Learning Swedish by immersion?
November 19, 2006 6:48 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to learn some Swedish, could you recommend some Swedish television or movies subtitled in English?

Public Domain stuff with clear audio would be great, and .mkv is fantastic for multiple dub/subtitle support. At the moment, I've only switched a few familiar apps over to SV, I'm going for the 'immersion method', but without hearing the language I don't think I'll have the sounds right. Subquestion: Are the Pimsleur programs worthwhile?
posted by Tzarius to Writing & Language (12 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Frost Bite was quite entertaining, and had plenty "recent teen" talk that I found it hard to keep up (been living outside of sweden for 15 years).

(DVD has English subs)

Kopps was a fairly popular Comedy movie as well.
posted by lundman at 7:11 PM on November 19, 2006

Check out Lukas Moodysson - I've seen Together and Fucking Amal/ Show Me Love and they're both excellent - if nothing else, you'll certainly know how to say "lesbian" in Swedish. I've also had Lilja 4-ever recommended to me a million times - I'm sure someone here will chime in about it.
posted by forallmankind at 7:27 PM on November 19, 2006

Seconding Together and Fucking Åmål/Show Me Love. Other Swedish movies worth seeing are Ondskan, Zozo, Jägarna, Adam & Eva (1997), Klassfesten, and Bergman's Smultronstället (Wild Strawberries).

For TV (without subtitles), go to http://svt.se/ or http://webbtv.dn.se/.
posted by martinrebas at 8:20 PM on November 19, 2006

I learned Swedish pronunciation from Mit Liv Som Hund.
And I also second Fucking Amal.

On a sidenote, have you seen this blog and in particular this post about Swedish pronunciation?
posted by easternblot at 9:04 PM on November 19, 2006

I'll third(fourth?) Tillsammans and Fucking Åmål. Don't bother with Lilja 4-ever if your aim is to learn Swedish, though. The dialogue in that film is all in Russian.

I also like Roy Andersson.

Sånger från andra våningen/Songs from the Second Floor is his best film IMO.
posted by prost at 10:40 PM on November 19, 2006

I once acted in a stage adaptation of a Bergman made-for-TV film called "After the Rehearsal." I was in charge of transcribing the subtitles for the script, and after watching it a few times I was rather amazed that I was picking up enough Swedish to tell when the subtitles didn't match what the actors were actually saying. (I've had one year of German and some Romance languages, but no Swedish.)

It's a great film, and only about 90min. I'm sure there's more artistically worthwhile Bergman, but "After the Rehearsal" is nice and intimate and fairly straightforward.
posted by occhiblu at 10:43 PM on November 19, 2006

I think if you just went to Sweden, most of the TV there will be in Swedish.
posted by Sir Mildred Pierce at 12:02 AM on November 20, 2006

Firstly-- Swedish (public) Radio and Swedish (public) Television. The expat's best friends.

Also-- Moodysson has been recommended, and I second him. However, note that Fucking Åmål and Tilsammans (Together) are (relatively) pleasant and heartwarming, his later movies are brutal and draining.
posted by alexei at 12:19 AM on November 20, 2006

Fyra nyanser av brunt is pretty good.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 3:31 AM on November 20, 2006

After having watched enough Bergman films all throughout college, I suddenly realized that I could recognize Swedish (as opposed to Norwegian or Danish) just by listening to it. As this was purely a result of being a film geek, I was quite proud of myself (of course, John Candy did one better in Splash).

On topic, as no one's picked up your subquestion I'll take a stab. I've done plenty of Pimsleur, but never the whole nine yards. All I can say is, it is incredibly effective for short hauls. I still know my basics in Japanese, Russian and German purely as a result of Pimsleur. OTOH, as I never followed through with the whole I, II, III system, I have no idea how fluent you'd be at the end of it all. One thing to keep in mind is how stodgy Pimsleur is--across all languages, you learn the exact same thing, and as I understand it it's always at the same high-ish register (in other words, you'd come across pretty stiff speaking Pimsleurese). That said, definitely recommended to get a quick jump on any language.
posted by war wrath of wraith at 8:42 AM on November 20, 2006

Definitely check out De Düve. I learned all my Swedish from that movie (hehe).
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 11:56 AM on November 20, 2006

Response by poster: Excellent! Thanks to everyone for their contributions.
posted by Tzarius at 12:32 AM on November 27, 2006

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