Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Midsummer and the Swedish language










The Swedish midsummer celebration was fun. I think most Swedes are not actually dancing around the Maypole to celebrate (why a Maypole in June is not something I understand (Update since I wrote this long before I got the pictures added in: In Swedish it is called a majstång, maja (sounds like maya) meaning "dressed" so it is like a pole dressed in greenery... so I am told)). Either way, I was happy to go see the maypole dancing happen. I didn't actually participate in this dance and chose to take photos instead for once.

After the group circle dance there was a folk dance display. The group that did it is different from my group, and they seemed more focused on the display-type dances. Most of the dances were more choreographed than I am used to, so that was fun to watch. It was also fun to see the different folk costumes.

And here is a thing about understanding Swedish. Most of the time I feel like I don't understand any of it. But sometimes I do. So I just need to remember that I have made good progress since I first moved here a year ago. When the circle dances were happening, the leader was talking in Swedish the whole time, and I felt like I understood a large portion of his instructions. Maybe I am only good at figuring out what to do in dance situations? If you had asked me, I probably couldn't have translated too much, but I really felt like I knew what he was talking about. So that was interesting.

Lately I've been trying to be more honest with myself about how I feel about learning Swedish. To clarify, I am only talking about the learning process, not the actual language, because I think Swedish is a lovely language. The learning process is a different story, and it is a story I do not like. I just don't like it. I don't like sitting at my computer to do lessons with Rosetta Stone, even though I do feel like it is a very good and helpful program. Now that I can openly admit to strongly disliking learning the language, I also feel better about giving myself good rewards for actually taking the time to learn. So far I am using desserts and screen time (of the non-Rosetta Stone variety, obviously). I am open to any other suggestions you may have for me, because despite hating the learning, I do want to be able to know some more Swedish. So, rewards and motivators! Suggest away!


  1. Find a person who needs to learn how to speak better English and make a deal with him/her. They teach you Swedish and you teach them English, just by spending time together.

    1. Yeah that seems like a good plan, theoretically. Making it happen is not so easy. First, everyone I know speaks English really well and doesn't have a need to work on improving. Second, I am just not really good at the whole "find a person" thing in general...

  2. I like Patti's idea! How long are you there? I know you and your husband live in different places but I don't know why or for how long. I'm fascinated by your life and enjoy your posts and your love of dancing.

    1. Oh thank you! Greg and I are in different countries for our jobs, but not for much longer! He starts a job in Sweden in August!