August 8th, 2007

black dog


My brother arrived yesterday and after we picked him up, brought him home, fed him, and got things settled, Karin decided it would be the ideal time to start his Swedish lessons. She climbed into his lap in the big chair with her Barnens engelska ordbok A-Z (Children's English Wordbook) and proceeded to go through the words with him, one by one, laughing and grimacing at his pronunciations.

The books is divided into chapters by letters and consists of page after page of pictures with the English word under it and the Swedish translation written beneath that. There are about 800 words in all, though since the book is British in origin some of them are unfamiliar to my kids. After laboriously plowing through the A's and the B's, while Anders, Martin and I laughed from the sofa on the other side of the room, I suggested that maybe she should do a couple of letters a night instead of the whole book at once. She agreed, and then gave him a quiz on the words they had done so far, telling him at one point that he sounded like he was speaking Danish.

Afterwards, he sat and flipped through the book with her, trying out words here and there, but he stopped rather abruptly when he came to the T's and holding up the book to point at a picture, asked me, "Okay, I get that ta means to take but WHAT THE HECK IS HE TAKING IN THIS PICTURE??"

I peered at the illustration and then answered, "It's a kanelbulle, a Swedish cinnamon bun."

"Uh huh," he said doubtfully. "I think I'd be more confident about that if the picture in front of it was something else. As it is, I think he ought to be using a baggie."