Study Abroad Series: 36 Swedish Language

While living in Italy, my friends and I were talking about the similarity of the languages. One of my European friends told me that Italian, Spanish, and Romanian were similar to each other. And when I asked them about Swedish, they told me that it was not similar to any languages in the world; it was like an alien language!

Even if I dropped the Italian language course, the intention to learn a third language was still in my mind. Even if many people said Swedish language was difficult, I still wanted to give it a try.

I got an acceptance letter from BTH (Blekinge Tekniska Högskola or Blekinge Institute of Technology) since I lived in Bolzano. In the letter, I was informed that there would be a Swedish intensive course available for students before the semester started. It was an intensive course that I had to study from Monday to Friday for two weeks.I was interested in the course, so I registered.

The first day of the course, it was fine for me. The teacher used English to teach Swedish language, so I could understand. Sometime while teaching, the teacher intended to speak only Swedish. Well, it was better than learning Italian.

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I got to know one German friend from the class. She helped me a lot. She told me that when living in a country, we should learn both culture and language of the country.

On day tenth, we had exam. For the written exam, I did not do it well. And, for the oral exam, this is a part of what happened.

Teacher: “what is your name?”

I: “I’m fine. Thank you”

Teacher: “What is your name?”

I was a little bit confused. Why did teacher ask the same question? Then, I recalled.

I: “My name is Wannee”

I told myself I was new to Swedish! And, it was normal to make a mistake!

For me, Swedish was difficult to pronounce. Many letters were the same as letters in English language, but the pronunciation was different. This thing always made me confused. From the last exam, the teacher told me that grammar was OK, but I had to improve the pronunciation.

After finishing the course, I knew some basic of Swedish language, but I still could not speak fluently and could not use it in my daily life. Well, it helped me when buying things from the supermarket.

More important, I learned that Swedish was not an alien language like my friends said! It was similar to other Scandinavian languages and German language.

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