Something Swedish

Almost: “nästan”


I almost made a new friend today. Almost. At least I tried to.

Every so often I’ll hear some English spoken in a store or on the street, it’s not incredibly common but I wouldn’t call it rare. I went back to one of the bokrean in town to buy a dictionary since they are normally so pricey and I only have a pocket sized which is no longer cutting it. I was comparing prices and browsing when I heard someone ask the cashier for a Swedish – English Dictionary. I’m not normally the type to approach people or start random conversations with strangers but she was right next to me so I figured why not? I asked if she just moved to Sweden and the conversation went from there. She explained that she is an exchange student from China. We talked about the dictionaries and prices of books, she asked where I was from and why I was here. I asked if she had begun SFI, which it turns out she isn’t able to take because of student status. And just as I thought it would be neat to meet someone in town on my own who had just moved here and is also learning the language she looked at her watch said she had to go and disappeared. Oh well.

As far as my own SFI courses? Still waiting. They said “End of February or beginning of March” and that I would recieve a letter in the mail ahead of time. No letter yet. Called to make sure I hadn’t missed something and the director of SFI for Halmstad is on vacation until Monday. I just hope I am not missing classes and that I got into the next one so I don’t need to wait another 6 weeks.

In the meantime I finished my first book in Swedish. One of the children’s book I bought that the bokrea a few days ago.  “Sus och Dus gor en utflykt” is about two mice that go on a journey to collect things (I can really feel my literature background tingling!) Learning as I went along made it worth while, and who doesn’t love looking at cute illustrations of animals? Now if only life had drawings to help me understand! I made a list of words I had to look up along the way (80 words) and today I am studying that vocabulary and asking hubby to listen to me translate the whole book and see how I do. Later in the week maybe I’ll try to read it out loud in Swedish. That feels a lot less scary that actually speaking. I’m proud of my baby steps in progress- reading at a 4 year old level is better than none at all!

Favorite word in the book: Rollercoaster – “berg-och dalbana” Exact translation: “mountains and valleys”

I received my Swedish ID last week! The photo came out great- unlike ANY of my previous ID’s. I couldn’t stop looking at it, wishing I always looked that way! My best friend works in a store that deals with a lot of tourists and she said that Europeans all have beautiful ID photos, how strange.


21 thoughts on “Almost: “nästan”

  1. I love this post. Reminds me of my quote “A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet”. Your photo is beautiful!!! Luckily for me, I have seen how beautiful you are live and in person! 😀 STUNNING!

    You have to be fast with the friends! People are quick 🙂 hehe The right friend will come along, they are just around the corner… or maybe, even across the street 😉 ❤ you!

    • ❤ you too. Thankfully I do have a few friends so I am not feeling overly needy but I just saw the opportunity 🙂 Across the street is the best place to look imo ^^

  2. You are an inspiration. I love hearing how you are going about learning a new language and culture. I’ve just relocated to England so I don’t have to learn a new language. Whenever, I feel sorry for myself about the difficulties I read your blog. I love that you are learning by reading children’s literature. You’ve got gumption, girl!!! Be proud!!

    • Aw…that means a lot to me!! I love being considered inspiration. Everyone has their own difficulties, seeing other people over come theirs is always motivating. I love reading your blog and I’m glad you enjoy mine!

  3. Meg, I have a strong feeling that you are going to kick butt in sfi. The first day they will hand you a picture dictionary with 1,730 words and pictures. Your ID picture looks great. Mine came out surprisingly well, too. I don’t get it. Photos from the DMV in the U.S. always look like hell.

    • Kicking butt is what I do! Or what I would like to do 🙂 Picture dictionary seems like it would be nice! The photo thing is really odd, maybe it’s because it’s not in color?

  4. That’s funny about your ID, because my Swedish Driver License picture turned out surprisingly well! When I compare it to my American license the difference in quality/how I look is just ridiculous. They must have magical cameras or something. If you’re ever up here in Gothenburg you could always let me know! Good luck with SFI; supposedly we native English speakers have it easier learning Swedish than some other language groups. I’m sure you’ll do great, especially as hard working as you are already.

    • I don’t understand it, it’s like they Photoshop the photos! lol If I’m ever headed north I’ll let you know! How are you adjusting to moving there? Tack sa mycket! Aiming for that bonus! lol

      • Haha, Photoshop has to be it! I really like living here, there are actually people out and about in the afternoon/evening on the weekends! In Skövde it was like a ghost town. Is it the same for you in Halmstad? I’m sure you’ll easily get the bonus, just keep it at. =)

  5. What a great way to learn a new language: through the eyes of a child! As I read of your daily new experiences I sometimes feel like a voyeur watching a beautiful butterfly emerge from its cocoon. . . I can’t wait to see what comes next!

  6. Hi there, My name is Carolyne and I have been reading your blog always with keen interest. Why? Because the two of us are so alike……..I just moved to Sweden 3 months ago and am going through all that you are. I am Kenyan and my Sambo is Swedish. Vi bor i Norberg kommun. I have been going through all the hustles of getting an ID, registering with the bank and for health services all of which are still on queue! But I only got a letter from SFI yesterday inviting me for an interview, after weeks of hustling them and calling them every week!! Boy that felt so good, and am also doing the same things as you are, like reading Swedish baby books, at least its a beginning! I find that its easier to understand and read Swedish than to speak, because once you open your mouth in an attempt to say something Swedish, which you very well know what, it just disappears and you result to speaking English! How annoying! I sure hope that you are enjoying life in Hemstad inspite of all our challenges…..I see you are also making new friends? Well, I just made my first one yesterday!!! You see, not many people speak English here and so I have to struggle with the little baby Swedish I know, so I was really thrilled to meet this person who spoke very good English at that!! I hope I get to meet many more like that…. I also cant wait to start going to school and start speaking proper Swedish!! Keep up with the blog…its very entertaining….. Hejdå!

    • Hej Carolyne! Love that you finally stopped by and said hello after reading all this time! It sure is a lot of paperwork, but aside from anxiously awaiting all of it I’m pretty happy with the speed and smoothness of things regardless. I want everything to be done NOW! Which I know wouldn’t happen anywhere lol That’s great that you got your SFI letter, I can’t wait for that sigh of relief! It might be hard to make friends out in the real world but at least you have the support of the blogosphere! Pitch in anytime, would love to hear about your progress! Vi ses snart!

  7. Children’s books are great! So cool that you feel so much motivation to learn… it will go fast for you because of that! I was super scared to begin talking, so afraid of sounding like an idiot, but my wife was so supportive. Hope you hear from SFI soon. They have national tests in March for the classes that are going on now, so they may be waiting until the tests are over to bring in new students. 🙂 Good luck! Can’t wait to read about your SFI experiences later on!

    • Ah, that is a good point- thank you. Good to know that there might be a reason 🙂 Helps me relax a bit. Having support is really key, I’m trying to get my hubby to speak Swedish to me a tad bit more, but I get that its hard to know what to say in Swedish and what not to. We’re working on it 🙂

  8. Hi! As you are writing about English-Swedish dictionaries, I was wondering if you have any suggestion about a pocket or relatively small dictionary English-Swedish, including the pronunciation of Swedish words with the phonetic alphabet (as opposed to the pronunciation respelling). I will be moving to Sweden soon, with zero knowledge of the language, but I am not a native English speaker so the pronunciation respelling is extremely difficult to follow, as I tend to read it according to my mother tongue (with hilarious effects also if I tried something like that in English!). Thanks!

    • Hi G – I’m away from my stash of Swedish books until Friday but I will be more than happy to help you out when I get back to see what I have or what I can find!! Good luck with everything, Hope I’ll be able to help

      • Thanks – any help would be welcome!

      • Looking at my “Engelska Svensk ordbok / Dictionary Swedish English” from Berlitz, each word has a phonetic break down in both English and Swedish. It’s a small pocket sized blue book. I have used it a bunch but moved on to a regular large dictionary because I needed a larger pool of words. It is perfect for Traveling and studying though. I’ll keep my eyes open for you and let you know if I find any other resources. Good Luck! Keep me updated on how you are doing 😀

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