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Lesson Transcript

Engla: Hej allihopa! I’m Engla.
Gabriella: Hi everyone, I’m Gabriella. Welcome back to SwedishPod101.com. This is Lower Beginner, Season 1, Lesson 8 - Did You Like That Swedish Movie? In this lesson, you’ll learn how to keep a conversation going.
Engla: Yes, and the conversation takes place at the local supermarket.
Gabriella: The conversation is between Kerstin and her acquaintance Hanna, and they're using informal Swedish because they know each other.
Kerstin: Hej Hanna!
Hanna: Hej.
Kerstin: Hur är det med dig?
Hanna: Det är bara bra.
Kerstin: Har du gjort något roligt på sistone?
Hanna: Ja, igår var jag och min man på bio.
Kerstin: Jaha! Hur var det?
Hanna: Det var trevligt.
-With English Translation-
Kerstin: Hej Hanna!
Gabriella: Hi, Hanna!
Hanna: Hej.
Gabriella: Hi.
Kerstin: Hur är det med dig?
Gabriella: How are you?
Hanna: Det är bara bra.
Gabriella: Just great.
Kerstin: Har du gjort något roligt på sistone?
Gabriella: Have you done anything fun lately?
Hanna: Ja, igår var jag och min man på bio.
Gabriella: Yes, yesterday my husband and I went to the movies.
Kerstin: Jaha! Hur var det?
Gabriella: I see! How was it?
Hanna: Det var trevligt.
Gabriella: It was nice!
Gabriella: So Engla, what kind of subjects are suitable when making small-talk in Sweden?
Engla: That's actually a great question, and I'd say that a pretty safe subject to talk about is the weather, like in many other countries.
Gabriella: Everyone loves to talk about the weather! Okay, any other subjects?
Engla: Well, it's always safe to talk about what someone is doing for a living, and asking them questions about that will keep the conversation going.
Gabriella: Anything to avoid?
Engla: Hmm...Swedes are pretty casual, but this doesn't mean that you should bring up personal issues or overshare things that are going on in your life. When you’re making small-talk, it's better to keep it simple.
Gabriella: Any other tips?
Engla: Basic things like education, hobbies, family, and work are all pretty safe subjects, so I would stick to those if you feel unsure.
Gabriella: Great!
Gabriella: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson. The first word we shall see is…
Engla: bara bra [natural native speed]
Gabriella: just great
Engla: bara bra [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Engla: bara bra [natural native speed]
Engla: hur [natural native speed]
Gabriella: how
Engla: hur [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Engla: hur [natural native speed]
Engla: dig [natural native speed]
Gabriella: you
Engla: dig [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Engla: dig [natural native speed]
Engla: roligt [natural native speed]
Gabriella: fun
Engla: roligt [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Engla: roligt [natural native speed]
Engla: på sistone [natural native speed]
Gabriella: lately
Engla: på sistone [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Engla: på sistone [natural native speed]
Engla: att göra [natural native speed]
Gabriella: to do
Engla: att göra [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Engla: att göra [natural native speed]
Engla: igår [natural native speed]
Gabriella: yesterday
Engla: igår [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Engla: igår [natural native speed]
Engla: man [natural native speed]
Gabriella: husband, man
Engla: man [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Engla: man [natural native speed]
Engla: bio [natural native speed]
Gabriella: movie
Engla: bio [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Engla: bio [natural native speed]
Engla: jaha [natural native speed]
Gabriella: I see
Engla: jaha [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Engla: jaha [natural native speed]
Engla: Let’s take a closer look at the usage of some of the words and phrases from this lesson. The first phrase we’ll talk about is bara bra, meaning “just great.”
Gabriella: I guess that's a good phrase to know when you get asked how you're doing.
Engla: Exactly, when people ask you Hur är det med dig, for "How are you?," you can simply answer bara bra.
Gabriella: But what if that isn’t the case. Like, if everything isn’t great?
Engla: Well, usually when Swedes ask how you're doing, it's more out of courtesy. They aren't really expecting you to say anything more than bara bra.
Gabriella: I’ll stick to “just great” then. What’s next?
Engla: Next is the word man.
Gabriella: Which in this lesson’s dialog meant “husband."
Engla: Yes, but it also has many other meanings.
Gabriella: Such as?
Engla: Well as a noun, it can also mean “man," “male,” or “the mane of a horse.”
Gabriella: But it can also be used as personal pronoun?
Engla: Yes, and man, as a personal pronoun, is used similarly to how you'd use “one” in English.
Gabriella: You mean in a sentence such as “At Christmas one eats pickled herring”?
Engla: Exactly, and in Swedish that would be På jul äter man sill.
Gabriella: Great! What do we have next?
Engla: The final word for this lesson is bio.
Gabriella: We heard that when Hanna told Kerstin that she went to the movies, right?
Engla: That’s right! One thing that’s good to know about the word bio is that it can only be used to refer to the activity of going to a movie theater, and never to refer to a movie as in "a film."
Gabriella: I see, that’s good to know. Okay, now onto the grammar.

Lesson focus

Gabriella: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to keep a conversation going. To start with, we’re going to talk about different ways in which you can ask someone how they are doing. Just like Kerstin did in this lesson’s dialog.
Engla: Exactly! When she met Hanna, she said, Hur är det med dig, meaning "How are you?"
Gabriella: Is this a common way to ask how someone is doing?
Engla: Yes, and you can use this phrase with your friends as well as your acquaintances.
Gabriella: In other words, it’s suitable for most situations.
Engla: Exactly. Let’s practice saying it once together. Listeners, repeat after me please. Hur är det med dig.
Gabriella: What are some other ways to ask someone how they are doing?
Engla: We have the more casual Hur är läget or just Läget, which is like “What’s up?”
Gabriella: Who would you use that phrase with?
Engla: With your friends, but I would say that it’s way more common among teenagers. Everyone can use it though. Even my father uses it!
Gabriella: I see. Well, let’s practice these two.
Engla: Listeners, repeat after me please. Hur är läget (pause) läget (pause)
Gabriella: Is there any formal way of asking someone how they're doing?
Engla: Yes, you could also use the phrase Hur mår du, meaning “How are you,” which I think has a more formal sound to it than Hur är det med dig.
Gabriella: So does that mean that you wouldn’t use this with your friends?
Engla: No, it would be perfectly fine to use it with your friends as well.
Gabriella: Okay, that’s good to know. Let’s practice that one as well.
Engla: Absolutely! Listeners, please repeat after me. Hur mår du.
Gabriella: Now that we know how to ask someone how they're doing, let’s talk about other strategies that we can learn that will help us to keep the conversation going. Next we’ll look at some useful interjections that we can use to show someone that we’re listening to what they're saying, and which will encourage them to keep on talking. Engla, didn’t Kerstin use one of them in this lesson’s dialog?
Engla: Yes, she used Jaha, meaning “I see.”
Gabriella: I guess this one would be good for a situation when you want to show the person you're talking to that you thought something they just said was particularly interesting.
Engla: Precisely. You could also use it to show that you found something a bit surprising.
Gabriella: Let’s practice that one!
Engla: Listeners, repeat after me please. Jaha.
Gabriella: Great! But are there any other interjections we can use? I mean, it's always good to alternate when you are having a conversation with someone, so you don’t end up repeating the same word over and over.
Engla: I think you’re right. If you keep on saying jaha, jaha, jaha over and over, the person you’re talking to might think you're not interested in what they're saying at all.
Gabriella: Exactly. So what else could we say?
Engla: You could also use jaså, which also correspond to “I see” or “oh.”
Gabriella: Okay, let’s practice that one as well.
Engla: Listeners, repeat after me please. Jaså.
Gabriella: Ok, next, we’ll look at some open-ended questions that can be used to keep the conversation going. Open-ended questions are great, because they require more than a “yes” or “no” answer.
Engla: Exactly!
Gabriella: I think I remember that Kerstin used one of these in the dialog.
Engla: Yes, she said Hur var det, meaning “How was it?”
Gabriella: Right, and this open-ended question is good to use when someone has just told you about an activity they participated in.
Engla: That’s right. Kerstin used this question just after Hanna said she went to the movies.
Gabriella: Okay, let’s practice that one.
Engla: Sure! Listeners, repeat after me please! Hur var det.
Gabriella: Are there any other open-ended questions we can use?
Engla: Yes, we’ll also learn to ask about something you know the speaker has done or experienced, but they haven’t brought up in the conversation yet.
Gabriella: You mean, if I know that you've just been on a holiday or to a party recently, but you haven’t talked about it yourself?
Engla: Exactly, maybe a mutual friend told me in passing and now, when I’m actually having a conversation with you I want to ask you how it was.
Gabriella: Ok, and how do we do that?
Engla: Well, first we say Hur var, meaning “How was,” and then we add a noun in its definite singular form, which represents the activity you’re asking about.
Gabriella: Could you give an example?
Engla: Sure! Say I know you went on a vacation and I wanted to ask you about that.
Gabriella: Right.
Engla: “The vacation” in Swedish is semestern, and I would say, Hur var semestern for "How was the vacation?"
Gabriella: I see. Let’s practice that one. Listeners, repeat after Engla.
Engla: Hur var semestern.
Gabriella: And what if I wanted to ask about the party I knew you went to?
Engla: “The party” in Swedish is festen, so you would say, Hur var festen. Listeners repeat after me! Hur var festen.
Gabriella: Okay, and how would I say, “How was the class reunion?"
Engla: Hur var klassträffen. Listeners, repeat after me please! Hur var klassträffen.
Engla: Do you know the number 1 reason people don't study a second language?
Gabriella: Not enough time.
Engla: You’re very busy.
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Gabriella: Great! That’s all for this lesson.
Engla: Yes, I think so. Great work everyone.
Gabriella: Remember to check the lesson notes and leave us a comment, listeners. Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next time! Bye!
Engla: Or: hej då, as you'd say in Swedish!