Adventures in Swedish-English Communication

My husband grew up in Sweden and moved to the U.S. about a decade ago. His command of English is excellent—not only because he’s an intelligent man, but also because Swedish kids learn English at a young age. However, we still run into occasional issues. Last night, for example, the following exchange occurred:

Me: “I’m working on the author bio for my Goodreads page.”

Husband: “Is it about me?”

Me: “Um…no. It’s about me. ‘Cause I’m the author. I mean, I mention you and everything, but it’s not really ABOUT you, per se. Don’t you think that question’s a little…I don’t know. Conceited?”

Husband [shaking his head, exasperated]: “No. I meant, ‘Is it like your ABOUT ME page on your website?”

Me: “Oh. Yeah. It is. Sorry.”

Husband: [grumbles; stomps out of the room]


My point: It may sound glamorous to marry a Swede, but it’s not all gummy fish and massages on demand and sniffing each other’s lollipops. Sometimes, the language barrier is difficult. Or so he tells me every time he says something irritating.

Husband: “I must have misspoken. As you know, my English skills are dubious.”

Me [stares suspiciously]: “Hmmm.”

Husband: “Rudimentary, even.”

Me: [grumbles; stomps out of the room]

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