Ännu skriver jag inte bra

I was exchanging e-mail with one of the people I will be visiting while I'm in Uppsala [link repaired 10:43pm]. and we wrote in double-translation, first in Swedish, with English translation beneath it.

But eventually he gave up and wrote exclusively in English.

I went back to my previous dual-language message and found a few pretty stupid grammatical errors. I guess he figured it'd be better just not to try.

Sadly, I have yet to get to the point where the grammar is natural and I don't have to think about it. (The problem is that the verbs are too easy so I think I can get away with not practicing them. And then I mess up stuff like using the infinitive instead of the present tense finite. As opposed to German, where verbs are just plain hard from the start, so there's no temptation to be lazy.)

Reminds me of something I noticed when watching the movie Lichter: When communications break down and people get frustrated (as happens in the interrogation room in Frankfurt-am-Oder and in the apartment building in Slubice), people stop trying to accomodate the other person's language and just start yelling at each other in English.

Comments (11)
  1. Scott says:

    See, I’m much more efficient than that. I just start out yelling at people in English. :)

  2. travis says:

    Maybe you should try Esperanto?


  3. Christian says:

    actually it is "Frankfurt AN DER Oder" ;). Because the river "Oder" is of female gender as opposed to say the "Rhine" (which as you might have guessed is male).

    I think this (i.e. objects of the same general type having different genders) is where german as a language loses almost every person on the planet bare the native speakers. If you think there’s a scheme behind the "female"/"male" thingy: i don’t think there is. At least I haven’t figured one out in more than 30 years. Not that I tried for too long :)

  4. asdf says:

    I like how this weblog doesn’t handle escaped characters in the title consistently.

  5. Johan Thelin says:

    Länken till Uppsala fungerar inte, jag tror att du glömt "http://". Annars är jag förvånad över hur snabbt du lärt dig svenska, särkilt med tanke på att du inte bor och/eller arbetar här.

  6. Raymond Chen says:

    Tack, Johan. Den skulle vara reparerad nu.

    Jag tycker om att läsa språk, och jag har särskilt lätt att läsa svenska eftersom den ligger halvvägs mellan engelska och tyska, som jag redan kan.

    Men uttal är svårt. Dubbelton, sj-ljud, lång-i-ljud (i strupen) – dem kan jag ändå inte göra precis… (Prata inte om hörförstoelse…)

  7. $nd3r5 says:

    hey ray, i’m norwegian, but u write swedish alot better than me

  8. Moi says:

    german as a language loses almost every person on the planet bare the native speakers

    Thank god it’s not just me!

  9. Japp, jag är också imponerad av din svenska. Hoppas du får många tillfällen att öva hörförståelse och uttal när du kommer hit!

  10. Martin W says:

    Ha det så trevligt i Sverige!

    Du lär dock inte behöva prata Svenska om du inte känner för det ;)

  11. Greg says:

    Man, my Swedish is so rusty I don’t even dare try to write, even here. It’s been 24 years since I moved back to Seattle. Don’t miss the snow and the cold (much).

    Swedish is a fun and beautiful language. I wish there were more opportunities to speak. Started listening to Swedish radio online — that’s a good one for tuning the ear to the language.

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