Jeg uhhh, skulle vilja uhhh lara sig Svenska?
August 3, 2011 5:51 PM   Subscribe

How can I learn Swedish in Toronto? or, on the internet as a last resort?

I've always been fascinated by Scandinavian languages and culture. I did a linguistics major in college, and had such a weird crush on Norway when I was 17 that I taught myself a fair bit of the Norwegian language.

Norwegian and Swedish are pretty obscure as far as languages go -- they're not professionally or globally useful like German or Spanish or Arabic or even Russian. (I already know French) but i've always loved the way they sound, the grammar, the way the words look. I'd like to learn Swedish (as Norwegian is just even too obscure for even me at this point).

I live in Toronto -- Swedish isn't really a language that you can take in university or at most language schools. and I know from my experience learning French that you really need to practice regularly if you are going to cement a language in your brain. so what are my options?
Preferably for a nominal fee at most -- I don't want to shell out $200 for Rosetta Stone or anything. I can read a book or get tapes myself, but I'd like to interact with a real person. I do not believe interacting with a book or computer alone can help you truly learn a language.

Are there any Swedish cultural organizations I might be able to contact for help? Where can I find some Swedish grandmothers I can have conversations with? Are there Swedish lessons available anywhere, or Swedish tutors?
posted by custard heart to Education (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
They aren't grandmothers, but there are a few retired Swedish navy folks I could ask through ham radio if you wish. I've heard them refer to themselves as the Old Meatball club ...

(You just want to learn how to pronounce /ɧ/, don't you?)
posted by scruss at 7:17 PM on August 3, 2011

Great question! I'd like to learn enough (online) for basic pleasantries on the geneaology trip I will eventually take.

So if anyone has links, that would be great.
posted by cyndigo at 7:52 PM on August 3, 2011

Dropped you a memail.
posted by pravit at 9:10 PM on August 3, 2011

You can always try the basic course in Swedish, courtesy of the Foreign Service Institute.
posted by greatgefilte at 11:51 PM on August 3, 2011

Oops, you don't want books and tapes! Hm. How about the local Swedish Meetup group?
posted by greatgefilte at 11:53 PM on August 3, 2011

Scruss -- are you SERIOUS?? i think that would be so much fun. i'm a young enthusiastic twentysomething blond girl, that tends to help old navy folk do stuff for me.

and to answer your question -- there are a great many swedish characters I would like to learn to pronounce.

and greatgefilte -- your moniker to me appears to be an oxymoron, but your suggestion is fantastic. thank you so much.

(oh, and already got the tapes. but I find with languages that are different than your mothertongue, one can't always hear the mistakes one is making. i'd like a live person to converse with who can correct me when i'm wrong, and it's always nice to have someone to talk to).
posted by custard heart at 1:24 AM on August 4, 2011

The Toronto public
Library subscribes to a resource called Mango that is designed for all sorts of language learners. All you need is aTPL library card to access via the library's website.
posted by Heart_on_Sleeve at 5:21 AM on August 4, 2011

Jag skulle vilja lära mig svenska.
posted by beerbajay at 5:37 AM on August 4, 2011

your moniker to me appears to be an oxymoron

Say what you will, but it's better than lutefisk!
posted by greatgefilte at 7:20 AM on August 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

Take a look into SWEA Toronto. SWEA is the Swedish Women's Educational Association. My mother (Swedish, obviously) was involved for a very long time.

They run an annual Swedish festival/conference/sale type thing, to my memory, which is always super popular.

They may have courses, or at least may be able to point you in the right direction.

(Sadly, despite having a very Swedish mother, I do not speak Swedish).
posted by smitt at 10:19 AM on August 4, 2011

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