Category Archives: General

Announcements, comments, sideswipes, whatever

het från pressen

Taking what feels like a well-earned and much-needed day off today, after yesterday’s launch of the above narrative prototype / experimental futures vehicle (via the second medium of a slightly kludgy pseudo-Brechtean performance of an online talk-show from 2041). If anyone had been wondering why things have been quiet here lately, getting this thing finished to deadline is one of the larger reasons!

Will likely write about it at greater length in the weeks ahead; for now, I’ll settle for a simple statement of the necessity – and joy – of having a great team to work with on the realisation of somewhat crazy ideas. Few things worth doing can be done well alone.


There’s something very Swedish about a language textbook chapter themed around sports and pastimes which features a picture of a bunch of adolescents LARPing it up out in the woods somewhere in full dark-elf rigs.

But does the chapter at any point teach you the Swedish term for LARPing? Reader, it appears it does not… unless they’re expecting you to file it under “gudstjänst eller religiöst mõte”, perhaps, which is perhaps not a total miscategorisation.

framsteg med svenska

Well, time flies, doesn’t it?

Just a few days out from hitting a 500-day streak on Duolingo’s Swedish course, for which I completed the whole ‘tree’ a few months back. Duo veterans will be aware that a ‘streak’ can have gaps in it—you can buy yourself days off with the in-game currency (the little red gems, there), which you earn by completing various levels and daily practice targets. But even so, I’d estimate I’ve rarely dropped more than one day in every week, and 500 “on” days still translates to a pretty impressive amount of time spent practising: assuming around 20m per session, that’s around 165 hours.

It’s paid off, too! I’m just about to head over to the School of Languages for my first actual formal Swedish lessons, provided by my host university, and I’ve managed to blag my way into starting at level 3, which apparently correlates to level B1 in the standardised European language competence scale. Not bad at all, considering I’ve learned most of what I’ve learned through solo practice… though the exam I took was all reading comprehension and writing, which plays to not only my having learned via Duo so far, but also my innate biases. I suspect my listening and speaking skill levels about to be shown to be way behind that level…

But hey—gotta push yourself if you want to learn, right? Right! So I’ve bought my (bloody expensive!) textbooks, and I’m off to get stuck in…