg att bli?

Jag fick en förfrågan om assistans från Tove Bergqvist som är med och producerar ett familjeprogram om utlandssvenskar för TV. Hon söker familjer som bor i utlandet, och som är intresserade av att deltaga. Uppropet gäller också er som är på väg att flytta utomlands. Jag bad Tove skriva ihop en kortare text, vilken följer nedan:

“Vi söker barnfamiljer som har flyttat/är på väg att flytta utomlands! Det är ett nytt familjeprogram som ska visa hur det är att dra upp sina rötter och flytta med familjen till ett annat ställe och börja om med vardag och det berömda livspusslet. Det får gärna vara något udda, kanske ett ovanligt jobb eller en spännande stad/plats, lite äventyrligt helt enkelt! Ena föräldern och barnen ska prata svenska. Stämmer det in på er eller någon ni känner? Vi tar tacksamt emot alla tips! För mer info maila till tove.bergqvist@art89.se”

Jag hoppas att programmet blir en bra balans till Svenska Hollywoodfruar och bilden många har av utlandssvensken. Som Tove skriver finns det en vardag och ett livspussel utomlands också. Dessa skall dessutom hanteras på ett annat språk och i en främmande kultur med allt vad annorlunda normer och värderingar kan innebära.

Kan det vara något för dig? 🙂

Glöm inte att dela artikeln!

Are you not practicing speaking Swedish?

Do you find it hard to practice speaking Swedish? You are not alone. Students learning Swedish does not speak Swedish outside of the classroom, says this article.

I have heard this before, and of course it is difficult learning if there are no opportunities to practice! I also hear that students don’t speak much in the classroom since there usually are pretty many students and fairly little time.

So, opportunities must be grabbed! I know; I have been living abroad myself, learning new languages and sometimes forcing myself to speak to strangers :). Last country I lived in I also had a private tutor with whom I spoke hours with each week. This made wonders to my fluency and confidence, and it still does even though it is six years ago, and I do not practice the language on a regular basis (only in my head which btw is a good tip!). But I can still speak rather effortlessly!

Go out there and practice Swedish/any language you are learning. Hire a tutor, find a language friend, make friends, go to a language café, join a local club or local language playgroup if you have kids.

Any other tips for practicing to speak?

Swedish spring sign singsong

A clear blue sky and a gentle, warming sun promised spring ahead today. Already there are signs of fresh growth in the garden. Could it be the Swedish spring? Actually I don’t think it ever stopped growing this season. It has been a mild winter and even the roses have tiny budding leaves. I just had to bring the camera out for a break in the garden today. There wasn’t really much to photograph though, so I focused on the one interesting tree so far; the willow.

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A classic, popular Swedish children’s song is “Sov du lilla videung” (Sleep you little young willow). It is about the transition between winter and spring, and the longing for warmer, brighter days. The Swedish spring is usually much awaited, but full of surprises in terms of snow and colder days and nights in between. It happens every year, and yet we are always unprepared!

vår = spring

Det Vackraste – Music in Swedish on Valentine’s Day

 

It is Valentine’s Day – alla hjärtans dag – today, and what could be more appropriate than posting a link to a beautiful song of love.

It you are learning Swedish this is a perfect song – Cecilia sings in a clear voice, fairly slow which makes it easier to follow. The link is to Spotify; if you don’t have it you can check Youtube ( I did not post a link since I could not find a version where there were no spelling mistakes …)  Be sure to use TuneWiki to see the words in writing, if you use Spotify.

Cecilia Vennersten – Det Vackraste

 

 

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