it still accepts the answer if the accents on the letters aren't there. but im assuming we'll need to use them eventually
You could add the international keyboard. Ah, then add the Swedish keyboard too or type ALT + 0228 for ä and ALT + 0229 for å
Windows also has a Character Map program that you can copy and paste from.
Scroll down past the no support for xp for step by step instructions to adding a keyboard and how to access the special accents on the international keyboard. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/306560
Just to clarify, "ett" is specifically for "an" while "en" is specifically for "an"? Yes or no? Are there any other relevant distinction?
No, "en" and "ett" have no relation whatsoever to an/a. You basically have to learn when to use "en" and when to use "ett". If you're in doubt, go with "en". "En" is a lot more common than "ett".
so... im new to this swedish... is ett and en masculine and feminine? if so, which ones are which, or can someone just explain this to me
There are two genders, but one combines both masculine and feminine into common gender words, called en-words, while ett is used for neuter words.
And a little bit of history for the curious: back in the days before the language reform we used three genders like they do in Germany: der/die/das (masculine, feminine and neuter)
Yes, this is so cool! My granny used the old forms and I still remember some, for example she did not say "björken" but "björka" and then you know it is feminine, right?
And quite a bit further back, Proto-Indoeuropean had only common gender and neuter gender but for some reason split the common gender into masculine and feminine. In Germanic languages the trend is now to combine them back again; in Romance languages it is to combine masculine and neuter.