Sunday, April 1, 2012

A ~ Alphabet = Alfabet


Welcome to Postcards from Sweden! 



 During the month of April I'm going to be sending  you each a postcard from my native Sweden.  On the back of your postcard is going to be a Swedish vocabulary word.  At the end of the month, you'll know 26 Swedish words.  Not all will be terribly useful.  I'm not going to teach you how to ask for a restroom, but you'll know about my grandmother's influence over me, and a lot of the crafts she taught me.  You won't be able to find the bus station, but you'll know about the crisp, clear and wonderful lakes where I learned to swim.  You might want to know, "I'd like a beer please?"  so we'll compromise, and I'll teach you that one.  

I've been bilingual since I learned to speak. “The Swede”, my Dad, and his American bride, my Mom, taught us both languages as we were growing up. Thinking about it now, it's pretty incredible to consider how easily young minds absorb language. I was fluent in both when we moved to the USA in 1974. Swedish was of course stronger, but if I practiced my English in my head before I said it, I did fine. The need for that practice didn't last long, though. It was like a switch flipped after a while, and now I was thinking in English instead. If you're not bilingual, I'm sorry, but I don't know any better way to describe it, but it's a pretty cool feeling. It works the other way, too.  When I spent summers in Sweden with my grandparents, the switch flipped again, and there was all the Swedish.

Today's lesson is on the alphabet, which in Swedish is alfabet. Swedish uses all the letters we have in English, only Swedish has some extra vowels at the end. I can't help but point out that the spelling of the Swedish word alfabet is much more logical than in English. I mean, whoever decided the “ph” was going to make the “f” sound? Who has that authority? And why can't someone take it back???

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Å Ä Ö

I'll be dealing with those special vowels by using them in words that start with other letters, so they will be taught on an “as needed” basis. Figured that'd be best.  You think it's hard to do Q in English?  Wait until you see what I have for you in Swedish.

P.S If you've been on a deserted island for the last three months and HAVEN'T heard about the 2012 Blogging from A to Z Challenge, you can access a plethora of information at the blog linked above, and if you want to join us, it's NOT too late!  There's a tab there to do so, and there's one right up there on this page.  

79 comments:

Pearson Report said...

Wonderful topic, Tina - I'm looking forward to knowing how to order a beer on my next trip to Sweden.

Hugs, Jenny @ Pearson Report
Co-Host of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.

michelle said...

Hey Tina - I SO agree with you on the "ph" versus "f" in alphabet... couldn't the International Fonetic Organisation intervene and sort it out? Or is it International Phonetic Organisation? Oh well...

Francene said...

Hi, I couldn't find your name anywhere. But I'm glad life is good for you. Teaching Swedish is a good idea, but I found your article a bit long. Have a great learning experience along with the rest of us.

Denise Mitchell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Denise Mitchell said...

Hi Tina. I'm on Team Tina and looking forward to learning a few words in Swedish.

I've never been to Sweden but it looks like beautiful place and it would be comforting to know that if I ever visit it I could at least ask for a beer.

Enjoy the rest of the challenge!

PS I deleted my last comment as I posted it before checking it and it didn't read properly.

Pa Ul said...

Nice now I can learn alphabet in your language a-z :)

here my a-z by the way GAC A-Z artists
http://pa-ul.blogspot.com/search/label/GAC%20A-Z%20Artists

Haddock said...

Ha ha ...like that ph and f
Well written.
Had never been to Sweden though I was in Europe last year.

HeatherL said...

Cool. As a person with a strong Swedish ancestry but no practical knowledge this will be great! I love learning new words!

Li said...

Ooooh, I like the idea of learning a different language! great idea :-)

Lost Star said...

What a fabulous idea!

oceangirl said...

Alfabet yes. It is a blessing to be multi-lingual. Hi, nice to meet you.

Brian Miller said...

gee thanks for the postcard...and for teaching me how to ask for a beer...smiles.

Dave said...

The concept of the ph phenomenon was so unphamiliar when I was phirst taught about it at school that I remember phinding it phunny.

Dave
Dave Wrote This

Retro-Zombie said...

Teach me some more... great idea!

Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]
A to Z Co-Host
IZOMBIE: Visit the Madness

Gregg said...

What a great idea!

Gregg Metcalf

Tracy said...

Great topic Tina...I can't wait to learn!
perhaps I too could be bi-lingual? ...always wanted to be anyway...

Heather Murphy said...

YEAH! I'm ready to brush up on my Swedish :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I've always wondered what it felt like to know two languages like that. Wild to think about translating it one's head.

Laurita said...

I adore this idea!

Anna Smith said...

This is a really great idea, can't wait to learn more words :)

Universal Gibberish

Jenn said...

Oh what a fun way to approach the A-Z topic!! I can't wait to learn more :) Cheers, Jenn.
http://www.wine-n-chat.com

Tracy Jo said...

Yeah, what is up with the PH?? :-) Looking forward to learning more.

Tasha Seegmiller said...

I have dreams about being bilingual. I think it is really amazing.

Stephanie M. Hasty said...

sounds fun! can't wait for more!

Fran@Broken Cookies Don't Count said...

Great idea! I like the idea!

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Tina this was a wonderful way to start the challenge and it was excellent to read.

Good luck with the rest of the challenge.

Yvonne.

Susan Oloier said...

Great theme. Looking forward to learning a small part of a new language.

Karen Walker said...

What a lovely idea. So nice to "meet" you Tina.
Karen

bruce said...

i rooted for the Swedish Women's curling team in the last winter Olympics.

some of my fav Swedish people?
Henrik Zetterberg
Johann Franzen
Nick Lidstrom

i have enough trouble with English, i would be hard pressed to learn another language...

kudos to you!

loverofwords said...

Lucky you, Tina, for knowing the value of knowing another language. Russian was my first language, but once I began school, and learned English, I refused to speak Russian, and my parents did not insist, so I forgot everything. A huge regret for me now. I love your happy spirit which comes through in your writing.

nutschell said...

Hi Tina!
Great to meet you on this A-Z! love your theme for this month and I'm looking forward to learning some Swedish.
Nutschell
www.thewritingnut.com

Graywolfie said...

Oh wow..Swedish lessons...! I wouldn't miss it for anything.. :) Looking forward to your next post..

Donna K. Weaver said...

Excellent! I can always use more words in my retinue.

BROWNBUGZ said...

That's great! I love to learn new words and language.

A Ladybug's Life

Sonnia

ediFanoB said...

Your theme is quite helpful for me. I have a Swedish colleague.
So by end of April I can impress him a bit.

I think it is a great advantage to understand and speak more than one language.

I'm German. I learned English in school. Afterwards it was not really necessary to use it regularly for a long time except subject-specific words.

Fortunately that changed several years ago. I'm happy that I can read and communicate in English.
But what is English? American English, British English, Australian English, Pidgin English?

If someone asks me if I speak English my answer is always BAenglish which is a wild mix of American and British English.

Anyway I look forward to your posts.

mooderino said...

Hi

i'm follower number 300, woo hoo. I don't know wht round numbers feel like a milestone, but there you go.

Look forward to learning a new language.


mood
Moody Writing

Andrina said...

I wish I wish I knew two languages fluently. I moved around a lot as a kid so I picked up bits and bobs from in school, but after I finish uni I am going to pick one and properly learn it. Hopefully one day I will have the switch too

:D

KC Weldon said...

I'm not sure if I'm looking forward to this or scared of it. But I'll give it a try!

vjicha said...

Great topic. I look forward to learning a few Swedish words.

Gossip_Grl said...

Nice topic. Can't wait for the rest of the month:)

Dina Thanki said...

This is so cool, learning and fun all in one, can't wait for the rest of your posts. It's such a good idea. I grew up speaking English and Gujarati (Indian language) and I think it's always good to know your a bit of both. Good luck!

Nikki said...

Hejsan Tina :)

I'm looking forward to the rest of your posts :) It must be so cool to be biligual! Having spent three years learning Swedish and Norwegian, it is starting to feel a little like a switch, I do at least think in those languages when I'm speaking them now :)

Nikki – inspire nordic

M.J. Fifield said...

I love learning random things in other languages. The only German phrase I know is "My dog is green." Well, that and "One beer."

Donna B. McNicol said...

I could never learn languages - never stopped the in head translations. This is a really unique idea for the A to Z challenge. I look forward to the rest of the letters!

American in Norway said...

Love it! .. our entire family is bilingual.. and the kids have always been able to switch back and forth.. I really think it is a gift to teach your children both languages.. :-) -

overcomingloneliness.com said...

I always wanted to learn another language. I greatly look forward to the next 27 days! And BTW I am american and I agree totally with you in regards to some of the crazy rules in our language, ph = f being one of them!

Joyce Sully said...

I like the idea of teaching something other than the standard tourist phrases. While they might be practical, they don't always convey the flavor of the language. I can't wait to encounter those extra vowels, too.

Dazediva said...

Yaaaaaaay I get to learn the alphabet in a new language :) Never been to Sweden before, always wanted to go especially since I have some friends living there.

I've grown up speaking English, Hindi, French & Arabic as I went to an international school in Dubai. Arabic was compulsary, Hindi was something I picked up from parents, relatives & movies; French from school. I also took German classes for quite a while.

Languages are important and one should always know a few key phrases in different languages - 'cos you never know when you might need it !

Jenny said...

Great A to Z theme! My husband is of Swedish descent, and I'm looking forward to learning many things that will impress him :-)

Jenny
Choice City Native A to Z

Tracy Bermeo said...

This is great, and yes, please teach me how to ask for a beer! I just met with my daughter's class two weeks ago as the mystery guest. As a SAHM who squeezes in writing, I wasn't sure what to talk about, but I went back to my life before kids when I spoke three languages. So many of them were so impressed with that and it is such a gift to be anything beyond monolingual (is that even a word???). Love your post and I"m looking forward to learning some Swedish words!
A2ZMommy and What’s In Between

Sangita Kalarickal said...

Thank you! Waiting to learn some more words in Swedish, what a wonderful idea!

The Writing Goddess said...

Totally agree, there is no logical reason for ph = f sound in English.

Looking forward to traveling to Sweden with you without having to find my passport.

Herding Cats - Burning Soup said...

Oh fun! Looking forward to it :)

H said...

This will be interesting :)

RaShelle Workman said...

I think it'd be so cool to speak more than one language. =D

Sharon said...

I'm going to love learning some new words in Swedish! Maybe we should research the origins of English spelling? I totally agree with you on the "ph" thing!

Kittie Howard said...

Hi, dropping in from the Challenge. What a great post. I looove Sweden and am eager to learn more before our next trip. A friend of mine (Osa) is Swedish, married to an American. She made sure her kids could pronounce the name of a tongue-twisting frog. Do you know Inger's blog? She's from Sweden. I'll drop your blog address.

Martha said...

I definitely need to know how to over beer in every language! I'm ready for the Alfabet challenge :)

Kela McClelland said...

Your theme is so exciting, can't wait to read more :)

Jeremy Bates said...

Cool idea!

I've learned some Swedish words because of NHL players I have watched in games, however, they have usually been the bad ones. lol

I am multilingual because of my travels, but again, only in bad words and things like, 'Hey, does this room come with a shower or a hose?'

Beth Stilborn said...

This is great! Thank you!

I'm looking forward to learning some Swedish as the month progresses.

Inger said...

I'm really looking forward to following your blog. I am also writing about Sweden, my native country, in the A to Z Challenge. I call my theme Swedish Rhapsody and I will cover my childhood memories from the 1940s and 50s and some more recent ones.I will touch on a variety of other things Swedish, from food, drink, cities, folklore, handcraft and so on. Just fun stuff. This is so much fun and I'm looking forward to see what you come up with.

Betsy said...

This will be fun! Looking forward to your language lessons! :)

queenofenglish said...

Great post, Tina. I'm looking forward to learning some Swedish. It seems we share a love for language.

I'm proud to be on Team Tina for the A-Z Blogging Challenge, 2013. Go Team Tina.

MM Pollard

Jess said...

What fun! I'm looking forward to getting to know you and learning Swedish!

Beverly Diehl said...

I love postcards. Like most peeps, better receiving them than writing them.

Experiencing bi-lingual envy - wish my parents had taught us more than one, as we were growing up.

Scribbles From Jenn said...

As a former first grade teacher I completely agree. Reading could be so much easier PH for F and three sounds for Y, seriously???
ScribblesFromJenn

Christine Rains said...

Wonderful theme! I can't wait to learn a little Swedish.

Kay said...

I've never been to Sweden, but I would love to see your country sometime. I have some Swedish in my ancestry; my dad's maternal grandparents emigrated from the Malmo area in the late 1800s.

Damyanti said...

We'll all learn something from your theme---will use these words when I get to Sweden.

Thanks for your kind comment on my blog Tina, and it is lovely to be co-hosting with you!

Melissa Bradley said...

Wow! I love learning about other languages and cultures. I can't wait to learn more about Swedish. This is going to be so much fun.

Thank you so much for your comment on my blog and the question about erotica. I hope my answer helps. :)

Mandy said...

Brilliant theme idea, Tina! Be sure to teach us some curse words, too! :) I am looking forward to following your blog.

Mandy @ The Chockboard

Shannon Lawrence said...

Very cool! I wasn't brought up bilingual, but I was started in Spanish early, so I seem to be able to absorb that and other languages more readily. I'd love to get some immersion learning done to really solidify it.

I've been told English is one of the hardest languages to learn, because we don't stick to any rules, really. I before E, except after C, or sounding like A as in Neighbor and Weigh, OR... yeah, we don't even stick to that one.

Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z

Jen said...

I'm so excited! My Grandparents were Swedish and I'm doing all I can to learn about the culture.

Thanks!

Arlee Bird said...

Yours will be one of the more unique approaches to the Challenge.


Lee
An A to Z Co-Host
Tossing It Out

klahanie said...

Hi Tina,
I hope you appreciate my effort here. Just as I was about to comment on this posting, my internet connection went down. And so, at gone 3:15 A.M. on a Tuesday morning, I'm trying again to leave a comment. You must be impressed with my determination :)
Hi Tina,
Indeed, informative and cleverly done, incorporating words from your native Swedish.
However, as promised, despite the passion coming through as you let your fingers dance merrily away on your keyboard, due to this being a fast-paced blogging world and so many involved in this um 'challenge', me thinks your posting is slightly too darned long and like I mentioned in my 'gist' posting you so kindly commented on, folks may just skim through, due to the length and that's a shame. Oops...me thinkest my comment is too darned long.
The main thing is you have fun and soon, you will have more 'followers' than you dared dream was possible :)
With respect, the evidently "anti-A to Z spokesman", Gary..:)

Heather M. Gardner said...

Wonderful theme.
I love learning about other cultures.
Heather

Anna said...

Kära Tina!

Vilken bra idé. Och så bra genomfört! Jag skrattar och gråter när jag läser dina texter!

Jag har haft så mycket att göra med bl.a. skattemyndigheten att jag har halkat efter med mina besök till runt till olika bloggar.

När det gäller din blogg, har jag börjat med G och arbetade baklänges fram till A. Nu tänker jag lämna kommentarer på alla dina inlägg genom alfabetet. Du skriver så bra, och så roligt, och så träffande!

Strunt samma om folk inte kan läsa vad jag skriver till dig. (Eller ska jag vara snäll och översätta vad jag skriver till engelska??)

Stora kramar,
Anna

rana yasser said...

عزل مائى بالرياض

تنظيف بجدة

شركات مكافحة حشرات بجدة

عزل مائي بالرياض

عملية تدبيس المعدة

شركات مكافحة النمل الابيض بالرياض

نقل اثاث

تنظيف موكيت بالمدينة المنورة

تسليك مجارى بجدة
تنظيف بالرياض
زهرة نقل اثاث بالرياض
تنظيف بالرياض

شركات تنظيف خزانات مكة

شركة تنظيف فلل بجدة

شركة تنظيف موكيت بالأحساء