I am always finding new ways to use and improve my Swedish. I am not the type to sit down and memorize 10 words every evening (though that helps a lot too when I do do it!) I prefer methods that don’t seem like studying.
Lately, my roommate, brother and friends have all been having a stab at online dating. Apparently that is the new thing, and why not?
Well, one reason that stopped me from trying online dating here in the U.S. is because I know I don’t want to stay here. I want to go to Sweden. So it seems pretty pointless to date out here.
But while I heard about my roommate’s success with making some great friends, I thought maybe I should give online dating a try.
The coolest thing about online dating is that distance doesn’t matter! So I started searching for free Swedish dating sites (sorry, but why would I pay if I could get it for free?)
After a deep search I discovered Happy Pancake. As I dived into reading profiles and writing my own profile (in very bad Swedish, might I add), I realized that this is a great way to practice Swedish! I was writing back and forth to various Swedes, mostly in the Swedish language (when you start in Swedish, it usually stays in Swedish) and I could tell it was really helping me master the overall language.
I began to pick up new words, and enjoyed having regular chats here and there. And soon, I was using Swedish every day again, and all while NOT living in Sweden. Hur kul!
Now, obviously this only works if you are single, though you can sign up to Happy Pancake if you are in a relationship and are just looking for friendship. Rule of thumb with dating sites, especially in a population where there are more men than women, men may have more trouble finding a pen pal, friend, lover, or whatever you are looking for than a woman would.
But why not give it a go? Even just filling out your profile, writing an essay in Swedish, will provide great practice for using the language.
Just remember when dating online in Swedish, you are up against a lot of Swedes. That is a lot of beautiful people online. So take a shower, freshen up, and take a beautiful picture of yourself to join the Swedes in finding love online.
Sweden has the best English in the world for a country where English is not a native language. That is pretty impressive. So why would any American, Canadian, Australian, British, or Kiwi want to learn Swedish in the first place?
Well, first off, there is no better way to get a sense of a culture than learning the language of that culture. The nuances of a language give you great insight! Now we all know that you don’t need to learn Swedish in order to get around and do general traveling to Sweden. But just because you don’t need to, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t!
Secondly, if you do take the time to learn Swedish, Swedes are generally impressed. Sure, it is hard to speak to them because their English is so perfect, and your Swedish, well, let’s face it, it could use some work. But they won’t make you feel any more uncomfortable and when you speak Swedish, most likely you will put a smile on a Swede’s face.
Thirdly, if your native language is English, you will be happy to hear that Swedish is one of the easier languages to learn. Now, if it is your first foreign language, it is going to be hard. Learning any language is hard, especially the first time around. But just be grateful that it isn’t any more complicated than its vowels and if you still start to feel down and depressed about it, take a look at English. Hole and Whole? Beer and Bear? (yes, Swedes get that one mixed up ALL the time). English is pretty hard too, and you mastered that language in no time!
Lastly, if you do learn Swedish, you will forever be a Swedish Freak. And that is something to be proud of!
What reasons do you have for learning Swedish?
It will be almost 2 months since I last was on Swedish soil. And I miss Sweden! What do I miss about it? Here is my top 10 list.
10. Swedish Coffee
Coffee here in the States tastes like… swamp water. Just not as strong and yummy as real Swedish coffee! And the cups are huge here in the States. I like my small cup of coffee, hold the cream, chocolate, sugar, caramel and whatever other flavoring you need to add to make your swamp water good! 😛
9. Its fika time!
What? I only eat 3 times a day here in the States. There is no time for fika time, and that is just plain sad.
There is something about Vasterbotten ost that you just can’t find anywhere else.
Sure, I can pay 500kr a month just to watch Swedish hockey. I’m not that desperate, and it is not that fun without a bunch of Swedes around you. And here in Bozeman, Montana, there is no hockey team! So everyone follows some other random team far away. I was recommended to cheer for the Denver team, or the Canadian team. Or perhaps I should cheer for the California team in San Jose. I miss SAIK! And I didn’t even go to a hockey game in Sweden, doh!
6. Post office at the store
Do you realize how freakin convenient it is to have the post office in the super market? Now I have to drive to another building to send my mail!
5. Moose meat
Yes, we hunt here. Elk is the big game, white tail is the more common game. Game meat is available, but geez, I was living off that moose meat! And while you can hunt moose, it is less common here. Doh!
Ahhh, I love the fact that in Sweden I can eat candy like a 10 year old… and even though I’m almost 30, it is completely acceptable! Here not so much
3. Swedish Cider
Swedish cider is so so so yummy and there is just nothing else like it!
2. Att Prata Svenska
Det finns någon här i Montana som säger till mig “Hej” och “Tack”, men inte så mycket… och, bara en kompis, och han heter Pete Sveen! 😉 Jag är så glad för Facebook och Skype, jag kan prata svenska en lite gran, men det är inte samma att bor i Sverige. Och jag kan höra hur min svenska är värst!
All I can say is thank goodness for those free resources that are available for learning Swedish online!
Oh my sweet Swedish friends and strangers, who aren’t super excited about every little thing like us Americans. Who don’t say excuse me and just lightly bump you out of the way. Who don’t drink at all during the week but gets completely wasted on the weekends. Who have amazing taste in art and design. I miss you all the most!
Jag saknar dig Sverige!!
I suppose otherwise life would be pretty boring. Sometimes you just have to accept the path that life gives you and follow it.
Usually life knows what it is doing, and leads you to a better place.
So I try to let the river of life lead me to where I need to go. And while I may hit a rapid here or there, and spin around a little pool area for awhile, I always know that the river of life will take me to where I need to be.
Unfortunately, at this time in my life, Sweden is not one of the places I need to be right now.
This is nothing against Sweden or the Swedish. For the short time I had to live in Sweden, I truly became a Swedish Freak and the country and its wonderful citizens found a place in my heart that will always be there.
So what will happen to SwedishFreak.com? Well, I say, I don’t need to live in Sweden to be a Swedish Freak!
As many of you have read, I did a quiz about “How Swedish Are you?“. And it didn’t end with the questions “Where do you live?” There are so many parts of Sweden all around us, no matter where you are living.
Through this site I have met Swedish Freaks in the continental US, in Alaska, in Russia… Everywhere around the world. These are true Swedish Freaks, and they may not have yet had the opportunity to live a life in Sweden as I have, but that doesn’t make them any less of a Swedish Freak than I am.
So I will find the Swedish here in Montana, and when I can’t find it I will bring it. I also still have many Swedish experiences I have not posted here yet, so I will get a chance to update my blog and reflect even more on my 20 months in Sweden.
I luckily have many great friends in Sweden who I hope I can visit to bring you more posts about Sweden, and I hope I will be lucky enough to find some Swedish Freaks out there who live in Sweden and want to share with us their take on life in Sweden.
So while this site may change a bit with my current circumstances, the core of it will not change. The love of Sweden, Swedish, and its people will not change. And it will still be a welcome haven for all the Swedish Freaks out there.