Asides

Publishing for Immigrants

Sweden has a whole publishing industry servicing adult learners of Swedish language. Because when you’re just learning a language as an adult — or even a teenager — you really don’t want “See Spot Run! Run, Spot, Run!” you want something that will stimulate your brain in content as well as language learning. Otherwise it’s a total chore.

Every library (certainly in Stockholm) has a lättläst section. I’m currently reading the lättläst version of Let The Right One In (yes, the book that the movie was based on. It is set in a very nearby suburb that I travel through on the Tunnelbana every day).

And then there’s also 8sidor.se – grownup news, but with limited vocabulary and simple grammar. I’ve no idea whether the UK has anything like this. Certainly a business opportunity for someone if not.
Continue reading Publishing for Immigrants

Touch-Typing: Broken

Typing on a Swedish keyboard has broken my touchtyping.

I used to be able to cope with the frequent swap between Windows and Mac keyboards, between desktop and iOS, and between EN-US and EN-GB. I’d swap from one to the other without even noticing the switch.

But since moving to a Swedish keyboard on my work machine (a Macbook Air), it’s all gone to pot. Not only is my touch typing (especially when I need non-alphanumerics like [~|}<) slow and unsteady on the Swedish layout, all my muscle memory on my home EN-GB Mac is stuttering.

Transport observations

TBana stops have sheltered bike parking. The surprisingly sensible & good bit: they have powered tyre pumps.

In rush hour at TCentral (Stockholm’s rail/TBana hub), subway trains are so close running that following trains are a metre or less from the one before. It’s almost a continuous single train.

The concrete of the TBana tunnels between TCentral & Östermalmtorg have taken the form of the shuttering used in construction that they appear to be lined with grey planks.

Switching to English

The best way to get two Swedes, speaking Swedish, to flip to English is to drop one word of English into their conversation. They will flip — often without noticing — almost instantly. You can then go away for 20 minutes or more and come back and they’ll still be speaking English.

I’m not sure this is A Good Thing™.