Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Blog about Melodifestivalen in Sweden | Swedish phrases and words to know for the Eurovision song contest

Swedes are coming in to a favourite season. No, they don't love slushy winter/spring, but inside by the TV, every Saturday night, it's their highlight of the year: Melodifestivalen 2013!

Also called Mello, Swedes love to hate this contest. What is it? In English it’s the Swedish song contest to elect the best song the Swedes can come up with for the Eurovision song contest. Normally Swedes have bad music taste, according to the rest of Europe, but last year we found the right hit with the help of Loreen, and won Europe’s hearts with the song Euphoria. Sweden finished number one (!) and the Eurovision contest will therefore this year be held in Malmö, Sweden.

But, what are the Swedes doing during the 6 weeks long season of Mello?

Other than watching song contests on tv 6 weekends in a row, complaining about the songs, the artist’s hair and clothes, eating snacks and drinking beer?

Well… we do other things… we... uhm… discuss the songs and artists every weekday on facebook, twitter or blogs, we find out more about the artists personal life in newspaper, on the radio and on every tv channel, we bet on the songs...
See! We have a life.

But for you who learn Swedish and want to be able to have a conversation with a Swede between February and May and to understand the media, here are some important words and phrases to know in Swedish:

Fel låt vann! = Wrong song won

Den var kass = It was terrible.

Den var kanon. = It was awesome.

Rösta på Carola! = Vote for Carola!

No, just kidding… she is actually not competing this year, nor Danny – another Mello-artist. But we could say:

Rösta på Army of Lovers/Ulrik, David Lindgren...

Jag älskar schlager! = I love ... well, this is the Swedish word for hit song and a type of Music that almost only configure in the Melodifestivalen.

Storfavoriten höll/föll. = The mega favourite artist won/failed.

And the headlines will likely include the word Eufori, just to be witty, like:




Monday, 28 January 2013

The king's name day!

Kungens namnsdag!

The king of Sweden has his name day today! Today's name is Karl, and therefore we celebrate everyone called by that name, and one of them is the king of Sweden.

This blog is maybe not so much about our king, but about the name day celebration in Sweden.

What's wrong about celebrating? And celebrating one's birthday once a year isn't really enough for us Swedes, so celebrating our name days is a really good complement. (Which also is another great reason why many Swedes not only have one middle name, but often at least two.)

How do we celebrate name days?

Well... some totally forget about their name day. Some gets a small card or a phone call from someone saying "Grattis på namnsdagen". In some families they make this a bigger occasion, by inviting friends or family over for a name day fika, or actually kalas (which is the same as fika, but the word we use when celebrating birthdays - or name days). For people concerned about their age, celebrating the name day could be an awesome alternative to the birthday.

Back to the king of Sweden and his name day. Do we acknowledge that in any way? Yes, of course! It is an official flag day, meaning that everyone owning a flagpole (which is quite a few) must hoist the Swedish flag that day. In a Swedish calendar (svensk almanacka) you can see which days are official flag days, which is a good thing for flagpole owners. And of course, in the same almanacka, you can see what date you have your name day. (The chance of finding your name in the almanacka strongly increases if you have a Swedish name though.)

Is your name not in the almanacka? Do like many others: make one day Your name day! And celebrate!


Grattis på namnsdagen, Karl!

By the way: The name of the Swedish king is Carl XVI Gustav Bernadotte.

And if you want to know more about the reasons and rules around our Swedish name days, svenska namnsdagar, then follow this link.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Partikelverb i svenskan

Swedish2go is in the production stage of finishing the 8 hours of lessons to the advanced course (Avancerad kurs i svenska). Right now, a lesson about partikelverb is being made. And it's just to face it: Us Swedes have some cool and useful expressions using particle verbs. There are tons of them though. Read and learn these as a start:

  • Ställa in sig - to prepare yourself for something, and to mentaly and strongly think something is going to happen
  • Ställa sig in - not the same thing as above! This means to brown nose somebody
  • Suga åt sig - to really absorb credit about yourself. If someone is telling you how good you are: Sug åt dig!
  • Punga ut - to pay for something, usually a bigger amount. It's always about money, though: Svenskar pungar ut miljontals på sms varje år.
  • Trassla in sig - "to tangle yourself in something": Not just literally, but also if you have a problem, or maybe several, and you have caused yourself to be in that situation.
  • Skälla ut någon - "to bark someone out" or to berate/scold/call down: Min lärare skällde ut mig när jag inte kunde alla partikelverb.
  • Skjuta upp - Skjut inte upp till imorgon, det du kan göra idag. = don't postpone till tomorrow, what you can do today...
Start learning Swedish! Yes! Great idea! You have already started by reading this blog.

Kör igång! (Another partikelverb!)

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

What's good about snow? + Verb lesson

If you are not interested in reading about snow and winter, scroll down, for a quick lesson about the verbs "går" and "åker".

In the dark and cold winter Sweden, it may be uplifting to hear some good things about snow. Well, here you go!

  • Snow is dryer than rain.  Snö är torrare än regn.
  • Snow is white - it lights up the dark hours (which are many!). Snö gör vintermörkret lite ljusare.
  • Snow shoveling gives you free exercise. Snö ger dig gratis motion.
  • Snow makes you laugh. It's hard not to, when racing down a hill on a sled. Snö får dig att skratta, när du far nerför en backe på en pulka.
  • Snow makes you want to try activities you've never dreamed of: downhill skiing, skating, cross country skiing, hiking with skis (gå på tur), Nordic skating, snowball fights, snow angel creations, making snow lantern and many more!
Enjoy snow! Winter is short, so look at it from the bright side.

Some Swedish phrases in the winter:

åka pulka, åka skidor, åka längd, åka skridskor, åka slalom, åka snöskoter
göra snöänglar, kasta snöboll, bygga snölyktor 

Now your lesson: Åka och gå

Att åka = to go
Att gå = to go (or to walk)

What's the difference?

The easiest explanation is that we use "gå" when we use our feet. Therefore we cannot say this sentence "Jag ska gå till Sverige." We must say: "Jag ska åka till Sverige."

When we use some kind of transportation, we are therefore not using "går" but "åker":

Vi åker buss. Vi åker tåg. Vi åker bil. Vi åker kollektivtrafik. Vi åker motorcykel. Vi åker moped. And you see all the winter activities with some kind of help of transportation above: skates, skis, sleds...

Now that was the easy part. The verb "går" is however also used in a more general way than only when using our legs. We have quite a few standard phrases where we use "går":

Vi går på bio. Vi går på restaurang. Vi går på teater. Vi går i skolan. (Meaning that we are students in school. This is not the same as "Vi går till skolan", which is describing the way we get to school.)

The winter subject is also described in this YouTube video.

This, among many other grammar and language explanations, is also covered in the 8 hours of lessons, if you are curious about knowing more.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Svensk text kan läsas nedan.
This blog will be about what's going on at Swedish2go right now. Just in case you wonder.

  • A new video, presenting the company is just about to be published. Keep your eyes up!

  • Three different levels of video packages are ready and offered to you today. Welcome to subscribe! These videos can be used as a complement to your other Swedish studies, no matter where, or in what form, you do them. See it as a speaking grammar book, with a great support in the English language.!

  • There is a demand for Swedish2go offering an Advanced online course, and believe me, it's coming and has high priority. To ensure the quality of the course, it may be a couple of months though. Sorry about that! Until then, go through the Beginner and Intermediate courses, repeat, and get better at what you already know!
Den som väntar på något gott väntar aldrig för länge.
(=All good things come to he who Waits)

Den här bloggen handlar om vad som är på gång med Swedish2go, ifall du undrar...

  • En ny video som presenterar företaget är i dagarna på gång att publiceras. Håll ögonen öppna!

  • Tre olika nivåer av videopaket är klara och finns just nu redo för dig att prenumerera på. Välkommen! Dessa videofilmer kan användas som ett komplement till dina övriga svenskstudier, oavsett var och hur du studerar. Se det som en levande grammatikbok, där du både ser och hör beskrivning av grammatik, med hjälp av det engelska språket.

  • Det finns ett sug efter en avancerad online kurs från Swedish2go. Tro mig, den är på gång och har hög prioritet. För att säkerställa kvaliteten på kursen kan det dock ta ytterligare ett par månader innan den är klar, tyvärr. Tills dess, gå igenom nybörjarkursen och fortsättningskursen, repetera och bli bättre på det du redan kan!

Den som väntar på något gott väntar aldrig för länge.