Yesterday, I attended part of “The Swedish Grammar Day” (Grammatikdagen), a national event presented by language consultants in Sweden and the Swedish teachers of Sweden. Grammar is oftentimes thought of as boring, but these people are trying to change that. Why do we need grammar? We use grammar to systematize our language and to be able to discuss our language.
I loved to read and write when I was growing up. I was always carrying a book around, and used to write novels with my friends. Grammar and spelling came naturally to me, and I can usually see when a sentence looks wrong, or if a word is spelled wrong. I did not need grammar more than for the reasons mentioned above. I grew up in a small Swedish speaking town in Finland, with a very peculiar dialect. The dialect was used for speaking with people, but in school we had to use “proper Swedish” and all our media was in proper Swedish. So in a way, I grew up with two languages. Finland is also a bilingual country and we had to start learning Finnish from third grade in school, even though hardly anyone spoke it where I lived. In fifth grade, we started studying English and I have gradually added languages during my education, up to a total of six languages. When learning other languages it is very useful to know the grammar of your own language first, in order to be able to distinguish it from the grammar of other languages. You learn to systematize the languages. So, with my love for languages, my love for grammar grew.
I discussed with some Swedish language consultants yesterday, about being a language nerd, and we concluded that we really can say we are language nerd if we love to read this magazine called “Språk”, which discusses the development of the Swedish language and grammar. We think it is fun to discuss the intricacies of the Swedish language. That is nerdy! I am officially a language nerd and proud of it. It is good to be a language nerd if you are a translator. Are you a language nerd?