Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A visitor!

I'm so happy and excited!

My mom is coming to visit me...this Saturday!  Actually, her brother (my uncle) and his wife (my aunt) are coming along with her, but they will only stay in Sweden for a couple of days as they'll be heading further into Europe.  So I get to see several family members!  I'm just so excited!

The thing that excites me most about it is just the fact that finally some people near and dear to me from home (my original home) are finally going to see with their own eyes my "new" life here in Sweden (can you really call it new after you've been living somewhere for nearly 2 years?  The newness has faded a bit - although, when you compare it to living your first 20-odd years in your home country, it still could possibly count as pretty new). But I digress.

They will be landing in Stockholm bright and early and I just know they'll be tired, but they will most likely just have to suffer through a day to get their body clocks on time.  It'll be nice to meet them in Stockholm as the whole week will start off as a vacation kind of for me, too, in the pretty east coast city.  I'm excited to do some more touristy things there, as the past times I've been there have mainly been to visit friends in the area, so we didn't exactly go on boat canal tours and the like.  I have seen some of the city, but I would love to see more.  Then we will stop by in the Tibro area in the beginning of next week, and we'll end up in Gothenburg area for the last few days of her visit.

So the clock is ticking!  Tomorrow J and I leave for the Skövde/Tibro area, as he has a meeting in Skövde in the afternoon.  I've made a date with my friend M to hang out while he does is work stuff.  It'll be nice to see her!  We never just get hang out time anymore.  If we see each other, it's generally for some event or party or other where it can't really be just the two of us getting some good time in together.

Then we'll be sleeping over at J's parents' house in Tibro, as on Friday I'll be driving to Stockholm, and his parents have graciously offered for me to use their car instead for the trip.  I am very grateful for this, as our little car just wouldn't fit 4 people with several bags of over-the-sea luggage (I will be picking up my mom and aunt and uncle from the airport in Stockholm).  Why do I need to leave on Friday?  Well their flight gets in at 7:35am on Saturday and there is just no way I'm getting up at 1am to drive there on Friday night/Saturday morning!  So I'll be staying the night with a couple of friends in Stockholm that J and I rarely get to see.

Hopefully sometime in the near future I will have great new photo material to be posting on this blog.  I know I've had a serious lack of pictures, but I just haven't really had the chance to be taking photos, and running up and down stairs while chucking people's mail in their doors isn't exactly the opportune time to be taking some shots.  I'm hoping my mom's visit will provide enough pictures for several posts!

I'm hoping to persuade my family members to go up into the Skyview on Globen in Stockholm.  The views are supposed to be spectacular.

Would any of you go?  Or have any of you?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Words in Swedish

Yes yes I know I know I've been fairly silent the past couple of weeks.  I attribute that to being quite busy working and being busy socially and so forth on the weekends.  A little over a week ago I was in Skövde for my friend M's birthday party and spent the night over at her and her husband's place.  J didn't tag along as he was sick.  This past weekend was filled with shopping and visiting J's sister for her birthday (Happy Birthday today, C!).  This coming weekend I have a good friend from Skövde coming to visit, W.  So she'll be hanging with us this weekend.  Then next weekend and the following week I will be completely busy, but that is yet a secret to be revealed as to why!

I get to work all this week and all next week.  It was lovely to find that out on Friday.  With my current job I usually get to find out the day before if they need me to work.  So it's nice to know what I'm up to for 2 weeks!  Another fun fact - I just got a call from J's company (I'm still listed on their roster as an hourly paid employee, so they give me odds and ends here and there).  Apparently they want me to help out/look into recruiting employees from the US again (remember, I did that back in the first half of 2011 for them).  So thaaat will be interesting, he was wanting to book a meeting but as you can see, I'm pretty fully packed.  We'll see what happens.  That's a quick nutshell of what's been going on!

I actually wanted a theme with my next post, but thought I'd start off catching up on what's been consuming my life lately.  I have, however, been compiling a little list of Swedish words that I think express certain concepts much better than in English.  Some of the words, actually, simply do not exist in English.  I find myself popping Swedish words into my conversations with J (although we do speak Swedish much more often now, if it's just what comes naturally.  Sometimes I'm so stuck into Swedish mode it's easier for me to just prattle along in it rather than switching modes to English).  But what I'm getting at here is sometimes I want to express something, and I actually find that a Swedish word covers it much better than any English equivalent.  So here's my list:

1.  Hinner (conjugated verb), att hinna (infinite form) - loosely translated it would mean "to manage in time".  You would say "Vi hinner inte" or "We don't have enough time" or "We won't manage" (in regards to time).  I think it's such a succinct way of saying something that we have to put into several words.

2. Orkar , att orka - my loose translation is "to muster", but who ever says "I can't muster the energy for this".  No one really uses that word in English anymore, not in daily use.  But "orka" is used all the time in Swedish.  I find myself using it quite often when English feels lacking. "Jag orkar inte!"  meaning "I can't muster the energy!".  They also use it when talking about being pretty full.  If you think you can't cram down that last piece of cake, then you "orkar inte".

3. Duger, att duga - to be good enough.  I think it's just nice that they have a single verb for something we need to create a phrase for.  "Det duger att du har fått ett G för att fortsätta på den nästa nivån".  "It's good enough that you get Pass in order to continue to the next level".

4. Kvittar, att kvitta - loosely translated it basically means "makes no difference".  If something "kvittar", then it makes no difference, or doesn't matter.  "Det kvittar vem som vinner" "It makes no difference who wins".  Again I find it efficient to have a single verb for an entire phrase in my own langauge.

5. Gäller, att gälla - to apply to something, when something applies, pertaining to, concerning.  This one is a bit tough, but yet again a single word for something more complicated in English.  On parking signs, for example, there may be times where you have to pay a fee to park there, and the sign will say "Gäller vardagar" or "Applies weekdays".  That seems simple and directly translatable.  But the verb is also used in other situations, such as "När det gäller barn, så måste man vara tålmodig" or "Concerning children, you need to be patient".  Or "Det gäller livet" "It's a matter of life and death".  It's a word I rather like in the Swedish language.

6.  Trivs, att trivas - directly translated it means "to thrive".  But no one says that either, not in the way that Swedes use it.  "Trivs du på ditt nya jobb?"  Directly translated "Do you thrive at your new job?"  But what they really mean is if you're happy and you really enjoy and feel at home in your new job.  People asked me many times when I first moved to Sweden "Trivs du här i Sverige?" or "Do you thrive here in Sweden?"  meaning that they wondered if I like it here and am doing well.

I suppose the words that I find in Swedish as "better done" would all be verbs.  It's succinctly putting into one word a whole meaning that we, in English, need to use entire phrases for.  Another word I find interesting is the verb "brukar" which in English is translated as "usually".  In Swedish, brukar is a verb, or a help verb.  We say in English "I usually wash the dishes after dinner".  In Swedish it's exactly the same, except it's a verb and not an adverb.  My dorky language-loving self finds that fascinating.

One last thing regarding my opinion of Swedes being more efficient at saying what they mean in less words, would be a commercial I heard on the radio the other day.  Some really loud, annoying sound was the beginning of the commercial, and then they say "Förlåt, vi ville inte skrika sönder din radio"  which translated would be "Sorry, we didn't want to break your radio by screaming" or at least that is the best translation I can do.  If I translated the words directly, it would be "Sorry, we did not want to scream broken your radio".  I think their way of putting the words together more efficiently gets the meaning across that they didn't mean to break your radio by screaming so loudly.

Maybe it's just me that finds the differences between languages so fascinating, but this is a blog about living in Sweden after all, and I thought I would put a bit of Swedish theme back into it!