| real life Swedish || Jul 8, 2008 |
Unfortunately, I don't know of any websites or textbooks that are recommendable, but I can tell you how I got started with learning Swedish.
I started off with some textbooks (for German learners), and they were kind of okay, at least for learning the basics, like sentence structure, verb conjugation, etc. Honestly speaking, though, they never got me past that stage of "hi, I'm a tourist, and I'd like to pretend that I can speak Swedish myckettt braaa". So I took to other means instead:
- I bought some CDs of Swedish-singing artists (e.g. Nordman, Per Gessle), made sure I could find the exact lyrics to the songs in either the booklet or online, and then I simply sang along... a lot. For some reason, it was much easier for me to get the hang of the pronunciation through singing. Swedish is said to be a language that is more sung than spoken (at least that's what they say in Germany), so maybe that's why.
- I watched movies, mostly children's movies like Astrid Lindgren's stories. If you're lucky, you can get Swedish subtitles to help you get access to what you're hearing. I'm not entirely sure if films produced in Sweden always include Swedish subtitles (they should, though, for the benefit of the hearing impaired), but I think that animated movies (like Hitta Nemo or something like that) should be a safe bet, as those DVDs usually include both the Swedish and the original English version, so Swedish subtitles should be included as well.
- I took some university courses, do you have access to anything like that? Try www.si.se (for summer courses) or http://www.studyinsweden.se/ (for university courses)
Maybe you could find a Tandem partner here: http://www.tandemcity.com/
Mostly, I think you have to get into contact with real, spoken Swedish - it's really, really hard to get the pronunciation right just by looking at some phonetic symbols. And, yes, the phonetic alphabet applies to Swedish, too, but I haven't seen it in use much. Check this page for some books and stuff on Swedish pronunciation: http://www.si.se/templates/CommonPage.aspx?id=980
Nevertheless, getting into contact with real, Swedish speaking people is still the number one way to go. How else are you ever going to learn how to pronounce "stjärnor" properly, or "sjuksköterska"?
(You'll probably have to convince your Swedish conversation partners to not slip into English, though, they seem to really love doing that to beginners...)
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