The Swedish traveller in Amerika often runs into a certain type of invånare that insist on calling themselves Swedish-Americans. In order to prove their Swedish lineage, they will often try to impress their visitors by speaking a language they insist on calling Swedish. When they utter phrases such as "min morfar kommer ifrån Örgryte", however, they are often disappointed with the blank stares with with their Swedish guests regard them. All too often, the only response is, in perfect English, "what did you say?".
Now, however, the American telefonjätte AT&T has unknowingly provided Swedish web users with the perfect tool for learning to understand the utterances of their American cousins. They have created a voice synthesizer for the Web that allows a user to type in a phrase, which is then processed and returned as a sound file in a .WAV format. One can choose whether to hear a man's, woman's or a child's voice or a few other variations.
This new toy is amusing enough when one puts in English words and phrases. The real genious of this tool, however, comes when you type in a phrase in Swedish. The voice processor, not recognizing the words it is reading, simply does the best it can with its limited vocabulary and pronounciation. And the result sounds astoundingly similar to the phrases that cousin Emil in South Dakota forces out at the family reunions.
Check this out! Go the the AT&T VOICES site and try out this pedagogical marvel! You'll need a sound card and a handful of Swedish phrases - and you'll be speaking like a true Swedish-American in no time!