Learning Swedish with Celebrities and Assassins

Books - Photography by Lola Akinmade

Few experiences in life are more leveling than a language class, where people’s previous identities are mysteriously replaced by characters and coping mechanisms worthy of a Swedish crime drama.

It’s inevitable.

This rite of passage every immigrant to Sweden must pass through.

Whether you shell out tons of money for fancy intensive programs or take it for free with the popular institution that is Swedish for Immigrants (SFI), your key to instantly unlocking sheltered Swedish hearts is finally differentiating and pronouncing – sjå , sjö, sjä, skå, skö, skä – correctly with your lips perfectly pursed.

Left with no choice than to put my jaw muscles to the test, I found myself at the tail end of a bitingly cold winter, sitting in my first ever SFI class…

Continue reading over at The Local (Sweden).