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View Full Version : Teaching yourself any of the Scandinavian languages...?



Phill
Monday, February 2nd, 2004, 02:43 AM
Not entirely sure if this is the exact appropriate place for a thread like this, but what better source could get get for learning how to speak the tongues than from the people who already speak it?

I would mainly like to learn Danish first, but quite frankly i'll go for anything i can get my hands on. How did you guys learn the language, and/or what advice would you give to people who want to learn them? Any good books/sources?

Thanks for the help in advance.

Tor
Monday, February 2nd, 2004, 03:50 AM
Hmm what the hell is this? Why do you want to learn?
Who are you to learn? I just want to know the purpose.

I don’t like people comparing the tongues, total different ethics involved and meanings!
And who cares how many people there is in Sweden, to base the choice upon that would be total superficial.

But is not something you just learn, if you have no involvement there you will not take it far.

AngryPotato
Monday, February 2nd, 2004, 04:44 AM
He probably wants to learn more languages because he feels like a dumb American(or Canadian). I have the same issue. I don't understand how some of the members of this board have better English skills than I do and its my primary language. I speak some Spanish, but nothing comparable to the English that members use here. I know that I'd like to learn French/German for personal reasons and Arabic/Japanese for business reasons. I am dealing with so many god damn brown Indians and Arabs everyday that I just want to learn Arabic/Hindi in order to understand what they're discussing in front of me. I am at times paranoid ;)

Phill
Monday, February 2nd, 2004, 09:53 PM
Hmm what the hell is this? Why do you want to learn?
Who are you to learn? I just want to know the purpose.

I am Danish in heritage, and later on in life I plan on moving to either Danmark or Norwegian.


It doesn't really matter whether you learn Danish, Swedish, or Norwegian; with any of them you will be able to understand the others in written (and with some practice also in spoken) form. Go for whatever you like most. Swedish has double as many speakers as Danish and Norwegian, though.

Yeah, i knew that each of the three countries could pretty much understand eachother pretty well. I read that Danish is supposed to be a bit more gutteral, while swedish is more sing-songish. When it comes to being written, I think swedish was supposed to be kind of an oddball since they have different vowels....? I can't quite remember.

Anyways, thank you very much for your post, Tryggvi. :D

@AngryPotato - I'd be a dumb American. :D I live just 60 miles from the border to Canada though, so close enough.

Glenlivet
Tuesday, February 3rd, 2004, 02:51 AM
Det är väl inget fel om en Amerikan av Dansk eller Svensk härkomst har en vilja att lära sig ett Skandinaviskt språk. Ett språk är ju inte allt. Du kanske menar att kulturens bas står på en nationell anda eller mentalitet, som skiljer sig mer mellan Danmark och Sverige, än mellan Sverige och Norge.

Det finns ju självklart en tendens att klumpa ihop dessa liknande nationer endast på grund av deras historiska relationer, stereotypiskt blonda typer och till en viss del liknande välfärdssystem (i alla fall till mitten av 70-talet). Jag är ganska säker att du vill att folk som också vill lära sig något om Norden bör ha en djupare anledning än det uppenbara.

I think the best method is to study from linguaphones. Danish has a glottal stop, and is therefore quite hard to pronounce, but it sure sounds cool, like Dutch. Some Danes sound like they are mixing German and Chinese. Most Swedes understand almost all Norwegian speakers (less so the accent of West Coast Norwegians). Norwegians understand better Danish than Swedish. Norway has, because of its mountainous topography, sharper cut-offs between dialectal regions.

I think that it is best to begin by learning the similarities between English and the Scandinavian languages. He can e.g. try to read the first sentences in this post.

He may not understand the meaning of the sentences, but may be able to learn how to pick up some similar words. väl=well, vilja=will, lära=learn, allt=all, mellan (similar to middle, which is better translated to Swedish mellersta)=between, tendens=tendency (or trend), säker=sure, djupare=deeper.

Some other translated words, anda=spirit, står=stand, skiljer=separate or distinguished, härkomst=extraction, på grund av=because of, välfärdssystem=welfare systems, uppenbara=obvious.






Hmm what the hell is this? Why do you want to learn?
Who are you to learn? I just want to know the purpose.

I don?t like people comparing the tongues, total different ethics involved and meanings!
And who cares how many people there is in Sweden, to base the choice upon that would be total superficial.

But is not something you just learn, if you have no involvement there you will not take it far.

Mac Seafraidh
Tuesday, February 3rd, 2004, 04:26 AM
I find it hard to teach myself a language. Learning a foreign language is really easy for me though. In a classroom and or by a teacher it makes it really easy for me. The Germanic languages are so ease to learn, as well as the Romance languages. I would like to learn Italian,Greek, and Russian. My German is very rusty since I have graduated high school and I can no longer remember genitive case,etc. I really like the Flemish/Dutch language too, but if you were to learn that with German and all the Scandinavian languages messing them up would be no problem.That is why I changed my mind from orignally wanting to learn almost every Germanic language and Romance to the ones I listed above.

NormanBlood
Tuesday, February 3rd, 2004, 02:59 PM
Volkdeutscher: Hmm...I tried to see if I could understand the first sentence.


Det är väl inget fel om en Amerikan av Dansk eller Svensk härkomst har en vilja att lära sig ett Skandinaviskt språk.

Something about someone being an American of Danish or Swedish descent or heritage and want to learn to speak (I am assuming sprak means to speak..or similar as it reminds me of the German verb Sprechen) Scandinavian languages...or something :| bah I suck at this lol Was I close...somewhat?

Why don't we turn the thread into a sort of "learning Danish/Swedish/Norwegian" thread. Those who already speak one of the languages can come and teach usa few things :)

Julius
Tuesday, February 3rd, 2004, 05:34 PM
It was right. Here's my word for word translation of the sentence:

"It is det är nothing wrong inget fel if an American om en Amerikan of Danish or Swedish descent av dansk eller svensk härkomst has a will har en vilja to learn att lära (sig) a Scandinavian language ett skandinaviskt språk."


Why don't we turn the thread into a sort of "learning Danish/Swedish/Norwegian" thread. Those who already speak one of the languages can come and teach usa few things :-) Yeah, it would be fun! I would also like to learn Norwegian and Danish. :)

Glenlivet
Tuesday, February 3rd, 2004, 05:56 PM
You understood it. Well done! I love the melody of the Swedish language. Yes, German and Swedish are quite similar. Middle Low German enriched the Swedish language during the late Middle Ages. I have forgotten most of the effects, but they thought us about that back in school. The Hansa were in the Baltics. They dominated the Nordic trade. Many town officials in Sweden were of North German descent. So Swedish is full of Low German prestige words.

We can make it to a teaching and learning thread. I am for it.



Volkdeutscher: Hmm...I tried to see if I could understand the first sentence.

Something about someone being an American of Danish or Swedish descent or heritage and want to learn to speak (I am assuming sprak means to speak..or similar as it reminds me of the German verb Sprechen) Scandinavian languages...or something :| bah I suck at this lol Was I close...somewhat?

Why don't we turn the thread into a sort of "learning Danish/Swedish/Norwegian" thread. Those who already speak one of the languages can come and teach usa few things :)

NormanBlood
Wednesday, February 4th, 2004, 03:16 PM
Wow, had not thought I would go have got it right. The word I was really unsure of was "härkomst" but I tried to put into context what I thought the sentence meant up until there and so I figured if I was right it would be something similar.

Julius, you put "sig" in brackets. What does it mean? Or is it one of those words that doesn't really have an English equivalent?

Personally I am most interested in learning Norwegian or Danish out of cultural interest. But Swedish would be good to because, as mentioned here, all three languages are very similar, plus I know there is an exchange to Sweden or Norway at the University I will be attending. So it would be great to learn some Swedish or Norwegian ahead of time :P

Ok, so how should we start?

Glenlivet
Wednesday, February 4th, 2004, 08:50 PM
I cannot help you much with Norwegian or Danish. The only thing that I can tell you is that you will be able to understand most Danes and Norwegians if you can master Swedish.

Some teachers in Sweden had the opinion that students should devote all of their energy to learn Swedish. However, nowadays teachers in Sweden whom teach Swedish as a foreign language believe that our premier tool for the power of reasoning is through the mother tongue. Every language has also its own picture of the world. Every learner must try to learn that too.

You understand more Swedish than many of the foreigners in the new "ghettos" of Stockholm and Malmö. http://www.aftonbladet.se/nyheter/0009/01/LYNCHMOBB.jpg

Swedish wiggers: http://stockholm.music.museum/respektnu/rinkeby1.gif

Multicultural Sweden: http://home2.pp.sbbs.se/fredsduvan/Kultur/Julgranfest2.jpg

You should read Swedish newspapers. The biggest ones are Dagens Nyheter (http://www.dn.se), Svenska Dagbladet (http://www.svd.se), Aftonbladet (http://www.aftonbladet.se) and Expressen (http://www.expressen.se). You should also listen to Swedish radio stations: http://www.sr.se/.

People in your age have to read August Strindberg's pjäs Fröken Julie. One method is to learn new words by reading Swedish books. You can become involved and see the beauty of the language through Strindberg. The best thing a foreigner can do is to obtain a past of the language. That can be done by reading novels.

You will get more respect in Sweden if you speak English than Swedish with an accent (brytning). There are also differences of how an accent is apprehended. An English accent is seen as interesting, a French charming, and a Polish is perceived by many as "bad Swedish".

You have to find the need for learning Swedish. I do not know how you can learn Swedish here. Maybe you can ask questions, and/or we can translate some sentences. We can also study phrases. I do not know your level. You have to stick your neck out and take some risks if you want to learn a new language. A native speaker can act as an informant or tutor, but you need to be active. You will succeed if you are just organised and active.

Learn the basics (numbers and letters), memorise a text and repeat it. Immersion is also useful, but you might not have the opportunity. In the end, assimilate by thinking in the language and try not to translate in your head, re-use words and learn to use synonyms.










Wow, had not thought I would go have got it right. The word I was really unsure of was "härkomst" but I tried to put into context what I thought the sentence meant up until there and so I figured if I was right it would be something similar.

Julius, you put "sig" in brackets. What does it mean? Or is it one of those words that doesn't really have an English equivalent?

Personally I am most interested in learning Norwegian or Danish out of cultural interest. But Swedish would be good to because, as mentioned here, all three languages are very similar, plus I know there is an exchange to Sweden or Norway at the University I will be attending. So it would be great to learn some Swedish or Norwegian ahead of time :P

Ok, so how should we start?

NormanBlood
Friday, February 6th, 2004, 05:55 AM
You should read Swedish newspapers.

hehe, thats what my uncle makes me do with German :D Does work though. The best of course would be if I knew a Swede living here, that would be helpful. BUt I don't so usually I go on websites and try to decipher what's being said. I also know a few Swedes online so sometimes they teach me a few things.


The best thing a foreigner can do is to obtain a past of the language. That can be done by reading novels.

Will try it. Thats usually how I keep my German "fluent" enough. Not too many places here to obtain Swedish novels though..unfortunately.

About learning phrases. I know some like "hej, hur ar du?" and other simples sentences. I can also count to ten (lol somehow I feel so stupid proudly stating being able to count to ten hehe). Question though...is "one" en or ett? I know the rest is tva, tre, fyra, fem, sex, sju, atta, nio, tio.

Also, this sentence: Mitt hus har bara tre rum. Means something like My house has three rooms. What does "bara" mean? Thanks!

Marduk
Wednesday, February 11th, 2004, 10:23 PM
Volkdeutscher: Hmm...I tried to see if I could understand the first sentence.



Something about someone being an American of Danish or Swedish descent or heritage and want to learn to speak (I am assuming sprak means to speak..or similar as it reminds me of the German verb Sprechen) Scandinavian languages...or something :| bah I suck at this lol Was I close...somewhat?

Why don't we turn the thread into a sort of "learning Danish/Swedish/Norwegian" thread. Those who already speak one of the languages can come and teach usa few things :)

The word "språk" means in Norsk "tongue" or "language".

Sigrun Christianson
Sunday, February 15th, 2004, 04:21 AM
I found Norwegian to be very easy. It is a breeze compared to German, anyway.

Norwegian [and Danish] are very blunt, straight-forward languages (comparatively). Norwegian is pretty easy to learn. If you try, I would suggest getting an audio tape or CD to get the accent just right and buy the Norwegian-English Dictionary by Einar Haugen. That book is absolutely invaluable when you're trying to understand Bokmål & Nynorsk.

Tommy Vercetti
Tuesday, February 17th, 2004, 10:46 PM
Det lönar inte att lärä sig svenskspråk

Shaun
Thursday, July 8th, 2004, 11:34 PM
På Norsk ;) (In Norwegian):

Note: Legend:
English
(Swedish)
[Norwegian]

"It is (det är) [det er] nothing wrong (inget fel) [intet feil] if an American (om en Amerikan) [om en Amerikan] of Danish or Swedish descent (av dansk eller svensk härkomst) [av dansk eller svensk sømmelig] has a will (har en vilja) [har en vilje] to learn (att lära) [å lære] a Scandinavian language (ett skandinaviskt språk) [et skandinavisk språk]."

----------------

"I know the rest is tva, tre, fyra, fem, sex, sju, atta, nio, tio. "

In Norwegian, it is:

En, to, tre, fire, fem, seks, sju, åtte, ni, ti

:)

Freja
Monday, July 12th, 2004, 05:35 PM
På Norsk ;) (In Norwegian):

Note: Legend:
English
(Swedish)
[Norwegian]

"It is (det är) [det er] nothing wrong (inget fel) [intet feil] if an American (om en Amerikan) [om en Amerikan] of Danish or Swedish descent (av dansk eller svensk härkomst) [av dansk eller svensk sømmelig] has a will (har en vilja) [har en vilje] to learn (att lära) [å lære] a Scandinavian language (ett skandinaviskt språk) [et skandinavisk språk]."

Very good! However, the nowegian and danes would say "ikke feil", "om en amerikaner", "av dansk eller svensk herkomst" (sømmelig means decent).
Det er det eneste jeg hadde å utsette på oversettelsen din. Fortsett med puggingen/pluggingen!:D

Shaun
Tuesday, July 13th, 2004, 03:46 AM
Very good! However, the nowegian and danes would say "ikke feil", "om en amerikaner", "av dansk eller svensk herkomst" (sømmelig means decent).
Det er det eneste jeg hadde å utsette på oversettelsen din. Fortsett med puggingen/pluggingen!:D
Ja, I kinda guessed with a lot of that. My Norwegian is not nearly the level it should be at. Then again, my family wants me assimilated into Canadian culture, resulting in discouragement of me speaking Norwegian.

Note: I was actually born and still live in Canada. My family, however, is from Oslo, Norway. A lot of my family still lives there.

Takk for handlekraft din. (I probably got that wrong too :P)

Phill
Tuesday, July 13th, 2004, 04:08 AM
You guys rock!


Dere rokker!

Freja
Tuesday, July 13th, 2004, 08:06 AM
Please don´t tempt me - I work as a freelance journalist so I´m just to correcting both my own and other people´s written errors...;)

Men fortsett bare å lese norsk, Shaun, så kan du teste det ut når du en gang skal besøke slekten i Oslo. Jeg bor bare én times kjøring unna, så da kan jeg komme og sjekke hor flink du har blitt.:D

Shaun
Tuesday, July 13th, 2004, 04:29 PM
Ja, men jeg har å gå på å universitet (og være en doktor :D). Jeg ikke kjenne all gloseren av setningen da starter med "Jeg", men jeg kanskje begripe mening din.

Your corrections are actually helping me a lot :)

Thanks a ton!

Drömmarnas Stig
Sunday, January 15th, 2006, 06:37 PM
I once discovered this Swedish-German and vice-versa online-dictionary:

http://infoportal-deutschland.aus-stade.de/Schwedisch/sf8.htm

If it helps...

óðinn
Tuesday, May 16th, 2006, 12:31 PM
I guess adding a helpful swede on msn would be helpful, because then you could start practive with some easier conversations and sentences.

Språk is a loanword taken from german, in words like "modersmål" the elder variant is still used. Compare the elder variant "mål" with the icelandic "mál", they're pronounced the same since the icelandic "á" is a sweidsh "å".

www.verbix.com (http://www.verbix.com) is a good site, which allows you to search for a verb and then verbix comparates it.

Frederica
Sunday, May 21st, 2006, 07:15 PM
I'm not sure about the situation in America, but in the UK i go to the Danish church and have lessons, but if you don't have access to things like that maybe look into local colleges etc., that offer classes? If not there's a good website that covers the basics with soundbites, mini tests etc. and it's www.speakdanish.dk (http://www.speakdanish.dk) . Anyway good luck with it!:)

Angelcynn Beorn
Monday, June 19th, 2006, 08:29 PM
I'm not sure about the situation in America, but in the UK i go to the Danish church and have lessons, but if you don't have access to things like that maybe look into local colleges etc., that offer classes? If not there's a good website that covers the basics with soundbites, mini tests etc. and it's www.speakdanish.dk (http://www.speakdanish.dk) . Anyway good luck with it!:)

Wow, i never even considered that! I'm sure there must be at least one or two Danish churches in London. I might give it a go actually.

Thanks for the idea! :thumbup