Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Vilka språk kan du-What languages?

What is the best question you can ask when you meet some new person/people who look interesting?

I may explain at the end what American sociologists say is the only question. I do not believe them for a minute, so here is my question, one I posed to an interesting gang I met at Saltholmen. Actually, one of the women beat me to posing the first question, so let's let her speak first.

Tror du på Jesus? Så sade Emelie. Bra fråga. Jag svarade att det är en stor fråga så jag skulle ställa en enklare fråga.

Do you believe in Jesus Christ. That is what Emelie said. Good question. I answered.

Now to that best question. First a little background. One of the neat things about living in Sweden is that there are about 8,000,000 people who sometimes believe that they are all the same. Some refer to them as Ethnic Swedes. What is neat about that is anybody who turns up using another body language is a good candidate for being somebody who is not an Ethnic Swede.

In my years at the Red Cross in Linköping, I heard all the usual questions people ask a new arrival. I finally decided I needed a better question. Here it is:

Vilka språk kan du/Ni? What languages do you speak (or know)?

So after Emilie asked me about Jesus I decided to pose a question to three girls who were sitting on a bench at the edge of the water. I asked them in Swedish and here is what I got back.

Svenska, engelska, portugisiska.

I am going to stop here, this is just a first draft. If somebody answers with those three, how do you react?

Let me know. I will be back.

I just got out to Styrsö and I have to get to work. A Ph.D. Thesis awaits for review.


  1. wondering, what was your answer to Emilie? I haven't been asked that question directly for a number of years...

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