Learning the Swedish language

In case you were unaware, my girlfriend (Caroline) is Swedish, and occasionally we visit her family in Lund. The last time we visited, her parents expected me to know some of the Swedish language. This left me embarrassed as I had to admit that my ability to speak in their language was poor at best. To make things worse, under interrogation, the words that I thought I knew, I  forgot when put on the spot.

This experience not only left me looking like I lacked intelligence, it also make me look like I was ignorant of their culture. The latter, is at least true. My last visit to Sweden was four months ago and if anything I know even less of the language now than I did then.

This is a serious problem, the next time I visit they are going to expect me to be able to understand a variety of different words at least speak a few sentences.

So what’s the solution? I was running this morning in the gym and saw a commercial about Rosetta Stone – “It helps you to learn a new language naturally, the way you learn your native language as a child.”

The commercial looked pretty cool, it featured some kids throwing a ball about – Seeming a lot easier to use than the CD I currently have which pronounces words and then expects you to remember them. The problem is, the program costs £169, and that’s only for level 1.

I probably only need to master level 1 to gain approval from the parents – Is that worth £169?

For the value of a language program, I could buy: four nights out with my mates drinking; six Newcastle tickets for home matches and a balti pie to eat during every half-time; a years membership at my local gym; One copy of my University lecturer’s book, Online Public Relations, for £17.94 at Amazon and 300 cups of coffee from the University canteen to drink while I read it; one night at Aspers Casino or many other alternatives.

This decision is even harder than the one I had to make when choosing which political party to vote for in the general election.

Below is video advert for Rosetta Stone, pretty condescending I think.

Anyone know any cheaper language programs? Please let me know.


7 Responses to “Learning the Swedish language”

  1. Mike W Says:

    This is pretty funny stuff especially the money comparison. You forgot two Titus Bramble’s.

  2. Philip Says:

    Try http://www.byki.com – an easy way to learn basic phrases (even better on iPhone) and cheaper even than that excellent book you so heartily endorse.

  3. stephenjohnson87 Says:

    @Mike – Nice to see you found my blog and glad you found it funny. Whats happening now, are you living back in Newcastle now?

    @Philip – I will check out the website, thanks for recommending it. I over exaggerated the amount of coffee necessary to get through your book – it is quite heavy though 🙂

  4. I cant speak any languages me like. So good luck with learning it.

  5. Bless you for taking a few minutes to publish this. I understand where you are coming from on this article however , I do believe that there are more desirable solutions.

  6. Rosetta Stone is da bomb! I’m a language freak so for me it’s heaven. It’s true, you have to pay a bick or two, BUT, you DO LEARN and with LITTLE EFFORT on top of it! You will need to take the time (around 25-40 min per day – not more) to get som value out of it. I must say the money comparisons you do seem puny considering you’ll learn a new language (even if it’s on basic level) which you can have for life if you like and which in turn will give you insight in a foreign culture. I say go for it! And by the way, I’m Swedish. 😉


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