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Learning Swedish the ESCtips way: Lesson One

It’s now a mere matter of weeks until the whole shebang kicks off in Malmö. Indeed, I’m sure some of our readers will be going to the Contest. Of course, we at ESCtips will be there, in the form of Gavster. Or, as I prefer to call him, The Arse With The Press Pass. Not that I’m bitter. Oh no. No sirree. Bastard.

Although the average Swede’s English is generally excellent, a little knowledge can only help to bring down the national and cultural barriers. For example, don’t make the mistake of calling the host town “Malmoe” – it’s pronounced “Malm-ur”, with the stress on the first syllable.

Many Euro-visitors have doubtless invested in Swedish phrasebooks to help with any linguistic conundra. However, I have personally found a quite shocking failing in all of these publications: namely, the lack of a Eurovision section.

Fortunately, Professor Scandie is on hand to help, with his sixteen-year-old BA in Scandinavian Studies. In the weeks to come, I’ll be introducing you to a whole host of useful Eurovision-related vocabulary.

Which brings us to our first phrase. Imagine the scene. In a bar, two Swedish Eurovision fanatics are talking. You know the subject is everyone’s favourite Sammarinese pixie of pop, as the words “Valentina Monetta” are remarkably similar in Swedish. You’d like to contribute to the debate, but want to avoid looking like an ignorant foreigner. What to do? Simply employ the following phrase:

“Själv tycker jag att fjolårets Social Network Song var ett mycket starkare bidrag.”

which, naturally, means:

“Personally I think last year’s Social Network Song was a much stronger entry.”

With that one simple phrase, pan-European harmony becomes much more of a reality. If you want to know how it sounds pronounced by a middle-aged Englishman, listen here:

If there’s a phrase you’d like ScandieAndy to translate for you, please let us know in the comments.

About ScandieAndy

Editor, Eurovision Historian & Scandinavian Expert.    I’m a London-based translator born a few months after ABBA won in Brighton. I’m gifted with a brain full of miscellaneous useless pieces of Eurovision information. My long-suffering wife tolerates this and many of my anti-social foibles.

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