More Swedish Books Have Arrived!

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Today four more Swedish books arrived. Left to right are <em>Get Started in Swedish</em>, by Ivo Holmqvist (Teach Yourself);&nbsp;<em>Essential Swedish Grammar</em> by Julian Granberry (Dover);&nbsp;<em>Swedish: Essentials of Grammar</em> by Åke Viberg, Kerstin Ballardini, and Sune Stjärnlöf (McGraw-Hill); and <em>Beginner's Swedish with 2 Audio CDs</em> by Scott A. Mellor (Hippocrene).</p>
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<img alt="The Cool Stuff That Arrived Today" src="/assets/images/uploads/More_Swedish_Books_2014.jpeg" style="width: 900px; height: 675px;" /></p>
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The Cool Stuff That Arrived Today</p>
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This afternoon I decided that the <a href="http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415669252/">Routledge book</a> I wrote about yesterday was a bit intense for a newbie and instead began the book&nbsp;<em>Swedish: Essentials of Grammar</em>, shown in the middle of this picture.</p>
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I really like it.</p>
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For one thing, the three writers include Swedish translations of useful words throughout the English grammar explanations. On the first page of the introduction I am provided with <em>ordbook</em> (dictionary), <em>ljud</em> (sounds), <em>stavning</em> (spelling), and <em>alfabet</em> (alphabet). It's like finding a dollar on the ground.</p>
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No, make that&nbsp;<i>five&nbsp;</i>dollars.</p>
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The writers have also already taught me that there is no Oxford comma in Swedish. Good. There will be no heated arguments about what is an endless source of irritable debate in English. You simply are not allowed to write the Swedish equivalent of "Mona, Peter, Eva, and Per live here."</p>
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Rather, you have the comma-lighter version "Mona, Peter, Eva och Per bor här." (<em>Och</em> is "and.")</p>
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Many words in Swedish look familiar from other languages.&nbsp;</p>
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Take a look at these, from the book's early chapters:&nbsp;<em>Han duschar</em>&nbsp;= he showers.&nbsp;<em>Han arbetar</em>&nbsp;= he works.&nbsp;<em>Hon är</em>&nbsp;= she is.&nbsp;<em>Hon cyklar</em>&nbsp;= she cycles.</p>
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<img alt="Swedish Fish, Seen Yesterday at a Local Grocery Store" src="/assets/images/uploads/Assorted_Swedish_Fish.JPG" style="width: 900px; height: 675px;" /></p>
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Swedish Fish, Seen Yesterday at a Local Grocery Store</p>
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On pronunciation, the book told me, "The combinations&nbsp;<em>sj</em>&nbsp;or&nbsp;<em>skj</em>&nbsp;in Swedish represent one sound, a sound fairly similar to the sound represented by&nbsp;<em>sh</em>&nbsp;in English."</p>
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Oops. I have been listening to words with those combinations on <a href="http://memrise.com">Memrise</a>, but the audio quality there isn't always great, and that is not quite the conclusion I had come to about what I was hearing. I will have to keep listening.</p>
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What is knocking me on my butt right now is Swedish pronunciation. It is reminding me of my Dutch experience, though the relationship between written and spoken text is much more...astonishing, I would say.</p>
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Fortunately, I feel confident that with Memrise, Pimsleur, and Glossika--all of which offer tons of oral assistance--I will get that under control fast. Technological advances are making pronunciation tools for language more and more accessible, thus conquering an important longstanding barrier to new-language acquisition.</p>
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I will keep reading this helpful McGraw-Hill book. I appreciate the spare, clean, sensible writing and numerous example.</p>
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On a totally superficial note, the paper is really pleasant to write on with my favorite mechanical pencil. Little details like that give me a inexplicably large amount of pleasure.</p>

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