fredag 18 juli 2008

Gone away - continued

I am in Uppsala again, trying to learn Swedish. I am not quite sure why I want to do that, so if anyone asks me I say, "just for fun - bara för roligt". Anyhow, it is interesting and Uppsala is a very pleasant place to spend the summer in. Probably the winter too, though apparently it gets very cold and the days are short and often dark, which makes people depressed. The course is run by an organisation called Uppsala International Summer Sesssions (UISS). You can find out more about it on their web site in the unlikely event of your wanting to learn Swedish.

Frankly, the language is not a lot of use, with only about 10 million people speaking it in Sweden and Finland. It is sufficiently similar to Danish and Norwegian to allow you to read the free newspapers like Metro and the magazines they give out on the trains, in those languages also. But if you want to be able to speak to as many people as possible, learn Spanish or Chinese instead, or even Portuguese. But for me, this lack of utility is an important part of its charm. If you speak in Swedish anywhere outside Scandinavia, you can practically guarantee you will not be overheard.

The course is very well organised so as to make the learning as painless as possible. The only trouble is that one makes friends and after a couple of weeks they are gone, with little likelihood of ever seeing them again. But that is a microcosm of life.

Once one has got even the slightest understanding of Swedish culture, it is obvious that the way things are done here is just not tranferrable to other countries. Which would explain why the Swedish planning practices of the 1960s, for instance, quickly led to problems when applied in Britain. Actually they eventually let to problems here too, but that is another story.

Most of my current affairs economics comments are now on the new improved web site of the Land Value Taxation Campaign and the link is on this blog. I phoned my neighbour yesterday and apparently people are gripped panic and fear over the state of the economy. The party is over and the bills are coming in.

1 kommentar:

Roses and Jessamine sa...

One day you might be able to translate something important from English into Swedish, something they've never had access to before. That could be interesting.

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