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.