The title comes from a linguistics friend of mine who always referred to the category as 'Scandihoovian'.
When I was staying in Denmark, I was exposed to the inter-Scandinavian rivalries that so entertain me now. I was socialized to believe that Swedes were drunk buffoons who descended on Copenhagen en masse in order to get smashed. I know that when I was taken on the ferry between Helsingør and Helsingborg that I could hardly keep from laughing. I had grown so used to hearing Danish that Swedish sounded strange to me.
When I started Beginning Swedish at UCLA I thought I had an advantage over other students since I was at least familiar with another Scandinavian language. Of course, I spent just as much time learning to pay attention to the differences and trying to learn a Swedish accent. When I began to take both languages, I found myself in the middle of the little intradepartmental rivalries. I still felt that Danish was where my heart was
As I grew sicker and sicker of the cruelty of US society, I began to wonder which country I should emigrate to. As the Eastern Bloc had not collapsed yet, I thought I would like Sweden better because Denmark was in NATO and could still be embroiled in US "police actions". I had also missed California's geography while I was staying on Sjælland. Denmark has no mountains!
It's certainly easier to find people to practice Swedish with than it is to find Danish-speaking people. The Swedes just have a better P.R. machine.
When I first got on the Internet in 1994, I spent time on #sweden on IRC in order to practice Swedish. Nowadays, I participate in Swede-L. It doesn't really take place in Swedish, though. I'm still interested in Swedish and Danish language exchange with people, but they have to be patient with my halting level.False Cognates in Swedish
Last modified on 10/23/2000