The sounds of "Svenska," or Swedish, can be heard Monday nights at the Lindsborg Community Library, spoken in spurts and streams of the language that once lived here. “I take it slowly, I take it gently. We have a lot of fun and we laugh a lot,” said instructor Gretchen Esping.
The Elementary Swedish Class formed in September with about 30 members coming and going each Monday as their schedules allow. “It’s been wonderful and I keep thinking this isn’t going to last!”
Esping lived with her family in Sweden for five years and began speaking the Scandinavian language by being immersed in the culture when she was 35 years old.
That experience, she says, gives her great empathy and understanding for her students. “I realize the amount of patience it takes to learn another language when you have to make every single sound and you have to work and work and work.”
Jennifer Ebling said the class has given her a chance to test her words with a group that has a common goal. “I always wanted to learn Swedish and it’s easier than trying to do this on my own.”
Some of the tools Esping uses include a workbook that has an audio companion of native Swedes' conversations so the class can read, listen and follow along. Singing from a Swedish songbook is also a highlight that fills the night with the sounds of the Christmas season.
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