Jag talar svenska

The other day I met a Swedish American, say 60 years old or so, at a bank and he told me he spoke Swedish.  He said "Jag är en svensk pojke i Amerika."  OK, so he didn't actually know what he was saying which was "I am a Swedish boy in America", and I told him he could at least say "man" now. It was something a relative taught him about 50 years ago, so kudos to him for remembering it, and kudos for trying!

It's not easy to speak a foreign language.  We all know that uneasy feeling we get when trying to communicate in another foreign tongue, well at least I hope we all do.  How many of you out in cyberspace have tried it?  It's definately unsettling but absolutely something you should do!  It's rude I think to travel and not at least try to learn a couple of phrases in the native language. ( And it gives usso much more emphathy for those people trying their hardest to learn English - one of the most complicated and confusing languages of all.)  Turns out the manners queen in Sweden agrees, check out dear-swedes-please-let-us-speak-swedish-with-you for a little insight on how it feels when you speak Swedish to someone there, and they answer you in English. Enough to make you blush I would think.

So the next time you're in Cancun or even in Miami order a cerveza instead of a beer, and ask for the bano. If you're in Montreal try some highschool French.  It won't kill you, it might even help you look all "suave" and sophisticated.  And if they answer you in English, well, keep your sense of humour 'cause it happens to the best of us.  Like Steve Martin said "those French have a different word for everything."


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