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?
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.
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.