Encountering use in the wild

Back story: I have Tourette's syndrome. Wife wanted us to learn a different language, I chose Swedish since her great grandparents immigrated to the US from Sweden.

Last summer my family made a trip to Yellowstone to see the total solar eclipse.

While we were at Yellowstone I had some tics that startled and upset some people around me. I tried explaining that everything was ok, but it became somewhat obvious from her expressions she had no idea what I was saying. She turned to her daughter and said something I recognized from taking this course.

I was then able to explain Tourette's to her in Swedish and let her know that everything was ok. I was happy I got to use what I've been learning, she was pleased someone was learning Swedish, and everyone was happy that the whole situation got resolved.

I understand it was kindof rare to run into a Swede that didn't also speak English, but it also wasn't very expected that I would run into anyone who spoke Swedish to begin with. It was rather an awesome stars aligning moment.

June 1, 2018


What a lovely story. Thanks for sharing it! I'm glad you had an unexpected but somehow heartwarming moment using Swedish. :)

I might add, although you probably figured that out already, that Tourette's syndrome is called Tourettes syndrom in Swedish. Unfortunately, most people likely think it exclusively means cursing uncontrollably, but I'd like to think awareness is spreading.

June 1, 2018

Some of our National Parks are the best place to run into Swedish, as well as other language speakers. It always warms my heart when I am able to pick out someone speaking Swedish, and I always say, ''Är du svensk?'' at the least.

June 14, 2018
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