Exploring Swedish uncovers fascinating parallels

| December 21, 2009

A happy freelance copywriter and word geek

I’m always thrilled when I spot a connection between languages. I’ve just discovered Wallander, the Swedish crime thriller series. The subtitles are a revelation. It’s amazing how familiar so many Swedish words sound.

Some words span multiple languages. Although they’re spelled differently they mean the same thing and have a common origin. Which brings visions of ancient peoples migrating vast, dusty distances over millennia. Leaving words behind them as they pass through new territories. Adopting words from tribes they meet, mix and merge with along the way. War, climate change and famine drove populations from their homelands. Adventurous types, mavericks and splinter groups set off to explore new continents. And they took their languages with them. You can find evidence of these ancient migrations in your DNA. But it’s much easier to spot in real life, through the spoken and written word.

If you love words as much as I do, you’ll enjoy the fact that Saturday’s episode of Wallander contained at least fifty that you’d have understood instantly. If you don’t care you’ll be really bored by now. Whoops.  But if you every need a freelance copywriter, at least you’ll know where to find someone who’s genuinely fascinated by their stock in trade.

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Category: Diary

By Kate Goldstone - ()

Originally from Middlesbrough, I lived in Brighton for many years before moving to North Devon. I’ve had a passion for words all my life and this is my twelfth year as a freelance writer. In my spare time I draw, paint, sculpt, carve wood and rock, garden, read, write poetry and enjoy long distance hiking. I sing and play the recorder. I collect modernist paintings, vintage rugs and mid-century German art pottery. I’m a member of The Poetry Society. And I am an experienced volunteer shepherd, a ‘Lookerer’.

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