It’s like the Swedes don’t want you to learn their language

(It's a holiday in the States today and tomorrow, so I'm not going to talk about geek stuff. That'll resume on Monday.)

If you pay a visit to Deutsche Welle, the German international broadcasting service, you will find a wide array of online German learning materials, such as the daily news in slowly- and clearly-enunciated German (including transcripts) and dozens of half-hour mini-documentaries designed for students of German (including transcripts and exercise worksheets). These are great for improving my woefully deficient listening comprehension skills.

On the other hand, all I could find for students of Swedish is the weekly news in simple Swedish. No transcripts, no lessons. Sure, I can listen to all of the Swedish national radio stations anytime I want, but they sort of assume you're fluent in Swedish.

And if you go to google and search for "Swedish movies", trust me, the top hits are definitely not the works of Ingmar Bergman. (Yes, I know about IMDB PowerSearch. Now.)

Comments (15)
  1. _brG_ says:

    wasn’t the original Insomnia, was filmed in sweden ? posibly Norway though.

  2. Girb says:

    The original "Insomnia" is Norwegian.

  3. Roland Kaufmann says:

    Har du problemer med å finne lenker til sider hvor du kan lære det svenske skriftspråket, eller sider hvor du kan få høre lydene? I det første tilfellet så ville jeg ha søkt på "swedish language course" på nettet (som forøvrig heter ‘nätet’ på svensk). Noen av dem inneholder vel kanskje lydklipp.

    Og ja, denne kommentaren er skrevet på norsk, men det ligner så pass mye på svensk at du burde kunne lese den… :-)

  4. Roland Kaufmann says:

    Spesielt lenken:
    har noen lydklipp under hver leksjon hvor en behagelig damestemme leser noen enkle (og til tider morsomme!) setninger.

  5. Johan Ericsson says:

    Roland translation (just for fun, my Swedish isn’t great either)
    "Are you having problems with finding links to sites where you can learn the swedish written language, or sites where you are able to listen to the spoken word? In the first hand, then I would have search on "swedish language coarse" on the net (that would be called "naetet" in swedish). Some of then contain <oops don’t understand these words>

    And yes, this commentary is writen in Norwegian, but it is so close to Swedish that you ought to be able to read it… :-)"

    I can’t really understand his second post. Something like:
    "Here some noise clipp under where play lake where a nice female staff reads something easy (and until the morning time) settings."

    Huh, guess my Swedish isn’t all that good anyways?

  6. e8johan says:

    There is a Swedish news broadcast called "klarspråk" from that is spoken in "easy" Swedish.

  7. e8johan says:

    There is a Swedish news broadcast called "klarspråk" from that is spoken in "easy" Swedish.

  8. Roland Kaufmann says:

    To Johan regarding my second post: At least you get points for creativity in your translation! Sufficient to say that though it was close, it wasn’t flawless… :-) I think it is impressive though, for a non-native speaker to take on a neighbor language nontheless and still get something sensible out of it. Perhaps you found the indication of an easy Swedish woman motivating! ;->

  9. Raymond Chen says:

    Yes, I do listen to the klartext news from Sveriges Radio, but I hadn’t found the transcript pages. Tack så mycket, Stefan!

  10. jb says:

    e8johan, I don’t think ‘klarspråk’ is in easy Swedish. The one on SR P1 is a sort of edited opinion program. I think there was an easy language news on TV some years ago but I don’t know if it’s still around. This is definitively an area of Swedish public broadcast that needs improvement.

  11. MilesArcher says:

    Hmm. no bablefish for swedish…

  12. Moi says:

    The weird thing is that if you can speak German you can get the meaning of the written Norwegian or Swedish, or whatever it was. Language never fails to amaze me.

  13. Raymond Chen says:

    No babelfish for Swedish is actually a plus, for me. It makes Swedish more of a "secret language". (A secret I share with ten million other people. Or twenty million if you include people who speak Danish or Norwegian.)

    German helps me a little with Swedish, but mostly only after the fact. If I see a Swedish word I don’t know, I’m still pretty lost, but when I learn what it is, I can see the connection to the German counterpart and it becomes easier to remember. (Though that helps only with the root; the genders, plurals, etc. still have to be memorized.)

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