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.