Added: Danya Boling - Date: 24.12.2021 16:56 - Views: 32754 - Clicks: 9667
I moved to Sweden in following six years in Germany and England.
Having a family in started us thinking about where we would like to be long term. My Swedish husband was keen to move back to Sweden after eight years abroad, and I was interested in experiencing Scandinavian living. We then moved to England with his job, which was nice but not actually home to either of us.
After five years in Northampton, we were ready for a change and maternity leave seemed like as good a time as any to make the move.
Time flies. Our daughter was two months old when we moved to Stockholm and she will graduate from high school this June. Swedes have their own way of doing things and adaptation is a process. Almost two decades of living and working in Sweden have taught me some valuable lessons, insight I share with other expats moving to Sweden through my work as a relocation consultant.
Here are some of the things I have learned along the way. Lagom pronounced lar-gohm is a Swedish word meaning just the right amount. Think of it as the Goldilocks of words — not too hot, not too cold but just right. Lagom is the stamp of approval; too much or too little usually gets the thumbs down. An important tip for expats on this subject is the adjustment needed in Sweden sexy chat real name expectations of praise. However, after nearly two decades in Sweden, I now instinctively know what would be considered appropriate on most subjects, such as participation at office meetings, the amount of planning notice required to get any activity off the ground or what and how much to serve on any particular occasion.
Any newbie to Sweden quickly learns that fika coffee breaks is an important part of Swedish work culture. This is where you get to socialise with your colleagues and catch up on office news in an informal way. It is a great concept. Here is all you need to know about punctuality in Sweden. Swedes are master planners and planning is an integral part of their way of living. Numerous successful Swedish multinationals, and transport systems that work are testimony to this. Many Swedes will be able to tell you exactly what they will be doing on any given day, three or four months ahead. Facebook, WhatsApp and countless other digital group chat functions have failed to put any real dent in the Swedish desire to meet and plan.
My natural default will always be to leave things to the last minute, but my Swedish training has enabled me to move the needle on long term planning from next week to next month, and even next year when necessary. I am not. I know this because I can turn Swedish off by not actively listening in a way that I cannot do with English. My native language enters my brain in a way that makes it much more difficult to tune out. When it comes to being truly bilingual, cultural references are the final frontier.
Swedes are not generally known for their linguistic padding. One positive side to this is that they are often very concise. This takes some getting used to at first. s in particular can be quite daunting — very to the point, often lacking normal pleasantries or even your name.
When translating a text or presentation, I am always struck by the comparative wordiness of English texts and the level of expertise often required to understand what is actually being said, or not said, as the case may be. Swedish Sweden sexy chat real name usually used far more efficiently, at least in business. Think of the IKEA assembly manuals as the model — as few words as possible. This was an important one as getting it wrong can be far worse than a fashion faux pas; it can actually mean death.
Adaptation and being prepared are key — which probably explains the Swedish planning gene. Shovelling snow and getting a car up a steep icy hill have also become part of my Swedish-skill set. Coming from a country where you often have four seasons in one day and where snow is rare, proper winters and distinct seasons were both a novelty and a challenge.
It is hard to beat the simple thrill of walking across frozen water or tobogganing or skiing down a hill at speed for the first time. Understandably, people work accordingly and work more or less grinds to a halt from mid-summer, on June 22nd, to the beginning of August.
Some things are just so ingrained that they are very hard to shake off, even when you know they are illogical. I still feel compelled to offer to buy a round of drinks if out with a group, even though the culture here is that everyone pays for themselves. Being an expat is sometimes a bit like walking with a stone in your shoe — uncomfortable. You just need to grit your teeth, toughen up, or preferably shake the stone loose altogether.
The easiest solution is usually to focus on the positive, of which there is an abundance in Sweden. Anne Pihl blogs about living and working in Sweden, and offers relocation consultationson her website relocatetosweden. Interested in writing a "10 things I've learned" list about where you live abroad?
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A warm welcome from the Church of Ireland has helped me relish religious diversity in Britain. Please update your payment details to keep enjoying your Irish Times subscription. Anne Pihl in Stockholm. The concept of Lagom Lagom pronounced lar-gohm is a Swedish word meaning just the right amount. Topics: Emigrant Voices Stockholm Sweden.
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