Swedish official main language.
Swedish is finally considered the main language in Sweden even officially. And this according to a new law, which took effect the other week. The law, a first for Sweden, also gives five other languages - Finnish, all Sami dialects, Torne Valley Finnish (Meänkieli), Romani, and Yiddish – status as official national minority languages and is supposed to ensure that the languages used by public bodies are “protected, simple, and comprehensible”. Said Lena Ekberg, head of Språkrådet (Sweden’s Language Council): The language law is an important took in work on language policy.” As Sweden has become less homogenous, the number of languages spoken by Swedish residents has increased. According to Språkrådet, close to 200 languages are spoken in Sweden today. In addition, with globalization, more English is being used in Sweden especially in the technical, medical, and economical sectors.
The complaining Swede.
The complaints keep trickling in to Allmänna Reklamationsnämnden or ARN (National Board for Consumer Complaints), and they are increasing in number. Swedes are simply not happy with a whole lot of things. Swedes complain. Mostly about banking and living. “We’ve received many complaints about Assa's locks that are easily broken,” says Director of Information at ARN, Torsten Palm. ARN received 5,626 complaints the first 6 months this year, compared to 4,920 last year. Complaints about travel and car-related issues, however, are down. Probably because Swedes travel less and buy less cars in these days of dire straits.
Loosen up with seaweed.
Tina and Peter want to do something that make people relax and feel good. The answer? Seaweed from Bjärehalvön. Seaweed has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years, it’s known for its soothing and cleansing properties. Tina Brunius and her boyfriend Peter Ferdinandsson founded Dharmazone, their joint business, with their product series called Möllevik a year and a half ago. “Seaweed is such an amazing product, and the more of it you take, the more it grows,” Tina says. They pick their seaweed themselves, at the Bjärehalvön where the sea is healthy and clean, and add ecological oils. The entire business, from the raw products to transports and boxes, is ecological. For more information: www.dharmazone.se
Swedish Salinger-book banned.
A book by Swedish author Fredrik Colting called “60 years later: Coming through the rye” will not be published in the U.S. by publishing company Nicotext as planned. It was stopped by a New York judge who gave the famous American author J.D. Salinger right when he said the book was just too similar to Salinger’s own “The Catcher in the Rye” from 1951, a cult novel. The 90-year old Salinger filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Nicotext and Colting last month, and now the book has been banned in the States. The work by Colting, 33, centers on a 76-year-old “Mr. C,” the creation of a writer named Mr. Salinger. Although the name Holden Caulfield does not appear in the book, Mr. C is clearly Holden, one of the best-known adolescent figures in American fiction, aged 60 years. “I am pretty blown away by the judge’s decision,” Mr. Colting said after the ruling. “Call me an ignorant Swede, but the last thing I thought possible in the U.S. was that you banned books. The book was written under Colting’s pen name J.D. California, has been published in Britain and will be published in Sweden in English. A Swedish version will come out next year.
Apartment for sale!
Do you happen to have an extra five million SEK or so in your piggybank? Then why not purchase a “first class apartment with a unique view” in Smögen? With the ocean facing three ways, and the beach around the corner, the location couldn’t be any better. Ten years after the nightclub “Smögenbaden” burnt down, the remains have turned into the region Bohuslän’s most luxurious apartments. They are furnished with wooden floors, and exclusive kitchens. The smallest apartment (64 square meters) is on sale for 2.9 million SEK ($386,240) and the biggest apartments (140 square meters) will cost around 5.9 million SEK ($759,606). In spite of the prices (and the financial climate) most of the apartments are already sold. “It’s been great!” says Louise Eklund at ALM Equity, who is behind the project. “The location means a lot, of course.” Indeed it does.
Adopt a word!
Dagens Nyheter recently presented a novel and interesting campaign called Adopt-a-word. Local inventions, dialectal hits and words that have fallen into the valley of forgetfulness were rediscovered by readers all over Sweden and thus, hopefully, given a second chance. What a long and compelling list that made! Here are a few of our own favorites. When was the last time you used one of them? "Annorstädes" (elsewhere), "allom givet" (it is not everybody’s lot), "brandgul" (a Swedish version of the word ‘orange’), "ehuru" (although), "eljest" (otherwise), "hugskott" (passing fancy), "oförhappandes" (accidentally), and finally, "tvivelsutan" (without a doubt). Let’s bring them back into our daily speech!
Too hot, SJ!
Sweden is currently suffering (that may not be the right word) a heat wave, and with degrees around 30 ºC (86 ºF) the ventilation system at SJ (Statens Järnvägar or Swedish State Railways) simply cannot keep up. Meanwhile the trains are crowded with people going away on vacation. “We’re sorry,” says Ulf Wallin, responsible for press and information at SJ. “Bring along a lot of water and a newspaper with which to fan yourself.” The X-2000 trains are equipped with air conditioners, but unfortunately not the regular Intercity trains. There the only solution is to open the windows. When asked if it was important to have cool and comfortable trains in summertime, 87% of Expressen’s readers said “yes” while 13% said “no, it’s so rarely hot in Sweden anyway”.