Friday, December 15, 2017

Quora : on British Spelling in Sweden

How do you spell the following words (in English) in your country? Centre/center, aluminium/aluminum, zed/zee, colour/color, cheque/check. Please name your country. Check comment please.

Answer requested
by Richard Black

Hans-Georg Lundahl
I speak two langs, Latin and Germanic. In a few dialects.
Answered 5m ago
Sweden is not a country where English is spoken.

But it is a country with a very centralised school system. It is a school system which is bad in very many ways, but one good thing is an excellent teaching of foreign languages, the first for all being English, from grade 3.

Centre, aluminium, zed, colour, cheque/check.

In Sweden we are taught a cheque is used in a bank and check is an act done when one wants not to miss things.

In other words, in Sweden we are systematically and near exclusively taught British spelling.

I say near exclusively, because we are in fact told in a lesson or two or three toward grade 8 or 9 that US spells certain things differently.

This is a bit ironic, since Swedish itself in 1906 had a spelling reform which reminds much of the American spelling. (A spelling reform I boycott - and I keep telling the Swedes that sometimes complain, not all do : it’s not harder for you than for an US American to read British spelling).

Hans-Georg Lundahl
4 min ago
I just saw the comment by Richard Black:

“I’m particularly curious for countries in which English isn’t the native language and how they’ve learned to spell English words when they learn English as a second language. I’m trying to gauge the amount of English versus American influence.”

Sir, this one is for you!

Richard Black
Just now
I lived briefly in Stockholm and worked in Lidingo, many years ago. I love your country, it reminds me a lot of Canada. The English there is very good, certainly better than my Swedish. Thanks for the answer. Skol!

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Just now
I’ll try to reply to the skål when I get a beer tonight - if I do.

I am allergic to some of its usages in administration, my sister has just unveiled long and unjust suffering, and Lidingö, to me that is “for rich people”.

But I appreciate the goodwill!

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Just now
One more : students who have learned US spelling while living in US are in fact only required to read the UK spelling, but can hand in their papers in US spelling - as long as they keep it consistent.

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