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17 de agosto de 2006

Good freaking grief

I've been speaking Swedish for the past 4 days due to my job and man, it oozes out of my ears as we speak. Most people who speak a third language will inevitably confirm the follwing: it is tiring to shift gears to a language one isn't accustomed to speaking on the daily basis. Heck, it certainly doesn't give me a headache to speak Spanish let alone English.

So yeah, my brain is fried to burnt toast. Though I confess that I have been pleasently surprised at the improvements I have made in the Swedish Dept. Off course there is always the little matter of not having someone confirm what I claim. Be that as it may, my metalinguistic awareness will suffice for said purposes.

Things that I have noticed I use more when I speak Swedish.

1.- I am more careful not to let the words come out as if I were to speak Spanish or English, that is, I am more concious about the pronounciation of the words I use when speaking. This would seem somewhat tedious but after a couple of years this has become more a custom than a nuisance and parlance comes out more fluid than one would suspect. Swedish are appreciative of the effort. Pronouncing v's the way one ought o, that is, not to be lazy and pronounce them as b's, tends to hike up status in the eyes of the Swede at hand.

2.- I tend to use more idiomatic phrases to capture whole abstract concepts of the everyday. This gives the illusion of the local. That is, there is a sensation that bespeaks of my endurance in the vecinity of my newly established roots. Meaning, though am an immmigrant I have taken the time to not only understand my surroundings but also live them and experience them.

3.- It is good if you use references of the layman. The local experience. Common lived experiences via the news or a problem that the collective has experienced is always good to have as baggage.


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