I know that a lot of the people who read this blog are just learning Swedish. But I also know that a lot of you have various reasons for learning the language. Some people because of a partner, others because of friends, still others because of family members who maybe grew up speaking Swedish even though they were born in the United States.
About a year ago, I wrote about some of the research I was doing in Swedish America, especially in the Upper Midwest (Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, etc.). The Swedish heritage in the area is a rich one and always fascinating. Most of my work focuses of the different forms of folklore in the area – everything from holiday celebrations to food to music. Check out the original post here: Swedish in Swedish-America.
This post is going to be similar, but this time, I am going to ask all of you Swedish speakers out there to help out some researchers from a couple different universities in Sweden. Several researchers are working on a project called Swedish in America – Svenskan i Amerika (the link will take you to their Facebook page). Their project is an interesting one that examines the Swedish language that is spoken in the United States compared to that which was spoken years ago. In their own words:
“The project Swedish in America is a study of the Swedish language in the United States today and aims to reveal how today’s American Swedish differs from the varieties spoken 50 years ago. Our plan is to obtain new recordings with Swedish speakers from Minnesota, Illinois, and Texas of the first, second and third generation. As a pilot study, we visited Minnesota in June 2011 for a first set of recordings.”
This summer, they will be coming back to the United States, traveling throughout Illinois June 7-14. The group is specifically looking for immigrants who came to the United States sometime before 1970, as well as their descendants. The research is focusing on people who learned Swedish at home from their family, but anyone who speaks Swedish and is a descendant of Swedish immigrants is more than welcome to get in touch with the group.
If you can help, or know someone who can, please contact:
Dept. of Swedish, University of Gothenburg, Box 200
SE-405 30 Göteborg
+46 31 786 42 02
E-mail: swedishinamerica at gmail dot com
Web page: http://sites.google.com/site/svenskaniamerika/home/english