Do you learn a language using both brain halves? Our brains are divided into two halves; hemispheres. They each take care of different activities. The right one is usually referred to as the visual and creative side, while the left stands for logical and analytical functions. It is suggested that a combination of both sides is beneficial when acquiring a language. I have tried this with success when I a few years ago ran language & craft shops combined for kids.
I also encourage you as a language learner to activate both brain halves when learning a new word. For instance – think of slicing a yellow lemon when you learn the word sour in a language; picture the drops of fruit juice on the slicing board. Best of all; taste a slice of lemon. Here is the word in Swedish – “sur”!
Another way for you to activate both brain hemispheres when learning a language is to follow instructions for something you do with your hands or body – either written or by watching a video – and do it. It could be craft, baking, a sports exercise etc.
Today I present a link to a list of countries and nationalities in Swedish. It can be found at TT Nyhetsbyrån’s website as a tool for journalists, or anyone who writes. But we do use nationalities when speaking too, don’t we?
The list is useful not only if you are learning Swedish but also to Swedes. There are quite a few countries around our globe and I am sure even as a Swede you will find a few nationalities on the list that you have never used before!
Time to sign up for individual Swedish conversation classes via Skype.
Any resolutions or promises of investment in yourself for the new year? Maybe it is time to start the language lessons you have been thinking about.
There are openings daytime and evenings to start speaking Swedish. Contact email@example.com to find out more on pricing and availability, and on how I can assist you in learning or improving your Swedish.
Maybe you want to work on your pronunciation. Perhaps you are interested in writing and want assignments or prompts followed by feedback? Or perhaps you are looking for suitcase Swedish for an upcoming trip to Sweden. Maybe you are new to Swedish.
Say the word Fredagsmys and every Swede knows what you are talking about. An easy Friday evening get-together, to mark the end of the work/school week and the beginning of the weekend. Family or friends, easy cooking, snack and a TV-screen are ususally involved. It could also include a board game. Tacos is a classic, as well as chips/crisps and dip; at least that´s what the commercials want us to believe. Veggies and fruit works too. Fredagsmys is part of our modern culture, probably substituting the Sunday dinner family gathering. The location and activity does not have to follow the description above; the importance of the matter is that it includes “mys”.
February in Sweden is a month of both pleasure and pain – pleasure as in winter break (Sportlov) with possible skiing, and pain as in the month when kids apparently get sick the most – it is the peak month of parents staying at home from work to care for sick children.
The winter break is known as Sportlov, and occurs from week 7 to week 12 depending on where in Sweden you live. If the Sportlov is in February we also call it Februarilov. Week numbers? What?
Ok; back to the topic of February. Recall the sick children?
When parents take leave of absence from work to care for a sick child it is called
“Vård av sjukt barn.” = care of sick child in Swedish.
An abbreviation hereof is VAB (Vård Av sjukt Barn)
In everyday Swedish language these words have become a verb; “att vabba” = to “vabba”
“Jag måste vabba idag” means that I have to take leave of absence to care for my sick kid; well, you get the picture; we need a shorter way of saying it since a sick child leaves little room for long talks.
Remember the word februari (=the month of February) from the text above? Put together what you have learnt from the info above and you will understand why we sometimes jokingly refer to it as “vabruari”. Even if it is no joke.
And yes, I posted a photo of my tulips instead of a sick child.
Outside of Sweden the word “lagom” seems to be trending this year. It takes over the Danish “hygge” and I expect to see books to be written on the subject. Or, wait; could really that much be squeezed out of the word lagom? To fill an entire book? Well, if hygge could …
Lagom is not trending in Sweden. It’s always around, always with us.
The urban legend has it that lagom derives from the Vikings; sharing the meal and the mead between themselves, using the same bowl. The words supposed to have been spoken were to not eat or drink more than that it would last “laget om” – the team around. Laget om then became lagom. Alas lagom means ”just the right amount, not too little not too much”. Lagom is a balance of things. Wether used for water temperature, amount of miles travelled during holiday, how much pick-and-mix candy the kids are allowed or how many guests are to be invited lagom is the answer.
A few examples in English and in Swedish:
Is it time to leave? Yes, it’s probably (the right) time. // Är det dags att gå? Ja, det är nog lagom.
Isn’t it too cold to swim? No, it’s just about right/perfect.// Är det inte för kallt för att bada? Nej, det är lagom varmt.
Does the blouse fit you (refering to size) Yes, it’s good! // Passar blusen? Ja, den är lagom!
Is it lots to do at work at the moment? No, it’s pretty ok/the right amount of work. // Är det mycket att göra på jobbet just nu? Nej, det är ganska lagom.