How to Annoy a Swede (or, why I'll never learn proper Swedish part II)
Here's the scenario:
I'm at Mojo Coffee. I want to order a latte. Not just any latte, mind you, but a latte from the city of Starbucks, the Emerald City, the city where caffeine addictions begin, the coffee capital of North America. I want a "Seattle City Style Latte," as opposed to just a plain 'ol regular style latte.
So if I order entirely in Swedish, it's going to come out sounding like: "Jag skulle vilja ha en Seettle-a Ceety Style-a Lette-a," in my poor attempt to keep the Swedish melody throughout the sentence. I tried that. Once. And never again. It's just plain wrong, no matter how you look at it.
If I say, "Jag tar en Seattle City Style Latte," breaking back into my American accent when I pronounce "Seattle City Style Latte," I can guarantee the barista is going to answer me in English.
If I order in English, I'll be re-inforcing the thought that Americans aren't good at foreign languages. Or I can try pointing. Once again, guaranteed English.
While the importation of English words into the middle of a Swedish sentence helps when it comes to comphrehension, it doesn't help at all with pronunciation. I tried speaking Swedish in a course where the literature was entirely in English, and it ended up being incomprehensible to every else in the class since my "swedish" than became English words with Swedish conjuctions. The instructor finally said, "You know, you can speak English. We'll probably understand you better."
Until I find a way around this dilemma, I'm going to go back to drinking my Seettle-a Ceety Style-a Lette-a.
And as an aside, I've been here three years and I still haven't met any girls named Inga who come fram Sveden.