Learning Swedish as you read Harry Potter

Source: reddit.com/r/languagelearning

Everybody likes to take different approaches to their language learning, and besides immersion learning one technique that has proven to work (and is repeated ad nauseam by my Chinese teacher) is “interesting is the best teacher”. There is a lot of truth in this maxim, as people are far more inclined to stick with something if they find it interesting or fun, rather than straight up rote learning.

So, Reddit user abcd_z came up with an idea to create a version of the first Harry Potter book to help teach people Swedish. The method is pretty clever – the book starts out with only one Swedish word (och, meaning “and”) amongst the usual English; but with every page of the book, more and more words start appearing in the Swedish language rather than English. Gradually, more and more Swedish words are introduced, highlighted, and translated in the margin. The aim is, by the end of the book, virtually the entire page will be in Swedish. You can see the first four pages here, as an example.

The simplicity of J.K. Rowling’s writing helps keep things relatively easy, and you can just focus on the vocabulary. Pretty ingenious, really! While it won’t help much with learning grammar, the vocabulary that the reader will pick up throughout the book will definitely benefit anybody who is either currently learning Swedish, or is thinking of picking it up.

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