Ok, I was going to keep this a secret longer but it's just too fun and funny so I'll have to share. For a long time, I've wanted to do something and I've finally embarked upon it, to find out that I'm probably in over my head. Wanna know what it is?
I'm attempting to learn to speak Swedish.
For the one of you who probably doesn't know yet, my great-grandparents on my mother's side all came from Sweden in the late 19th century. My grandparents spoke Swedish at home when they were children and occasionally at home when I was growing up with them, when they didn't want us to know what they were saying.
Heretofore, the only Swedish words I knew were the ones for thank you, cheesecake, daughter, and some inexplicable word my grandfather used to call us (Cousin Monica may need to translate for me).
Well, I'm hoping to get to visit with my Cousin Monica in person sometime, but even if I didn't, I wanted to be able to at least attempt a written Swedish conversation. I mean, I know I'm an American and we only learn English, but I thought it might be a lark. After all, I learned Spanish as an adult, surely I could learn Swedish, right?
Yes, I knew it would be difficult, but I didn't realize that the first difficulty would be finding a way to learn it. Surprisingly, there are not many venues for learning Swedish in the greater Cincinnati area. As far as I could find, there were zero. Ok, no problem, I'd look for online resources. There were, of course, the ubiquitous Rosetta Stone programs. Those, unfortunately, cost a gold brick. I mentioned to Friend Husband at some point that I have this odd drive to learn Swedish and he came up with a couple of ideas, one of which I've been working on. I've learned a few new words (animal words) but my favorites are these: en kackerlacka and en fluga. I think that mostly I like the way they sound. They have that stereotypic bouncy sound that people like Garrison Keillor have brought into semi-popular notice. By this point, Cousin Monica is probably holding her sides laughing. I'll let you into the secret.
My favorite two words in Swedish thus far are their equivalents of the English "cockroach" and "fly". Yep, that would be me. I thought it was hilarious myself, but then I may have an overdeveloped sense of humor.
But, in case you want to laugh with me, there it is. And expect more stumbles and hilarity in Swedish and English in days to come. For now I have to go figure out what my Ethiopian-American twins are doing to each other over my head, in their bedroom.