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Sep 22

Swedish or International?

Posted on Tuesday, September 22, 2015 in Writing

I posted in Swedish about this too, because I was hoping I could get the opinions of other Swedes, but I realize that I’m not going to get that many replies, simply because there are very few Swedish people, at least on Booklikes. That’s why I’m going to ask in English too. After all, there’s no reason why English-speaking (and other) people shouldn’t have any opinions about this.

For many years now, I’ve had both a Swedish and an English/international version of my homepages. I want that, because I’m an enthusiastic supporter of people’s own languages, in this case my language Swedish. (I also love English, but I’m guessing my support isn’t really needed for that).

When it comes to my fan fiction page, I have chosen to use the exact same setup on the Swedish one as the international one. That is, each fandom has a page in Swedish, where you can also see what the Swedish name of the fandom is. This may be too much info, but Swedes mixing in English words in their Swedish and not taking the trouble to check what the corresponding word/title/name etc in Swedish is can really drive me up the wall.

On my fan fiction page I have very much fewer Swedish and/or Nordic fandom where I have actually written my fanfic/s in Swedish, instead of in English. So one possibility is to make the Swedish homepage much smaller/less extensive, where the fics are only in Swedish. Though I’m guessing that most people would never even visit there.

So my question is: which is most reasonable? Having a homepage of a similar size, where I link directly to the English fanfics most of the time, or a much smaller one where there are only Swedish/Nordic fandoms and just one link to the index page of the international page?

Aug 18

Twelve skeletons found beneath Swedish castle

Posted on Tuesday, August 18, 2015 in Links

The bodies of three children and nine men were dug up from the grounds of Sweden’s Kalmar Castle earlier this year and tests suggest the bones are up to 500 years old, archaeologists have revealed.

Read more here.

Jul 16

Murder, mystery, Swedish forests: have you been watching Jordskott?

Posted on Thursday, July 16, 2015 in Fandomlinks

The fairytale-noir monster mash-up is an eco-friendly journey into a heart of darkness where parental anguish is a constant.

Read more here. You can also read a little more about the series here and here.

Apr 20

Maria Lang – Crimes of Passion

Posted on Monday, April 20, 2015 in Books, Mystery/Cop, Reviews

A while back I posted a review of Josephine Tey’s novels. It occurred to me that Swedish mystery author Maria Lang (Dagmar Lange), is in some ways similar to this author. Unfortunately, I can’t offer you a page with freebies, but there are two e-book titles available in English, on Amazon.co.uk and on Amazon.com.

I have read a few of her books (in Swedish) and so far I can’t say I have noticed anything political in her writing. What I do see is quite a bit of passion. Her characters are all filled with passion and jealousy. Most, if not all, seem to be motivated by love and sex.

The main characters are Puck (a young woman) who’s a scholar in literature. At the beginning of the series, she meets an attractive young man who is also a scholar, Einar Bure. He has a very good friend, Christer Wijk, who is a cop.

I love this mystery-solving trio. They work so well together. And having a background in fan fiction and slash, I can’t help thinking I could write some really cool fan fiction about them, preferably with a bit of slash. ūüėČ Something tells me the author might understand the slash, if not the concept of fan fiction – although I know there was fan fiction written early on, based on Jane Austen’s books and the Sherlock Holmes books. Apparently, Maria Lang’s mystery writing colleague Dorothy Sayers was a member of the Sherlock Holmes fandom.

From that first case, the three keep working together solving crimes. The mysteries are quite cosy, but like I said, they were at the time (1940’s and on) considered rather ‘erotic’. Don’t get your hopes up though, what was considered erotic in the 1940’s and 50’s is not what we would call the same thing. They’re a lot of fun to read for someone like me, who is interested in history. The cover art is beautiful and evokes the look of the era, if I may say so. I have seen one of the movies – looking forward to seeing the rest soon – that have recently been made from the first six books (that were recently re-published). It’s really fascinating to see all the details – architecture, cars, fashion, furniture etc. The books are never too graphic or depressing. It’s all just good old-fashioned puzzle mystery fun. Maria Lang also caused a bit of a stir, when one of her characters was gay, long before that became common in literature.

On one of my blogs I’ve already mentioned this, but once when my mum was very young and a student, she used to go to the opera all the time, escorted by an older, married male classmate. They went to all the shows and after a while they began to notice that this author was ‘stalking’ them, taking notes, always looking away, ignoring them if they caught her staring. In the end, my mum and her classmate, who, for the record, weren’t involved, ended up as a young married couple in one of the books.

Sep 10

My Swedish book collection

Posted on Wednesday, September 10, 2014 in Literature

I have decided that I will make a point of buying books in my own language (Swedish). It’s not that easy anymore. When I was a child, I was given plenty of great books on birthdays and Christmas. My mum had bought me so many books, before I could even read, so I had a head start on my Swedish book collection. These days I struggle to find good books in Swedish. The ‘toplist’ is artificially made up by the big publishers. It no longer consists of the best selling books, but the ones the publishers would like to sell best. And apparently, their criteria for publishing a book is not quality, it’s saleability.

However, I’m doing my best looking for Swedish children’s and YA books, non fiction and – naturally – fantasy, science fiction and mysteries. They’re usually more expensive than books in English, naturally enough, since the editions are much smaller. I usually can’t find books of the very highest quality either. It’s sad, but true. But I really want to have a Swedish book collection so it’s going to be worth it in the end. I also want to have smaller collections of French and German books, maybe others too. Fortunately, those aren’t usually that much more expensive than English/American books. Clearly, French and German are big enough languages to produce large enough editions of every title.

My ‘policy’ when it comes to book buying is to, as far as possible, get books in the original language, and if I can’t read the original language, the one I know best. I’ll make an exception if the Swedish translation is far less expensive than the original. Some years ago, there was this Chinese book I really wanted to read. Naturally, I can’t read any Chinese language, so I looked around for an English translation (unsurprisingly there wasn’t one in Swedish), but there wasn’t one. Fortunately, there was one in French, so I bought that.

Mar 31

Ten words not found in English (sort of)

Posted on Saturday, March 31, 2012 in Humanities

I just read this article on the Local. It was quite interesting, despite the snarky tone that I’m more used to from the Guardian’s site. Actually, I never thought about most of these words (and ‘vabba’ is relatively new). I won’t go into the pronunciation (but if you’re curious, comment and I’ll try to explain).

I’ll add ‘lagom’ – a sort of “Goldilocks” word, meaning ‘just right’. ‘Duktig’ reminds me of a word in LOTR (the book) – doughty. I’m sure they have the same base, even though doughty can’t be used very often in English-speaking countries today.

For those of you who don’t like The Local’s site, these are the words:

Orka (have the strength to, feel up to)
Harkla (clearing one’s throat)
Hinna (have time to, or ‘catch’ as in ‘I managed to catch the bus’ – in the latter case with the addition ‘med’, in this case meaning ‘to’ but normally it means something else)
Blunda (closing one’s eyes/to close one’s eyes or close your eyes!)
Mysa (snuggle/cuddle, but also enjoying oneself)
Vabba (this simply means taking a paid day off to take care of one’s sick child, it used to be an acronym then turned into a verb)
Duktig (skillful, good at etc, often used when referring to child, but also as a polite remark ‘vad duktig du √§r’ – ‘oh, you’re good’ (at something or other)
Jobbig (tiresome – actually I think that pretty much covers it, so it’s a bad example)
Gubbe/Gumma (old man/old woman, can be used as a derogatory term, but also as a term of endearment meaning little ‘old man’ or little ‘old woman’ when you use it about a child or dog etc, some people mainly use it as a colloquial term for husband/wife (“hubby” etc)

Also:

Specific words for maternal grandmother (mormor eg ‘mothermother’), maternal grandfather (morfar eg ‘motherfather’), paternal grandmother (farmor eg ‘fathermother’) and finally paternal grandfather (farfar eg ‘fatherfather’). As they point out in the article, grandchild is called barnbarn – eg ‘childchild’ as in (my) child’s child. You can also say daughter’s daughter ‘dotterdotter’, daughter’s son ‘dotterson’, son’s daughter and son’s son ‘sondotter and sonson’. It may look funny, but I think it makes sense.

Oct 28

Historic cop series

Posted on Friday, October 28, 2011 in Humanities, TV series

This week I watched the first episode of Swedish television’s new historic cop series. Yes, you read that right. It’s a historic cop series set in 1790. Hence the name which means 1790 AD. I’d read a bit about the series and to my disappointment, it was mainly negative, but actually I was quite impressed.

The episode started with a scene of carnage from one of the wars (Sweden-Russia). There’s blood everywhere and a medic is doing his best to save lives. He asks one of the officers for help (at least I guess he is one, but he could also be a messenger, in any case not an ordinary foot soldier).

A moment later they’re attacked again and hit by cannon fire. The medic finds the other guy in a pit on top of dead and dying soldiers. The injured man begs the medic to take his dead body to a certain police commissioner in Stockholm. In the end, the guy survives and the medic takes him back to Stockholm. It seems he’s tutoring the children of his employer.

A high ranking police officer is murdered and the medic is enlisted to find out who and what killed him, more or less against his will. The only reason he agrees to stay is that the police commissioner’s wife begs him to.

After an initial setback, he manages to solve the case, is given the late police officer’s old job and his new friend becomes his ‘sergeant’

Maybe I’m a bit influenced by my years of fan fiction writing (and reading), but I could detect definite slash vibes between the two main characters. LOL. On the other hand, there’s supposedly something between the medic and his employer’s wife. Platonic though.

Jun 22

√Ėstersund

Posted on Tuesday, June 22, 2010 in Humanities

The first place is √Ėstersund. The reason I’m so interested in this town is that I used to live there, for a while when I was very young. As far as I can remember now, i was very happy there. It’s a beautiful town, in a beautiful spot. The entire region is beautiful, but I’ll go into that in a later post.

It says on Wikipedia that √Ėstersund is the only town in present day Sweden to have been founded and chartered in the 18 century. I didn’t know that. What I did know was that people from the south colonised it, to tax the free farmers who lived up there and were more or less independent of any king of archbishop.

The town lies on the shore of a lake, and in the lake there’s an island where many of the town’s inhabitants live. One of Sweden’s most famous composers made his home there and the house is open for visitors today. There’s a runestone on the island, the world’s northernmost runestone.

Just like Loch Ness, Storsjön (The big lake) has a monster! In fact, at least one other lake in Sweden supposedly has one, but Storsjöodjuret is the most famous.

There’s a lot more to say about √Ėstersund, but I want to keep this short. I’ll just say that I have many fond childhood memories from √Ėstersund.

Jun 20

Swedish word 2

Posted on Sunday, June 20, 2010 in Humanities

This time the word is “mat” (n. food). It’s pronounced with a long “a”.

Jun 19

Today’s Swedish word:¬†tr√∂ja

Posted on Saturday, June 19, 2010 in Humanities

Today’s Swedish word: tr√∂ja (n. sweater, jumper, t-shirt). The “√∂” is pronounced somewhat like the vowel in “word”.”stir” etc.

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