Lingon (or blueberry?) flowers - how Swedish!

Yesterday in Swedish class we learned about some of the hardest Swedish sounds to make – sj and tj. These are sounds that a lot of people have trouble with, because they (especially sj) don’t exist in a lot of languages. The analogy we had in class was about trains. ‘Tj’ is the sound of a little train giving little short puffs. ‘Sj’ is the sound of the a big train giving great big puffs. WTF?

It was actually fun to try them both out, we all laughed a lot and got some good coaching from our teacher.  I can hear the difference between the sounds and can make the ‘tj’ sound plausibly, but ‘sj’ is still a bit hard and I don’t always know if I am doing it right.  The big test is whether you can do the Swedish tongue twister:

sju sjösjuka sjömän sköttes av sju sköna sjuksköterskor

This means: “Seven seasick seamen were cared for by seven beautiful nurses”.  You can here it here.   I take spinning and other fitness classes in Swedish, and counting back from 8 is pretty universal.  How can anyone yell the word ‘sju’ (seven) when it is really a whipser? They manage.

In other Svenska news,  I passed my Swedish exam and am now in ‘D’ level Swedish.  I did well on the written part and need to work on the speaking a bit more.

I think  I can I think I can… sj-sj-sj-sj-sj.


  1. Yay for swedish exam results!
    I hope that June 1st you have a great slutday – happy last day of classes

  2. congrats on your exam!

    That tongue-twister is crazy – Swedish pronunciation is bizarre!

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