Tuesday, October 28, 2014

YFU: Cody in Sweden > Language Study and Host Sisters

Lovisa, Cody, and Emilia
The Swedish Language
Swedish is a northern Germanic language, spoken by almost 10 million people. Norwegian, Danish, and Swedish people normally understand each other, but Finnish is completely different, with its roots in what are called the Uralic languages.

Around 9 million people are native Swedish speakers, of which 8.5 million live in Sweden. In Finland, some 300,000 people have Swedish as a native language--around 6 per cent of the country's population. Swedish children start studying English in the third year of primary school. (Information quoted from Sweden.se.)

Language Study Abroad
One of the benefits of studying in a foreign country for a full year as opposed to a semester or summer abroad is the opportunity it provides to learn a new language. While Cody's classes are in Swedish, his host parents speak English (as do about 86% of all Swedes). In recent weeks, however, Magnus and Teresia have started to speak Swedish more often in the home. Cody's immersion in the Swedish language has started to intensify. Let's find out how well he's doing.

Hi Cody,
Tell us what it's like to live in a country that speaks a different language. Are you learning to speak Swedish?

Cody: Well, living in Sweden is not the same as it would be in most foreign countries. Everybody here speaks English so even if I never tried to learn Swedish, I would still be fine.

In the first month, people could somehow "smell" that I was an American. They would speak to me in English before talking in Swedish. Then after about a month, I was mistaken for someone who could speak Swedish. At that point, I had learned enough Swedish to understand key words in sentences so I was doing okay.

I started to understand a lot of what people were saying to me by the end of my first month and I could say quite a few things by then as well. Right now (after two months), I am working to increase my vocabulary and have started to learn more about grammar. I am starting to put together more complex sentences. I am no where close to being fluent in Swedish yet, but I'm getting there.

Leslie: Thanks, Cody. Let's ask your host sisters what they think!

Hej Lovisa and Emilia,
Does Cody sound funny when he speaks Swedish? Is there one particular word Cody says in Swedish that makes you laugh?

Lovisa: Cody låter väldigt rolig när han ska uttala ord som innehåller bokstaven R. Han gör något gulligt med munnen när han ska artikulerar, speciellt ordet RÖST låter roligt.

Translation: Cody sounds VERY funny when he expresses words with the letter R in them. He does something cute with his mouth when he tried to say words like "röst."

Emilia: Jag gillar det sätt Cody säger Emilia på!

Translation: I like the way Cody says my name!

Leslie: Thank you, Lovisa and Emilia!
Hugs require no translation.

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