Learning Swedish – My journey so far

Film Crew SwedenI’ve wanted to learn Swedish for some time now—ever since I met my Swedish wife, actually. It’s just always been too much to take on, and too daunting of a task.

Having spent some time in Sweden with my wife’s family and friends, I’ve gained a basic grasp of the language and culture. This led to the opportunity for me to have one of my screenplays translated into Swedish, and I will be directing the movie, which is set to start production later this year. If I’m going to do the best job I can, I need to be able to communicate with, and more importantly, understand, my cast and crew. I also want to be able to read the translated script and understand it as well as I understand the one in English. Yes, these are big goals, being able to comfortably use a new language in a short period of time, but it really will make me a better part of the set.

When it came to choosing a learning method, I knew right away that I wanted to go with Rosetta Stone—I needed something that was going to be effective enough that I could learn at a quick rate, and it needed to be fun enough to keep me excited. Swedish is really hard … but the shoot date is approaching quickly and I don’t have time to get frustrated and discouraged.

When I first opened up the software, the first thing I thought was how much it feels like a game – this is a promising start! At first I was a little taken aback by the use of pictures and repetition, and how different it is from the way I learned back in school. But once I got into it, I realised that it’s helping me put things together and understand how the language works, as opposed to just repeating words.

I’m now a few days into the program, and I’ve already started learning full sentences. And while I still tease my wife about how difficult her language is, I am having a lot of fun … I think I’m actually going to pull this off.

Bryan is a film director from the US, who is working on a Swedish film project. While he has a mild grasp of Swedish, he wants to give himself the best tools available to make the best film possible. Also, his wife is from Sweden and her family have gone through great effort to make him feel comfortable in their home by speaking English. He feels that it is only fair that he returns the favor. His kids are going to be raised speaking both English and Swedish, too, so he says "II might as well kill all of these birds with one stone."

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