Observing Sweden 4 May 2015


Swedish For Immigrants

SFI Update 4 May 2015

SFI Jussi Fix
Last Look At Class B

I have graduated from Class B, but failed to make it to Class C. There was no way. My written test scores were okay, averaging around 80%, but talking the talk . . . not so good. I have been shunted in to Class X, which feels about right. No written tests here, more emphasis on talking. Class meets from 9 to 12, an hour less than before, and only 3 days a week – also an improvement. As always, I have interesting classmates. Two from Vietnam, two from Thailand, three from Syria, and one from Eritrea. Don’t know what has brought the Eritreans here. The rest of the class are from Somalia.

So anyway, I am back in the linguistic saddle again, and to make things more interesting I am now studying for the Swedish driver’s test. My U.S. license is no longer good here. The Swedish test is beyond belief. Must be around 600 possible questions – including questions about the environment, morality, and what to do if someone is injured, or if you run into a moose. 200 of the possible questions have to do with road signs, some of which are obvious, others, not so much.

DEAFDeaf People Crossing

A total of 70 questions will be asked on the test. One can request the questions to be asked in English, thank god, and there are study books in English. Unfortunately the texts have been translated by someone living in England where they really don’t know how to speak English. House trailers are called caravans, trucks are lorries, and one pips the horn. There are also interesting typos. “One must break in time to keep from driving the car in front.”
The tests are on computers, of course. One must score 63 out of 70. After passing the computer test there is a driver’s test, part of which is on some kind of slippery surface to see what you do when the care starts to slide. Then there are roundabouts, my greatest fear here, but I prefer them to electric signals.

How Swedes drive – From Wikitravel

Swedes are driving pretty calm compared to other countries such as Spain, Italy and Greece. On the motorways there’s not much respect for the speed limits and people will always try to overtake you.


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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13 Responses to Observing Sweden 4 May 2015

  1. Well you did well on the written tests, Bruce, so congratulations!
    Now to tackle the talking three days a week and then that driving test…aaahhh!

  2. Congrats on getting out of the test taking mode and into the talking part that will make your life much easier. WHEN you can talk to people!
    The driving test sounds awful. Something we could use in Texas. The test wouldn’t get rid of the crazies. They would just drive sans a license, which many of them do right now.
    I admire your hard work.

  3. The one saving grace here Bruce is that the other members of your class may have just as bad a time with the licence test as you. 🙂

  4. stutleytales says:

    You are a brave man, Bruce! Such an example of persistance and courage to all of us in our ‘safe’ lives. Best of luck on the driving test 🙂

  5. Good luck with the test Bruce… pity I’m not on hand to coach you… I still speak that sort of English… and had no idea there were other words to use until I came here !!!!

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