viernes, 21 de abril de 2017

The English Language of Swedish audiences

Image result for swedish people

Listening to a chat delivered by Dr. Oliver Sacks to a Swedish audience in Börssalen, I was struck by the Q&A period that followed.
Members of the audience, mostly Swedish doctors, were given the opportunity to ask Dr. Sacks questions about his chat. What I found of interest is that the knowledge of English of  the members of the audience, educated Swedish people, was utterly unacceptable. The questions were so poorly put that someone near Dr. Sacks had to rephrase them and fix the syntax and wording.
Swedes have a high reputation as linguists, especially in Spain, and are supposed to handle English fluently and flawlessly.
Linguistic myths abound and are taken for granted. The brain of a Swede is no different that the brain of a Mexican or Italian. If you do not believe me, listen to the Question and Answer period in Sacks' lecture and you will hear how proficient they are in expressing themselves in English.
So do not feel bad. Chin up and carry on.

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