Jag heter Gary. Jag kommer från Australien.

I attended my first SFI (Swedish for immigrants) class today in Vagnhärad. My teacher, an amazing Syrian woman who was once a civil engineer, took me through a lot of basics. There wasn’t much English spoken. I spent three and a half hours guessing a lot of things while mispronouncing far too many words.

The classrooms at the school are named after places in Sweden. The one where I was today was named after Malmö. It was very light and airy. It was also very empty. Unlike Malmö.

The class should have had more eager students attending but, because of various reasons ranging from health to holidays, work to unknown, it was just me and the teacher. So it was all one to one. It was like having my own personal tutor. I’m not complaining.

There was a sort of third person there.

The text book was projected onto a big whiteboard and a man’s disembodied voice came out of a speaker on the desk. He recited the Swedish text as it was highlighted, which I would then attempt to repeat. There was much massacring of the language.

The fact that it was projected onto the whiteboard meant that the teacher could write all over it. When it came time to answer questions, it was easy to add, then remove my vague attempts.

I don’t think I did too badly, though I have picked up some Swedish since we’ve been here, which made my guessing almost educated. How difficult must it be for someone newly arrived in the country with no Swedish at all? I imagine it would be very difficult.

At my interview last week, Alexandra told me about the people who attend who can’t read and write in their own language, let alone speak in another. That’s incredibly sad. I can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like not to be able to read and write. I guess that’s my, so-called, Privilege speaking.

Mind you, illiteracy would save me having to write this blog every day. So there’s that.

Anyway, I left the school at midday, my head a jumble of things like ‘en stol’ and ‘ett fönster’ – apparently about 80% of Swedish nouns have ‘en’ as the indefinite article while the other 20% use ‘ett’. There appears to be no rhyme or reason why. It’s like the French habit of having some nouns feminine and others masculine. Again, for no reason.

Back at the house, while Mirinda took the girls for a delightful walk at Stendörren, I revised what little I’d actually absorbed.

Jag heter Gary. Jag kommer från Australien. Jag talar engelska. Jag bor i Trosa.” Repeat with confidence.

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2 Responses to Jag heter Gary. Jag kommer från Australien.

  1. nicoline says:

    Bra jobbat! ge inte upp, utan fortsätt så!

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