07 August 2009

Summertime laziness, I presume.

Since I've come out of the dark ages and use an RSS feed reader to follow the various blogs I like, I've found it easier to include more and more and more blogs and newsfeeds. The reader tracks two of Sweden's biggest newspapers for me, the Svenska Dagbladet (The Swedish Daily Blade) and Sydsvenskan (The Southern Swede). Both big newspapers, both on the newsy beat 24/7. So every time I open the feed reader, the count is over 100. 50 or 60 or more of the new, unread items are from the newspapers. And I can't deal. I end up clicking the "mark all as read" button rather than slogging my way through the headlines.

I read Swedish OK. I speak it far better than I write it, but I'd judge myself at about a 4th or 5th grade reading level, whereas my writing looks like a 2nd grader. I'm overly proud, even smug sometimes about my ability to speak it, I haven't had to say, "I don't understand" in a very long time. Conversation is noooo problem. The only way I've managed to retain the Swedish all these years (and the 18th anniversary of the day I left for Sweden was this week, damn, when did that happen?) is because I've worked hard at it. Often. The rise of teh interwebs really helped that, because even back in those dark, early days of the technology, all of the major media jumped right on board and I could look at the newspapers. Sometimes it made me sad to even see Swedish written, because I missed it a lot. And the Swedish newspapers, even the reputable ones, tend toward the tabloid end of things, much like the British press. Three inch tall screaming headlines, sensationalism at its finest. Sometimes amusing, sometimes annoying, always attention-getting.

Anyway. I'm off track. Again.

When I'm speaking Swedish, I understand it with no problem. When I'm reading it, sometimes I have to read it out loud, sounding it out, reading the same sentence 3-4 times before I get a grasp on it. For an avid reader, it is frustrating, to say the least. But this dis-inclination to read the headlines is an odd thing. I changed the language setting on both Facebook and GMail to Swedish, and I'm dealing fine with that. Of course, you're seeing the same thing all the time on both of those, your in-box for e-mail and the list of who has commented on what for Facebook. Whereas the headlines change frequently, so I'd actually have to work at that. Mmm-hmm, I'm calling that. Summer laziness.

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