Saturday, September 15, 2007

Swedish TV Educates and I Get Educated

I’ve been watching a lot more TV here in Sweden than I ever did at home. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, and probably foremost, I don’t have any sort of regular employment which opens up all sorts of time in my day. Secondly though, it actually really helps my Swedish.

My Swedish is pretty solid, Swedish was always spoken in my home in the US and so I am pretty fluent. That being said, my writing skills are nowhere near where they should be for a college graduate. Yet. I’m learning though, and this is where TV comes in.
Sweden gets all kinds of crappy shows from the US and Britain. The beautiful thing is that the Swedes don’t dub. They give subtitles to everything (sometimes even Swedish shows). I force myself then to read the subtitles regardless of what language is on the TV. I’m learning how to spell certain words, learning new words, learning more colloquialisms, it’s glorious really and all because of TV.

I really do believe this has been more helpful than I expected. It’s something I wish happened more in the US. I’m all for learning the language of the country you’re in; in fact I can’t imagine not doing that. A person misses out on so very much when they choose to ignore the customs and culture and language of the country they are in. But I also think it’s extremely important to learn other languages so that you can take an active part in whatever country you live in. When everything is dubbed and handed to us in English we never have to think about things, never have to read subtitles, never have to learn anything new. I definitely think the Swedes got it right on this one.


  1. Good luck!
    Forever young

  2. You won't believe how much subtitles helped me with my English! I truly believe TV is the reason for my slang vocabulary :) Hey, I finally added you as a link btw :)

  3. @anonymous I'm not sure what the forever young means but I like it!

  4. @simply me Seriously, subtitles are the greatest for learning slang and everyday words!

  5. Found your blog a couple days ago, trying to fulfill the giant task of getting through all your posts. I'm a Swedish-American with similar story though I have yet to get through college and my Swedish probably isn't as good. I'm visiting family in Skane now for first time in 3 years. Anyway, to relate to this post, I too read the subtitles while here and it is surprisingly helpful. Not sure if it's because I hear the english as well, but I feel more confident reading the text than I do trying to understand some of the swedish accents. Excellent blog, thanks for writing it!

  6. I'm hopelessly late in responding to this, but hopefully you've kept your connections with Sweden