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Scandinavian/Nordic Language Resources

 Language Learning Forum : Skandinavisk & Nordisk Post Reply
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Senior Member
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Speaks: Danish*, English
Studies: German, French

 Message 25 of 107
22 February 2010 at 6:53pm | IP Logged 
OlafP wrote:
has more Swedish podcasts and radio streams than anyone should need.
provides more than 4h of recordings in Swedish dialects along with transcriptions.

"Grund- und Aufbauwortschatz Schwedisch: 9000 Wörter zu mehr als 100 Themen"
by Lothar Adelt, Buske Verlag 2009, ISBN 978-3875485332
is a book with, as the name says, a vocabulary of about 9000 Swedisch words for German speakers. There are plenty of examples in the book, warnings about false friends and pointers to other sections if a word has more than one meaning. The book comes with a CD ROM that contains all the content in PDF format. The pointers are clickable hyperlinks in the PDF version.

I'd like to say something about the Assimil course "Schwedisch ohne Mühe". I don't know whether it is representative for the majority of Assimil courses, and I can compare it only to "Le Russe", which already is the reviewed and improved version of the Russian course that got torn apart by everyone who bought it. Maybe with the Swedish and the Russian courses I was just (un)lucky to pick two extreme examples of the product line. The Swedish course is definitely different than the rest, considering the fact that it seems to come in two volumes, but that's not true. The first "volume" contains the book with all 100 lessons and only recordings of the first 50 lessons. They still come on 4 CDs, so that every CD has a recording time of about 25min. You have to buy the second "volume" with 4 more CDs that contain the other 50 lessons. Both "volumes" sell for the price of a full course. As a result, the Swedish course costs twice as much as any other. It still is worth the money, because it is 4 times as good as the Russian one.

The course introduces vocabulary at rapid pace. It's hard to believe, but I counted the new words before I started several lessons, and you get about 35 to 45 new words in each of them. This would sum up to about 4000 words. The lesson texts are about three times as long as the ones in the Russian course, which has an index at the end, whereas the Swedish one has none. I calculated the vocabulary of the Russian course based on this index to about 1700 words, which again indicates that the Swedish course should get you well beyond the 3000 mark. Swedish is an easy language to learn for German speakers, but due to the vocabulary input you need some stamina to finish one lesson per day. I always write down every lesson, only listening to the recording, in order to remember all vocabulary. If you want to finish one lesson per day, you have to invest about 1h daily, otherwise you won't digest everything.

The texts are written by someone who knows how to write. I'm halfway through the book and still have to find one text that I would call bad. In the Russian course I'm beyond lesson 50, even though I started 3 weeks later, and still have to find one text that I would call good. The texts in the Swedish version are intelligent and funny, the ones in the Russion course are stupid and embarrassing.

With half of the lessons under the belt, I must have aquired almost 2000 words within 6 weeks, if my calculation is correct. This allows me to understand about 80% of the lyrics in songs by Nordman without the need to look them up on the net. I leave it to the judgement of the reader whether this is another point for Assimil or one against Nordman.

Up to lesson 30 the book seems to be free of errors, but after that it hits you hard. There are obvious grammar mistakes in the exercises, once the lesson text contains a different word that what you hear in the recording, in one lesson there are several lines missing in the translation. This is annoying, but when the errors set in you know the language already well enough to spot them. The course hasn't been revised since the 80s (the Soviet Union still exists). Let's hope they won't correct the errors, because then the course may end up like the Russian one. The danger is real, since you can find complaints by whining wimps at amazon along the lines of: "This is too hard for me!!! Meeeeh!!!"

To cut a long story short, "Schwedisch ohne Mühe" is probably the best you can get if you know German at least reasonably well. I also bought a Swedish grammar of about 120 pages, and these two things should be sufficient to get a firm foundation.

Thank you for your detailed reply. Let's hope Assimil will only make changes for the better.

Can you recommend the Swedish grammar you have bought and if so, post the title?
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 Message 26 of 107
23 February 2010 at 12:56am | IP Logged 
I can let you know which book I use, but I cannot recommend it -- not because I think it's bad, but because I don't have the knowledge to say whether it covers all topics:

"Kompaktgammatik Schwedisch" by Maria Bronner
Ernst Klett Sprachen GmbH, 1986, ISBN 3-12-527940-2

It probably doesn't offer more than any other concise grammar book would. There is not a lot of grammar in Swedish anyway, so what you want is basically an overview over all topics, a list of irregular plural forms of nouns, some information on verbs with past and participle forms and how they are used, passive voice, imperative and so on.

The point that I raised in the thread "Betoning av en preposition" is treated on one page in the section "Zusammengesetzte Verben" (compound verbs), but I wouldn't have recognised it without the hints given in the thread. Jeff mentioned that there are several hundred of these "partikel-verb" forms. The book lists only something like thirty, i.e. it definitely is not complete. The book is useful but nothing special, so it probably wouldn't qualify for a reference list.

One more thing: the one hour of daily work that you need for the Assimil Swedish course is probably the lower limit. I invest one hour every evening, but I listen to the recordings on the bus and sometimes even during my lunch break, so this would add another 30 to 60min every day. Someone who doesn't know any Germanic language and uses the original French course would probably not be able to finish one lesson every day with one hour of investment, because the amount of vocabulary requires frequent repetition of the previous lessons.

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mindofthelinguist.woRegistered users can see my Skype Name
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Speaks: Norwegian*, English, Dutch, French
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 Message 27 of 107
23 February 2010 at 1:02am | IP Logged 
tractor wrote:
taKen wrote:
tractor wrote:

By the way, Greenlandic, Sami and Finnish are not really "Scandinavian" or "Nordic" languages because they belong to different language families.

The Sami are just as much a native people in Scandinavia as the Norwegians or the Swedes. Due to all the interaction between Finland and Sweden (Finland used to be a part of Sweden), Finland is included in the group of Scandinavian countries, and rightly so.

I just wanted to point out that Greenlandic, Sami and Finnish don't belong to the Germanic language family nor to its subgroup Scandinavian/North Germanic. Would you say that Norwegian is a Sami language because it is spoken in Sápmi and is the native language of many Samis?

No, would you?
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 Message 28 of 107
23 February 2010 at 1:21am | IP Logged 
OlafP wrote:
The point that I raised in the thread "Betoning av en preposition" is treated on one page in the section "Zusammengesetzte Verben" (compound verbs), but I wouldn't have recognised it without the hints given in the thread. Jeff mentioned that there are several hundred of these "partikel-verb" forms. The book lists only something like thirty, i.e. it definitely is not complete. The book is useful but nothing special, so it probably wouldn't qualify for a reference list.

I just found a dissertation about this (in Swedish): ktorsavhandling.pdf

"The material consists of 884 different phrasal verbs, represented by 5 197 instances."

504 basic verbs are listed (starting on page 294) with up to four prepositions, hence the differing figures. Some combinations aren't found in the author's research material, but are common in the everyday language.
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 Message 29 of 107
25 February 2010 at 9:01am | IP Logged 
Free course of Icelandic online:

Edited by Ana_Ca on 01 March 2010 at 2:22am

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Senior Member
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Speaks: German*, EnglishC1, Danish
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 Message 30 of 107
27 February 2010 at 7:50pm | IP Logged 
Det er en rigtig god idé at sammle alle lærematerialer for nordiske sprog på et plads og jeg vil gerne bidrage mine ”favourite links”. Jeg begynde allerede i sommeren 2007 med at lære mig dansk på autodidaktiske vej og i mellemtiden er jeg en lidt viderkom lærer af det danske sprog.

So here are my favourite links, in my opinion are all recommendable - hope you enjoy them, although they are in Danish only, but all are free: Fjernundervisning i dansk som andetsprog.
Here you can find lots of grammar topics and different exercises as well. I like especially the “diktater”.

There's also a frequency verb list: Hvilke verber bruges mest på dansk?
The first eleven pages list the Danish verbs according to their frequency, the second eleven are the same in alfabetical order.[dansg]
A revelation for Danish pronounciation and prosody, countless examples and exercises to train “dansk udtale”. Although the site is a bit unclearly, one can find its way through it and will be rewarded with for exampel a short film demonstrating the pronounciation of the soft d:
Klick above the table at Film: made male
There’s also a list with 400 Danish verbs in all tenses – all with downloadable mp3-files and, and, and … find out yourself. mp3 lydbøger - audiobooks for free
Danish Tongue Twisters Tungebrækkere / Spiritusprøve
Nu 461 gamle danske sange med tekst og melodi, sidst opdateret fredag den 29. januar 2010. Old Danish songs with text and melody. mark/choose_language/
Especially after I had worked through textbooks, I was very glad to find this wonderful homepage. Everything one could want to know about Danmark and all with mp3-files! And the pdf’s are in several languages, for exampel in English or German. So I just took the Danish and German version of the book plus the Danish audio and I had a great ressource for studying – all free, in excellent quality and with at least for me an enjoyable content. I used it for shadowing … and at that time I started to think in Danish. /danmark_til_daglig.htm
Here you can find everday dialogs with videos. essourcer/2007/historien_bag_danmark/statognation/statognati on.html
This is about danish history, also with videos. Danish TV
Kultur og film i lange baner, my favourite tv-channel     
Du kan hente 'Vold og Magt' til og med d. 20. april 2010.
Here can you get an audiobook for free, but it’s a crime-story and not everyone likes this genre.

My latest startling discovery, the Danish radio, especially P1, the ”tankevækkende radio” – isn’t that a really great name for a radio channel? I deeply love it. P1 tankevækkende radio
A five minute story from Monday to Friday about a Danish topic. I find every story interesting and the more often I listen, the more I understand.
The weekly column ”Kanten” - the side – is right now my weekly studymaterial, because it comes with a transcript ... I download the mp3-file (5 to 7 minutes) to my portable player and listen to it for one week. I also print the transcript (2 pages) and look up the unknown words. It’s authentic stuff og jeg elsker det ... but columns are not everyone’s taste, in fact I don’t read them in my native tongue.

The list got longer than I thought and I'd be glad if one of these links can enhance your Danish studies.

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 Message 31 of 107
27 February 2010 at 9:03pm | IP Logged 
These are excellent resources for Danish glossa.passion!!! I will add some of them to my favourites. So far now I have three good textbooks here at home to prepare my coming visit to Kopenhagen, but it's helpful to have some additional internet resources.

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Studies: Thai, Polish, Afrikaans, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Spanish, Swedish

 Message 32 of 107
02 March 2010 at 6:40pm | IP Logged 
For Norwegian, I found which has recordings of people from different regions of Norway speaking local dialects.

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