Swedish For Immigrants – Update 10 February 2015

SFI Photo 2 CroppedOn my way to class – 7:45 a.m. Dome in far background is huge shopping center, a Borläge landmark. Days are getting lighter longer now, thank God. The roundabouts were scary in the dark with snow on the ground. We’ve had our first serious snow here, about 10 inches I think. Much more in the north.

MailboxPhase 2 of ‘B’ Class started 7 January. A few who were in my Phase 1 ‘B’ class moved on to ‘C’ level, but not that many. I am doing much better with the tests now and maintain an 85% average. I have learned how to take the tests, but still have almost zero language skills. A guy came to the door selling fish when my wife was not at home one day last week. I told him she would be coming back in, ‘two years’. Seems I invariably make those kinds of mistakes when I risk communication in this unknown tongue.


I still have very little understanding of lectures or anything being said in class. Whatever. I am hanging in. Not sure I want to go rise up to ‘C’ level even if allowed. These classes are taking so much of my time. I’ve given up gym class and am gaining weight at a surprising rate. Have done no serious writing, only these blogs and a few poems. I have two books written that require massive revisions. I simply do not have time, and still seem light years away from being able to understand what anyone is saying in Swedish.


Strangely enough I enjoy the classes, and seem to be making friends.

SFI Compis 1
Note my rapidly expanding stomach. Embarrassing!

About Bruce Louis Dodson

Bruce Louis Dodson is an American expat now living in Borlänge, Sweden with his wife, cat and dog. He is an artist and world traveler who writes fiction and poetry and practices photography in his less than copious free time. His work has appeared in: Barely South Review - Boundaries Issue, Blue Collar Review, Pulsar Poetry (UK), Foliate Oak, Breadline Press West Coast Anthology . The E-buffet, Qarrtsiluni, Struggle Magazine, Pearl Literary Magazine, Contemporary Literature Review: India, 3rd Wednesday, Sleeping Cat Books - Trip of a Lifetime Anthology, Northern Liberties Review, Authors Abroad - Foreign & and Far Away Anthology, The Path, Page & Spine, The Crucible, Sleeping Cat Books -Trips of a Lifetime, Vine Leaves, Pirene's Fountain,Tic Toc Anthology - Kind of a Hurricane Press, Cordite Poetry Review, Buffalo Almanac and mgv2.
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17 Responses to Swedish For Immigrants – Update 10 February 2015

  1. 85% is a more than a respectable success rate – well done, Bruce!
    i’d say by the time your wife got back in ‘two years’ that fish might not be so edible
    even in deep freeze and ten inches of snow…brrrr! love that two years!
    Highly enjoyable read.

    Best Always


  2. Still enjoying your reports and admiring your tenacity. Regarding the other matter, I call it “lower chest expansion,” a happening that has come over me despite continuing to jog, perform a few yoga poses, and lift 10# weights. Gravity has its disadvantages.

  3. Gyslaine L. says:

    Try to do alike me and walk a lot 🙂

    • bldodson says:

      I plan to try that when the weather gets a little better.
      I have some problems with a leg I broke (motorcycle accident 40 years ago) so not sure that will work for me, but I think you are right.
      Wife has been walking 6 kilometers a day since she got her dogs and has lost weight faster than greyhounds!

      • Gyslaine L. says:

        You know Bruce, after 5 operations of the spine, I start walking again, but to relieve my back and joints, I help myself with walking sticks. I started with a few hundred meters, now I can make 4 km. But whatever happens, we must move at its own pace and it takes time and patience. Nordic walking is good for the whole body as all the muscles work and breathing capacity is increased.

      • bldodson says:


        I’m going to give it a try . . . soon as the ice melts.

      • Gyslaine L. says:

        This is a good idea 🙂

  4. laurie27wsmith says:

    This language class seems to have become a social outing Bruce. It must be frustrating for you not being able to understand what they want from you. Sounds like the course is test based instead of learning to understand the darn language.

    • bldodson says:

      There’s a lot of verbal intercourse, but I am totally out of it an seem unable to catch up.
      It’s all because they passed me over the beginning course which was designed for, “learners who speak a little Swedish.”
      I started with the course that came after, “for learners who speak some Swedish,” with ZERO Swedish language skills other than: Hello, No thanks, and Good bye.
      I think I will get bounced at the end of this term which is probably for the best. These classes have destroyed my time for writing.

      • laurie27wsmith says:

        That’s a pity Bruce, the wrong course actually set you on a wrong course. Don’t you love English??? Get back to writing mate and carry an English – Swedish dictionary.

      • bldodson says:

        @ Laurie,

        Yeah, maybe this will be my last course – without dessert.
        I can’t help feeling like I have failed, but I could sure get used to not getting up at 6:30 a.m.

      • laurie27wsmith says:

        Don’t look at it as a failure Bruce, just a course you haven’t mastered yet. I have to agree about having more time in bed though. 🙂

      • Laurie,
        Really. I still stay up ’till 2 a.m. every night, which does not make getting up easy.
        Naps in the afternoon when I get a chance.

      • laurie27wsmith says:

        Now I see. 2am eh? Then naps, nothing like an afternoon nap Bruce.

      • Laurie,
        Yes, love the uninterrupted quiet of the night, and naps . . . delicious!
        Swedish class is depressing me. I need to walk away!

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