The idea of the Language Pub is to give the participants a chance to practice more than one language at a time – including the ones they do not know very well.

When arriving to the Language Pub, arranged at E-puben in Universum, you get to choose among a great number of flag stickers. On your shirt, you put your first language atop, followed by the ones you want to practice during the night.

Micheli Cicchetti.

On his shirt, Micheli Cicchetti, coordinator at the Umeå Student Union and organizer of the first Language Pub, has put Italian, Swedish, English and Spanish.
– Maybe I’ll dare to put French there as well, he says half-jokingly.

Lisa Zimmerer, Jana Rinn and Lena Neumeyer are exchange students from Germany. They have been in Umeå since August and all three are taking a beginner’s course in Swedish in parallel to their normal university studies.

They all agree that it is a great advantage that so many people in Sweden speak English. As the see it, the only bad thing about it is that you avoid practicing your Swedish, since it is so easy to get around with English.

Wilhelm Ackerman, Kai Kenklies and Helin Bäckman-Kartal.

Kai Kenklies, also from Germany, is sitting at the same table as Wilhelm Ackerman and Helin Bäckman-Kartal, both Swedish. Besides the German flag, Kai has pinned the Italian and the French flags on his shirt.
– I’ve started to watch some Italian mafia series, so as a result of that my vocabulary is limited to swear words. Vaffanculo! he demonstrates.

Wilhelm knows a little German too:
– I have family in Germany and my last name is German. But I would like to learn Dutch, too.

Read more in Vertex # 8-2017,
which appears 31 October 2017.

Text and photo:
Sofie Gisslén