December 9 is apparently Gingerbread Day in Sweden. As I’ve said before – keeping track of all days in Sweden dedicated to Swedish pastries, cakes and cookies is probably a full time job. At least if you’re supposed to keep up with the baking yourself. Luckily there are bakeries and supermarkets more than eager to profit from these appointed days. In fact, they are part of the industry coming up with the days in the first place.
Well, I must say I thought all days in December were Gingerbread Days. At least when it comes to eating them.
essential vocabulary of the day:
en pepparkaka – a gingerbread biscuit
med kristyr – with icing (icing that hardens)
utan – without
even more essential:
många pepparkakor – lots of gingerbread biscuits
mums – yum, yummy
Photo shows result from multicultural gingerbread project last year. Kids and moms in my international network had fun while decorating for local exhibition at the library.
The Swedish TV show “Så mycket bättre” (So much better) gathers Swedish musicians/artists and have them interpreting each other’s songs. The most interesting combinations usually occur when artists of totally different genres and musical eras are mixed.
Here is an example; rap artist Ken Ring remakes iconic Lill Lindfors. Swedish music, in Swedish.
Check the lyrics via Tunewiki.
“slå klackarna i taket” in Swedish means to have fun, to party.
Goal setting is a must. Yes you have heard it before. I know. Hopefully you also practice it. Sometimes the goal for learning Swedish is “I want to be fluent” or “I want to be able to speak without FEAR”. But being a bit more specific is a wise strategy for acquiring language skills, as well as any skill. Here is some inspiration for the language learner. One of my Swedish via Skype students was recently interviewed by Digitala Affärer about learning Swedish, and her clear and highly rewarding goal of being able to participate in a Swedish conference. In Sweden. In Swedish! Link to article at bottom of post.
Goals for Learning Swedish – our strategy?
Watching videos of speeches from for instance Webbdagarna (“the Web Days”)
summarizing; written or oral presentation
reviewing, reflecting and criticizing
comparing (use of language, articulation, topics)
“Analyzing” web pages on the topic – anything from WebCoast to small business companies within web design
Collecting internet and web related words to build glossary
Reading newspaper and magazine articles – practicing scanning and summarizing without preparation
And most importantly working towards a high confidence in speaking the Swedish language
Since the conference was scheduled we had a time frame. The work was of course always done with an eye on grammar and structure, remembering acquiring new vocabulary, pronunciation and learning about Swedish culture and phenomena!
Replies to this question via twitter and IRL include trying to actually speak it. Most people in Sweden are fairly happy to speak English which makes it easy to avoid using Swedish in every situation that holds the opportunity.
Another common answer is the prononciation of “sje-ljudet”.
Fitting Swedish classes in in a busy schedule, or having babies and young children at home all day also make it difficult to study. Here Skype works well – no time wasted on travelling to class and you can do it with babies and toddlers at home. Want to learn more?
Learn Swedish culture – also via Swedish classes online
Learning a language is also to learn the culture. Take greeting for instance; we greet differently when meeting a child, our boss, older relatives and friends. We use different words but also different gestures – shaking of hands, kissing on the cheek, hugs. Greeting is often the first we learn in a new language and a new culture, and the first thing we adopt!
Interested in Swedish lessons via Skype? For individual Swedish classes online Read on.