Often the things you have difficulty with in your non-native languages are the ones that don’t exist in your mother tongue.

When I speak and write Swedish for example, I am ‘blind’ to ö, ä, å. I also find it difficult to match the adjective to the noun.

Swedish speakers often have problems with ‘th’ sounds (which don’t exist in Swedish), subject-verb agreement, make and do, learn and teach, borrow and lend, journey and trip, shadow and shade. The only way around this I am afraid is to practise and to not be afraid of making mistakes. This is where English coaching and mentoring comes in (note I don’t say teaching) because it gives you a safe environment to push the boundaries and dare to try.

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

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