It is fun to learn a language. However repeating vocabulary is not always all that fun. I love to come up with creative ways to inspire learning Swedish (or any language). Today I instructed my young students to keep a word cloud application open during our Skype lesson in Swedish. We spoke about toys and playing, and tried to come up with all possible nouns for toys (we also used a toy store catalogue for the visual). The two students took turns to type the words in Swedish, making sure spelling was correct. Typing/writing helps in remembering and learning the words. After the lesson they will print the cloud in a few copies and go through all the words again; looking up any word they cannot remember the meaning of. They will also circle words that take “en” on one sheet, and “ett”-words on another. One copy goes up on the wall as today’s achievement!
Remember that repeating is key.
We used Tagxedo for today’s “Learn words in Swedish”. I have used a few other similar applications as well. If you search for “word cloud” you will get suggestions enough!
We had to leave out all the words with the Swedish letters ÅÄÖ; they were not supported by this application.
Here they are:
Want to read something besides Aftonbladet? I found a link to Swedish Newspapers on line. “Click” to find your favorite.
The webpage does not only list Swedish newspapers but newspapers worldwide.
Reading the news does not only help improving your language but also gives you a sense of belonging; whether you are new to Sweden, a Swede living abroad or just interested in Sweden. You know what is going on and can join the conversations.
Personally I have a thing for local news, no matter which country I live in. It is also an excellent way to stay updated on what is going on on the cultural scene – museums, exhibitions, theaters, markets and other happenings in your area.
Have you found a favorite newspaper?
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” 🙂
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.
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!
Glad påsk! Free print in Swedish.
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.
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?
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.
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
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
Winter is upon us, according to the calendar. Yes, we have seen some snow in the Western part of south Sweden; enough to have had the chance to enjoy some beautiful days in the sleigh slope. The ice skates and the cross-country skis are still waiting to have their fun though. But even if there is no winter in sight right now we all know it – it will come back when you least expect it. That’s Swedish winter for you.
The song “Vintersaga” (Winter´s Tale) describes a wintry Sweden – in all the senses of the word. Even if we don´t always have snow it can be dark, windy and cold. The song captures all this, and the melancholy that it leaves behind, but also the beauty and the images of an ordinary Sweden on an ordinary day. The song was written by Ted Ström in 1984. My favorite version of it is sung by Monica Törnell, and was recorded the same year. You’ll find a link to it on Spotify below.
Use available apps in Spotify to see all the words.
Enjoy the 80’s!