Reading Swedish for beginners: Interlinear Books

Posted in Learn Swedish by

After learning Swedish for a few months, I already bought a first book: En man som heter Ove. I was motivated to start reading books in Swedish, but soon I had to give up. Too many words were unknown for me and I should actually have looked them up to understand the story. The pleasure of reading disappears quickly if you have to pause reading to take a dictionary or a translation app constantly. I recently discovered Interlinear Books. Every word is immediately translated, like subtitles. If you are not sure about the meaning of a word, you can just peek at the line below. Very handy!

The benefits of reading in Swedish

Why would you want to read Swedish books? You learn a lot of new words while reading. You also see how words are used in different contexts. You learn how sentences are built and you discover a piece of Swedish culture. By reading Swedish authors in the original language, you get a more authentic experience. In a translation, mistakes, crooked sentences or adjustments sometimes creep up.

What are Interlinear Books?

Interlinear Books helps you learn languages by reading fascinating books. Their books are translated into the Interlinear format, where the original is followed by an English translation below each word or expression. Click to check their books out.

In short: you can compare Interlinear Books like subtitles for books.

Interlinear Books offers books in the original language with between each line – in a smaller font – the translation of the word above it. These words have been translated word for word (into English). If the word order is different in Swedish than in English, the word order is not adjusted in the translation. Under every Swedish word is the English translation but the sentences as such are not translated. If there are sayings or groups of words that belong together however, they will be translated together. So, if you don’t know a word, you can find the translation in the lines.

Interlinear Books, a review

I chose Skatten: Herr Arnes penningar from Selma Lagerlöf. This Swedish writer received the Nobel Prize for Literature and is best known for her children’s book Nils Holgersson’s Wonderful Journey. Just to say: Interlinear Books may have a limited supply for the time being, but they work with a number of classics.

By now, I have already read a few books in Swedish without much problems. Of course I regularly come across words that I don’t know. Unless the word appears more often and seems important to be able to follow the story, I never actually look up those words anymore. A pity maybe, because that is not how I learn the correct meaning, but putting the book aside to include a dictionary would disrupt my reading experience too much.

That’s the handy thing about Interlinear Books. If I don’t know a word, I take a look at the line below and I can continue reading. My vocabulary is therefore expanding faster by reading Interlinear Books. Admittedly, in the beginning it took some time getting used to ignoring those smaller printed letters, but I got used quickly.

You can download the books, print them, read them on your smartphone or order them as a paperback. There’s an option for everyone. I had the book on my smartphone and could read a piece everywhere and whenever I wanted.

Read interlinear

Curious about this interlinear reading? The books cost between $ 12.99 and $ 29.99. You can pay with paypal and you will receive the download link in your mailbox immediately after receiving the payment. You can also order some books as a paperback. These will then be delivered to your home.

You can also read books from other languages ​​in this way. They currently have books in French, Greek, German, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and of course in Swedish. They regularly expand their offer, so the message is to visit their website occasionally.

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Interlinear Books

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Swedish (pop) music

Posted in Something Swedish by

You sometimes hear that Stockholm is like Hollywood for music. Music is one of the most important export products in Sweden. Of course we immediately think of ABBA as world famous Swedish pop music. But also Roxette, Europe, Neneh Cherry, Emilia, The Cardigans, Ace of Base, Alcazar, Robyn and Avici … all come from Sweden. More recently we can add Zara Larsson, Lykke Li, First Aid Kit and Mohombi. Moreover, there are some top producers in Sweden such as Max Martin who are also responsible for the sound of many international stars. And Spotify was a startup in Stockholm.

Eurovision Song Contest

Sweden has already won the Eurovision Song Contest 6 times. The first time with ABBA in 1974, the (for the time being) last time with Måns Zelmerlöw in 2015. Even when they didn’t win, they have consistently been in the top 10 in recent years.

The national preselections, Melodifestivalen, are even more popular in Sweden than the Eurovision itself. Popular participants were, for example, Eric Saade, Sanna Nielsen, Lena Philipsson, etc.

Why is it that Swedish pop music is so popular?

In the 1940s people were encouraged to attend music education by facilitating this for free. In the first instance this was intended as a counter-movement against all “modern music”. Stimulating music remained important for the Swedish government.

I also believe that the long, cold and dark winters have something to do with it. Playing music is an excellent remedy to prevent boredom or to make it cozy. In the summer there is midsummer where singing and music are indispensable. Also the fact that the Swedes speak English very well and soon started singing in English, made them successful worldwide.

What do you think? Why is it that Swedish pop music is so popular? Who is your favorite Swedish artist?

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Swedish pop music

Swedish for travellers

Posted in Learn Swedish by

Are you planning a vacation to Sweden? Great idea! Maybe you want to speak a few words of Swedish by then? Perfect! It will add to your experience and the Swedes will love you for trying. The words / phrases below are very useful for travellers or tourists who want to know some basic Swedish words and phrases.

No time to learn Swedish? Don’t worry! Almost everyone in Sweden masters the English language. Still, it’s kinda cool to speak some Swedish, right?

Really want to dig in? This is how I learned Swedish in just 3 months time!

Swedish for travellers

EnglishZweedsPronounciation
HalloHej 
ByeHej dåHej do
Thank youTack 
PleaseVarsågod vaarsogood
SorryFörlåtFeurlo-t
Excuse meUrsäktaUursjekta
YesJa 
NoNej 
Good morningGod morgon Goomorron
Good nightGod kvällGoo kvel
(Franse ‘g’)
No entryEj tillgång ej tielgong
BeerÖleul
WaterVatten 
CheersSkålskool
My name is…Jag heter…Ja hèter
What’s your name?Vad heter du?Va hèter du
I don’t speak SwedishJag talar inte svenskaJa taalar inte svenska
I don’t understand.Jag förstår dig inte.Ja feurstôr dij inte
Can I have the bill?Kan jag få betala? 
How much is it?Hur mycket kostar det? 
Can you make a picture of me?Skulle du kunna ta ett kort av mig? 
Where is the toilet?Var finns toaletten? 

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Swedish for travellers