IKEA launches Swedish lessons to help keep kids entertained during lockdown
Hur mår ni?
I am not going to brag, but being Norwegian, my Swedish is actually pretty decent. Let it be said, though, that Norwegian and Swedish (and Danish too) are very similar in the first place, and more like different dialects of of the same language than totally different languages altogether.
However, should you be harbouring a dream about learning Swedish, and being able to speak the Scandi lingo, you might be interested in this.
Right now, to help parents come up with fun and interesting ways to entertain kids at home, IKEA has launched their online Swedish lessons, a series of bitesize videos in a bid to also give parents a much-needed break whilst homeschooling.
The language lessons cover typical introductory topics including family, nature and geography, but come with a twist – the learning is through the medium of IKEA and its uniquely named products.
According to IKEA, the content is simple and interactive to give children their first taste of Swedish, while also incorporating some counting to help towards their daily dose of maths. The lessons are subtitled, with the phonetic pronunciation shown at the bottom of the screen so everyone can easily follow along.
Having brought the world affordable, stylish furniture for the past 70 years, this is the first time IKEA has entered the linguistic space.
The lessons include explanations behind the meaning of the home furnishing expert’s seemingly unusual range of product names – all of which have been carefully curated from a database of Swedish words. Bookcases are named after professional occupations or boys’ names, outdoor furniture is named after Scandinavian islands, whilst bed sheets, comforters and pillowcases are named after flowers and plants.
There are some exceptions, with some products being given names that evoke their function, most recently IKEA’s collaboration with Lego, BYGGLEK, which means to build and play.
The episodes cover a number of themes including typical introductory language topics: geography, family and nature. The content is simple and interactive to give children their first taste of Swedish, while also incorporating some counting to help towards their daily dose of maths. The lessons are subtitled, with the phonetic pronunciation shown at the bottom of the screen so everyone can easily follow along.
“Juggling work and homeschooling is no easy task, with parents around the country doing an incredible job in a really tough situation," says Thomas Parker, Children’s Business Leader at UK & IE at IKEA.
We’ve created these fun, educational lessons to keep children entertained for a short while and give parents some much-needed time back in their day, whether that’s in-between lessons or when homeschooling has finished. We know that Swedish pronunciations might not come easily to native English speakers, so we’d recommend watching the videos a few times to perfect your accent. While their children have fun pronouncing family members in Swedish, parents can grab a well-deserved five-minute Fika break!”
All three video tutorials are now available on the IKEA Website.