I love teaching Members of Parliament

I have been teaching and translating in the Swedish Riksdag since about 2000. I have taught hundreds of MPs from all parties since then and they really are a special kind of student. They have a deep passion for and belief in what they do, and they work round the clock. Despite this, they are great fun. I sometimes teach Parliament tours to MPs as late as 9.30pm (to avoid the daytime crowds) and the building is as alive then as it is any time during the day, with debates in the chambers and people popping in and out of each others’ office. I honestly don’t know where they get the energy. Today I got a time wrong because I had written the time incorrectly. In Swedish ‘half one’ means 12.30pm, and in English ‘half one means 1.30pm.  Sometimes when I am tired and trying to do too many things at once I don’t realize what language someone is speaking and write down the English version  instead of the Swedish or vice versa. So I think something starts later or earlier than it does. In this case I wrote down 1.30pm when it should have been 12.30pm. Filofax Fail! Although it was not my planner that failed me but my brain! About a quarter of an hour after the lesson was due to start the group wrote a post on my Facebook wall with a selfie (all smiling) saying they were missing me. And when I arrived all apologetic and grovelling they said they had had a wonderful time talking and laughing. Even though I knew that they had Question Time with the Minister of Finance in the chamber and a parliamentary vote straight after the lesson and that it was very important for them to use their time as effectively as possible. IMG_2902

Author: Janet Carr

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

14 thoughts

  1. Apologies for the kisses, I had just emailed my sister and inadvertently added them to my post here. We are camping in our motorhome, and it’s been a long day. Does this mean I have adopted you into our family? LOL

      1. I have Jewish blood a couple of generations ago, and the whole family is quite feely touchy. Xx

  2. As for the British English ‘half nine’, it’s because it was originally ‘half past nine’.

  3. I don’t think you’d have the same experience with our greedy, lacking in ethics MPs. There are a few in the UK Parliament, but the professional status of politicians, who often have had little experience outside of politics has damaged the publics view and experience of our polititions.

  4. Very interesting about “half nine”–in US English, we don’t say that, but I would understand “half nine” as 8:30 as well, and I realized it’s because I’m also a Russian speaker. I would never be able to get used to “half nine” as meaning “half past nine”!

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