The past couple of days I have been perfecting my pronunciation of basic Swedish greetings and phrases, including Tack så mycket! (Thank you very much.) When I was living in Norway a few years ago, I made a colossal mistake and took advantage of the fact that pretty much everyone around me spoke immaculate English. This meant that I didn’t practice the Norwegian I knew with actual people. No matter how hard I practiced alone in my little room, with my Teach Yourself Norwegian book and CD, I never properly moved forward because I kept the Norwegian words hidden behind my English whenever I left the house. Hell, my crippling shyness meant I never even practiced with my lovely Norwegian housemate!
It was all to do with my confidence. I’ve never been especially strong with foreign languages, even though I’ve always really wanted to be able to speak fluently in a tongue that isn’t my own. But I’m determined that things are going to be different here in Sweden. I bloody love the Swedish language. Listening to Sebastian talk gives me goosebumps. I want to make this language my own. So, my confidence is getting a much needed kick up the arse, and it will not be going back into hiding again.
I’ve actually started practicing my Swedish with Sebastian, which at first scared the shit out of me…(ridiculous I know), but I’m getting used to it, and I’ve actually started looking forward to when he gets home from work, and can listen to what I’ve learned. At the moment, he’s listening to me read from his 2 year old daughter’s book Kvastresan, or, as it’s better known, No Room On The Broom by Julia Donaldson.
The last time we were at the store however, I was still using English. I said ‘excuse me’ when I really should have said ‘ursäkta mig.’ I said ‘thank you’ when I should have said ‘tack.’ This is something I need to stop doing, especially seen as though I know these primary words and phrases. Last night I told Sebastian that he will need to keep guard over my language while we’re at the store, to make sure that I’m getting the most from the opportunity to practice, and build up my confidence with speaking Svenska.