Yes, you noticed. I usually start with ‘Buondì’.
But we were driving back from my in-laws’ place on the coast this morning.
And I’ve spent the entire afternoon doing this.
So I’m only getting around to writing something now, at ‘aperitivo’ time.
But no matter – as we’ve been away, there’s nothing cold in the fridge in any case…
So, over the holidays I started my first real Swedish book.
It’s called ‘Nästan död man’ and is by Åke Edwardson.
Yes, THE Åke Edwardson. I knew you’d be impressed.
Though until I looked up the title in Google’s Swedish-English dictionary a few seconds ago, I thought it meant ‘The Next Dead Man’.
It doesn’t, apparently.
It’s ‘Nearly Dead Man’.
Which just goes to show that it’s probably too hard for me.
Not that that’s any sort of surprise, as I plucked it from my Swedish mother-in-law’s bookshelf in an idle moment.
I’ve read eight pages so far, and understood mabe four of them.
Dialogue is easy enough:
“What.. what is it?” asked the man.
“Are you Roger Edwards?” asked the detective.
You get the idea. Weird to have a suspect in a Swedish crime thriller with an English name, though.
Perhaps ALL the bad guys in Swedish novels have English names? Eva, do please write and tell us…
Description, on the other hand – of places, people and things – is much more complex. A real pig, in fact.
Please, I don’t want to know what the weather’s like, or whether the sun is rising, or what colour the leaves are.
Let’s just get on to the shooting bit, or the sex. Something with a bit of action!
I dread the pages with almost no dialogue. They’re just dense blocks of text, enough to make me drop the book as if it were hot.
I feel like being a little kid again, skipping the pages with no pictures.
Experience has taught me that the trick with ‘authentic’ texts is not to take them too seriously, especially at the beginning.
Just skip the stuff that’s too hard. Then, once you start figuring out who’s who, it gets easier to guess what’s going on.
Roger, for example, is the owner of a car that was found abandoned, and so a suspect in the murder.
Though I’m vague about whether there actually WAS a murder, because that part was all description…
Why don’t I choose something a little easier? Something designed for learners.
I’m an A2 (pre-intermediate) after all.
What am I doing furrowing my brows over a thriller written for native speakers?
Ah! That’s the point.
There just isn’t much for learners of Swedish, it seems.
We’re a select few, so no one seems to publish simplified texts for us to learn from.
Poor us, but lucky you!
Because there’s plenty out there for learners of Italian.
Including our own materials, which (by no coincidence at all) happen to be on sale right at this very moment.
What I was working on this afternoon is the ‘Catalogue’ page for the new online shop.
And though I say it myself but shouldn’t, it’s pretty darn good.
Scroll down slowly from the top and you’ll see all the different types of materials we’ve produced over the years:
Easy reader multi-packs
Easy readers ‘Day in the life of’ series
Easy readers ‘Classic Italian Movies’ series
Italian/English parallel texts
To help you find what’s right for you, in each category the ebooks are listed in level order.
If you know your level, you should be able to pick out something that’s just right for where you’re currently at with your Italian.
Unlike me and my almost dead Swedish Roger, you can be fairly sure you’ll be working on material that will help, rather than hinder.
But hey, why not save us all some trouble and make ABSOLUTELY SURE?
Each of the titles in the catalogue has a free sample chapter.
It’s like being in a bookshop – open it up and read a few pages to see if you like it.
Click on the title of anything that takes your fancy from the ‘Catalogue’ page.
That’ll take you to the product page for that book.
There, your eagle eyes will spy the free sample chapter download link.
Click that, and a .pdf file will wing its way from Texas, where our server lives, to wherever you are in the world.
That is to say, the sample chapter will download to your computer, tablet or smartphone.
Find it on your device (try the ‘Downloads’ file…)
Open it up and take a look…
Too easy? Too hard? Too boring? Too exciting?
Put it back on the shelf and try another.
Back to the catalogue page and click on something that might be more suitable.
Look for the free sample chapter download link.
And repeat, at no cost and no risk, until you’ve found something to study that’s just right.
When that happens, think of me and my Almost Dead Man…
I’ve read nine pages, there are five hundred to go.
January Sale Reminder
Don’t forget. you can get 20% off everything listed on the catalogue page by applying the coupon code below when you get to
the cart page (so AFTER you’ve selected what you want and ‘added’ it to your cart).
Use it in either location and your cart total will be reduced by twenty percent.
N.B. It’s not the item price that changes, it’s the cart total – you have to scroll down to see the reduction.
So, I’m off to make the kids some dinner. Here’s the coupon code again:
And here are the shop links: