Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Swenglish puns

I've been learning Swedish over the past half-year, in a way that can best be described as whimsical. I started by copying the comments my Swedish friends made on Facebook and pasting them onto Google Translate, then progressed to following Swedish speakers on Twitter and translating their Tweets. Google Translate then allowed me to listen to an automatic interpretation of the text, and I could imitate away... These days I listen to Sverigesradio.se when I can, and have even taught myself to sing one or two Swedish songs. With little else but techniques like these, I've reached the point where I can understand a small but growing amount of the texts I daily come across. So, with no further ado, here's a few puns you can make to a speaker of both Swedish and English.

'Sounds kul!' - Kul means fun in Swedish, and sounds like cool in English, which means you can gently subvert its meaning for a subtle twist.

'I be so glad' - Glad means happy, so you can pretend to understate your sense of happiness. Only works with a UK or Irish accent.

'Vi went up with a hiss' - Hiss means elevator; vi means we

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It's a lot easier than I thought to learn a new language. If you have an interest in doing so, I suggest finding really fun, interesting texts to sink your teeth into. Watch videos on Youtube.com, devour all the foreign language films you can find, dig up the lyrics to your favourite songs on the web, and befriend someone on Skype who you can practice with (I'm still working up the courage to do the last one - Benny at www.fluentin3months.com highly recommends this!).

Here's Benny Lewis speaking at TEDxSanAntonio, which motivates me to keep turning my inspiration into action...


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