Tuesday, 24 February 2009

FAT TUESDAY

In England today we celebrate Shrove Tuesday, the day preceding the first day of the Christian season of fasting and prayer called Lent. I think Lent is where you chose to give something up you love for a period of time, like TV for example.

The word shrove is the past tense of the English verb shrive, which means to obtain absolution for one's sins by way of Confession and doing penance.

If I am not a religious person so will not claim to fully understand the spiritual meaning behind it all. What I do know is that it is the day where we eat PANCAKES!


In Sweden, the day is called Fat Tuesday, the day is marked by eating a traditional pastry, called semla or fastlagsbulle, a sweet bun filled with almond paste and whipped cream. Originally, the pastry was only eaten on this day sometimes served in a bowl of hot milk. Eventually the tradition evolved to eat the bun on every Tuesday leading up to Easter, as after the Reformation, the Protestant Swedes no longer observed a strict Lent. Today, semlas are available in shops and bakeries every day from shortly after Christmas until Easter. The semla is now often eaten as a regular pastry, without the hot milk. The semla is also traditional in Finland but they are usually filled with jam instead of almond paste.


My friend Cissi with two Semlas.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

My Stockholm trip

video

I have spent the past few days in Stockholm. Here's a video of what I learnt on my trip.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

noll-tolv

å, ä, ö
In a previous entry I promised to show off my counting techniques. So from 0 to 12...
noll
ett
två
tre
fyra
fem
sex
sju
åtta
nio
tio
elva
tolv
I've been learning to tell the time, when I'm confident I'll put it on here. I like to be able to blog without the help of my swedish book before I post.

Festa

å, ä, ö

Klocken är tjugo i elva, och jag dricker en kopp kaffe. I really need to learn how to say "I'm hungover!"

After an hour learning to tell the time in Swedish, I treated myself to several pints.

I've learnt a few useful bits from my Swedish friend Malin lately. My favourite are the most important. How to say "party" and "tonight"

"Festa" och "ikvall"

I have also started texting Malin in Swedish. How much of it is accurate I'm not sure. Yesterday when we were discussing whether I should go to her flat (våning) first, or meet her in the bar I texted "Brickyard? Jag vill gå härifrån" which I think means "Brickyard? I will go from here."

Also on the weekend I texted "Vad vill du gera ikvall? En öl skulle smaka gött" - which should mean "What do you want to do tonight? A beer would be good."

If you notice any mistakes, please point them out it is how I'm learning. I wrote as my Facebook status "Stockholm ett vecka!" (Stockholm one week!!) - I learnt that I should have used "en vecka" - so keep the corrections coming, they are appreciated.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

How to say "the"

This is where it all starts to get a bit tricky.

The Swedes don't have a word for "the" - instead they put either "ett" or "en" at the end of the word.

So if I was saying "the lift" they would write "liften" but the word for lift is "hiss" so it would be "hissen."

That's easy. But where it gets hard is knowing when to put "en" and when to put "ett"

You use "en" if the noun is common gender and "ett" if it is neuter gender - But it isn't easy to know which words are common and which are neuter.

I ask Malin and even she says there is no way of actually knowing, you just have to pick it up through listening and speaking Swedish.

----

I've also learnt to count to twelve! Which is fitting because in "tolv" days I shall be in stockholm!

Tack Mycket

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Monday, 2 February 2009

One month in...

So one month into my project to move to Sweden.

How am I doing?

Well to be honest I could be doing much better!

I had a bit of a crazy week last week where I let everything fall to pieces! The closest I came to doing anything even remotely Swedish related was eating meatballs with my Swedish friend Malin.

A mixture of too many partying opportunities and hungover days resulted in me not even opening my Swedish book.

I will work very hard this week to catch up.

OH I must tell you this. After a couple of glasses of wine and an MSN conversation with my other Swedish friend Jessica I realised that I miss the place and decided to book a flight to Stokholm. I fly out in 2 weeks!! :)