Jag Älskar Sverige (I Love Sweden)

Swedes will notice our American accent most of the time. My friends and I have tried to speak Swedish when ordering at a restaurant or café, and the Swedes will respond back in English to our Swedish. Swedish students must learn English as a second language beginning in elementary school. So, it is not abnormal to hear English being spoken in a café or on the train to school. However, Swedes appreciate it when we try to talk to them in Swedish.

Mina bästa vänner de heter Sammie och Marissa! (My best friends their names are Sammie and Marissa)

I am taking a Swedish language and culture class offered in my program. Before moving to Stockholm, I began practicing Swedish over the summer. To be honest, I thought it was manageable and easy to pick up. Some of the Swedish words are cognates or look like English words. For example, dricker means to drink in Swedish. We must participate and speak a lot in my Swedish class, so I quickly got comfortable speaking the language. Most of the people in my program are enrolled in the Swedish language course. So, we often talk to each other, saying short phrases or using hej (pronounced hey), which is hi in Swedish. I also had to do an oral exam during finals week for my Swedish class. It involved my partner, and I speaking to each other for five minutes in Swedish. It was challenging but a lot of fun to practice. It went smoothly, and we were so proud of each other! We talked about where we are from, what we study, and what we like to do in our free time in Stockholm. It will be strange to go back home and not hear a different language or even use Swedish. 

Here are some words or key phrases to navigate living in Stockholm:

Hej, hej hej = Hi

Hej då = Goodbye

Ja = Yes

Nej = No

Ursäkta = Excuse me, sorry

Tack = Thank you, please

Varsågod = You are welcome

Jag heter… = My name is…