It was a gloomy afternoon when I received a post in my mailbox. The letter was fully written in Swedish and I could just grab a few words here and there. But hey, no fear when technology is here! Taking out my phone, I snapped a shot of the letter and opened it with Google Translate. And what I found next gave me few moments of surprise. It was an invitation to SFI office to have a meeting regarding my application to take Swedish language classes.
Well, after waiting for almost a month, I certainly was glad to get my chance. Given that it was a meeting to determine my fluency level, I wasn’t really concerned. So on the decided date, I took my cycle and rode off steadily while mumbling few Swedish phrases I knew.
‘Vad heter du?’ (What is your name); ‘Jag heter Redwan och jag kommer från Bangladesh’ (My name is Redwan and I come from Bangladesh) and some similar ones! In a confident attempt to make myself feel that I got this, I mumbled harder, making few passerby, with their alarmed look, assume that I might have actually lost my mind.
“How much Swedish do you know?”
Anyways, after a journey of around 20 minutes, I was greeted by a Swedish teacher at the SFI and she asked me, ‘how much can you do Swedish?’. ‘Not much but I manage a bit’, I replied. ‘Perfect! Take this paper and attempt as much as you can’. And guess what, it was a Swedish language test paper. I stood for a second wondering how a supposed meeting had become a language test. However, the good part was the paper wasn’t too complex and had easy-to-grasp words which I could relate to from all the ‘knowledge’ I gathered from online materials and Google Translate! Managing to finish before time and upon submission, the teacher asked me from where did I previously learn Swedish. ‘Errm, just the internet ’, I replied with a don’t-know-what-to-say tone and grin.
‘You certainly did well and I can see that you have some good idea about Swedish’, she said with a smile, helping me finally ease my nerves. And then she just showed me the mistakes that I had made and took a short interview regarding my background and ambition. Finally she handed me the location of a school where my Swedish classes would start and said, ‘welcome on board, lycka till!’
Lycka till to me indeed!