Suddenly Sweden.

MacKensie, you spent most of your adult life going nuts about Asia- what’s with this Swedish stuff?

Well, I have tons of interests, but when you go to school, and make decisions about your life, you’ve got to pick and choose. I love the cultures of Asia, and the Middle East, and North Africa, and East Africa, and Eastern Europe, and…. you get the idea.  History and culture is just all-around fun. If I was extravagantly rich I’d pursue several degrees- in very different topics. I’m definitely not a one-line of study gal.  So, in my mind, this isn’t that weird at all.

Regardless of past focuses, it’s easy to find reasons to want to learn more about Sweden. I present to you a preliminary list:

    • Vikings
    • Reindeer
    • Aurora Borealis
    • Snow!  I like cool climates but have somehow ended up tethered to the hot and humid regions the past few years. Sweden even has the Ice Hotel!
    • Pippi Longstocking
    • This series of photos…
    •  the Positivity Blog, which I have been following for a few years now.
    • Ikea… The store is so great that a local business started this year that is based solely on driving to the closest Ikea in Houston, TX, and bringing Ikea furnishings into the arms of New Orleanians.

Language Stats: Made it to Lesson 10 on Babbel’s “Beginners Course 1”. According to their stats I have learned 78 new phrases (this includes one-word phrases like ‘hello’). I’m still enjoying their format, especially the ability to review on my iphone during my lunch break.

I found an “easy reading” news site, 8Sidor, which will be a great starting point for Swedish reading.  I find there are enough words in Swedish that resemble English or French words that I can piece together the basic thread of an article already. Once I start moving into more reading I will use my trusty Lingro tool, to lookup new words and create study lists from the articles.

(If you haven’t tried Lingro, please do! copy in to the address bar on and choose Swedish to English in the drop-down menu. Now you will get the page back. Click on any word and you’ll see a dictionary translation!)

Sweden in the News:

Swedes are working historically high hours— 26 hours a week. WTF?

Sweden’s official Twitter account lets locals represent the country– hilarity ensues.

All right, that sums up this week in my Swedish personal challenge. Tack!