...because you thought Sweden was Switzerland!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Asterix, på svenska

I had just borrowed some Asterix comic books from our friend Gertie, in an attempt to get back to learning Swedish. It happens to be one of my New Year's Resolutions, as a matter of fact, though I don't think it's been very obvious yet, sadly :-P. I also realized this week, while trying to talk to Margareta in Swedish (emphasis on "trying"), that the lack of practice had dulled my ability to "think in Swedish," if I was able to do that at all in the first place. I quickly realized that there was really a difference between imagining what to say, and actually saying it. It happens that sometimes I think that I am able to say something, and that the Swedish words would just smoothly roll out of my tongue. When I go about saying what I think though, the actual sounds I make are so much worse than what they sounded in my head, and I talk slower and less articulate than what I imagined myself to sound like... Unless, of course, I take a 15-second pause before responding to a simple statement, then it seems to take an awkwardly long moment just thinking of a response. I should do something about this to get my dignity back!!!

On the positive side, reading, listening, writing (i.e. passive language skills) are much easier for me, which makes Asterix a good start for my New Year's project. Also, I do think that reading books with pictures is helpful for me, and in this case, since I already know most of the Asterix stories, all I need to do is recall them and "translate" them in my head... or so I think. Actually, "all I need to do" was harder than I thought. The words in Asterix are slightly more advanced than in Pelle Svanslos, which had a straightforward story and was geared at early gradeschoolers. There are also jokes and puns in the Asterix series (those always hard in a foreign language), and multiple events happen in a page, leading to different contextual clues on what sentences may mean. Besides that, I sometimes just want to look at the pictures without reading, but perhaps that is a sign that I'm having fun :-)

If it's another good sign, I remember too that I learned a lot of words when I first read my brother's "Asterix the Gaul" in English, for example: "Gaul", "druid", "centurion", "bard", "menhir" and even "ostrogoth" (which are Goths from the East, as they explained, in contrast to "visigoths"! ;-) I'm starting to learn my Asterix vocabulary in Swedish now too:

Gauls = Galler
magic potion = trolldrycker
wild boar = vildsvin
menhir = bautasten
"cockadoodledoo!" (from the village rooster) = "kuckelikuu!"

...and my favorite...

"By Jove!" ="Vid Jupiter!"

Hmmm, with the exception of wild boar, who knows if I will ever get to use these words. Quite interesting though, don't you think? ;-)


Anonymous cheryl said...

This reminds me of the fact that I started reading Calvin and Hobbes because you were excited enough to buy one when you saw a copy during Jamie's birthday party in Megamall (we were YS-5). Yun lang, hahahaha.

How's school btw? :D

3:12 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ooh, Asterix! :)

Read your comment --- hahaha! Actually the pool they swam in was the village pool in the subdivision. And I think that "big house" by Philippine standards is different from "big house" by certain European standards, heheh!

3:19 AM

Blogger Ahoy! said...

Cheryl: Oh, I'm so influential. Bwahaha!!! :-) Anyway, if it weren't for you lending me "The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe", I would never have read the "Prince Caspian" gathering dust on our shelf then. Hmmm but speaking of Calvin and Hobbes (errr.. here it's called "Kalle och Hobbe"), there might be some Swedish vocab I can pick up in there too... and translations for "Get Rid of Slimy Girls"!

11:56 AM

Blogger Christianne said...

Hi there! I got here through Rowie's blog, kakaaliw that I found another Pinoy blogger in Sweden. Are there more of us? :D

How long have you been here? Ako, 18 months but sadly I'm too lazy to sit down and study Svenska seriously...

8:42 PM


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