Call the Swedish Number and have a nice chat in English

Call the Swedish Number and have a nice chat in English

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Hívd a svéd számot és beszélj a svédekkel - nyelvgyakorlásnak sem rossz :)

To gin up interest in the country, a Swedish tourism agency created the Swedish Number, 46-771-793-336, a single phone line that connects international callers to randomly selected Swedish volunteers to chat about whatever is on their minds.

The Swedish Number’s website invites callers to “talk about anything you want.” After dialling the number an automated voice responds: “Calling Sweden. You will soon be connected to a random Swede, somewhere in Sweden.” It can be anyone, even the Prime Minister himself.

A video of Prime Minister Stefan Löfven picking up the phone to answer calls from people dialling Sweden from abroad has been published by the team behind 'The Swedish Number'.

"Hi, I'm Stefan, I'm the Prime Minister of Sweden," he introduces himself to one.

"What, are you serious?" says the shocked voice at the other end of the line.

Another caller demands proof: "How do I know you're really the Swedish prime minister?"

"Well… I believe you have to trust me," says Löfven, smiling at the camera, before politely saying to another, who possibly got the two Scandinavian nations mixed up, "Norway is also a very nice country, yes."

The Prime Minister said he enjoyed the experience.

"It was great to answer on behalf of Sweden. To me it was natural to help draw attention to Sweden as a tourist destination. Tourism is extremely important to us and the goal is for more people to discover everything Sweden has to offer," said Löfven in a statement.

"We are struck by the great number of people who have engaged in this project. There have been calls from all over the world and Swedes have answered and acted as ambassadors in an exemplary manner. That the Prime Minister too has taken calls of course feels especially good," said Magnus Lind, general secretary and CEO of the tourism association.

Since the project launched, tens of thousands of phone calls have been made from a total of around 170 countries. Americans seem most obsessed with the concept, making 38 percent of the calls. Brits come in second place with a much smaller eight percent, followed by Turkey, the Netherlands, China, Australia and Russia.

"I got a girl from Gothenburg and I asked her about how dangerous elk are," said one follower in France.

"I asked: 'What should you do if you run into an elk'?...'Well I would probably panic and run away', she replied".

In one case, that was Arvid Heden Gynna a biology student in Uppsala chatting with a man in Texas who explained that no, not everyone in the state wore a cowboy hat.

“Thank you for calling Sweden,” he said before hanging up which is the standard way of saying good-bye of the Swedish Number.

Talking to strangers on the phone can be fun. Do you know how to start a phone conversation? Here are some tips for you.

1. Hello, this is ......... speaking from Hungary. – Helló, ......... vagyok, Magyarországról.

2. What’s your name? – Mi a te neved?

3. Which part of Sweden do you live? – Svédország melyik részén élsz?

4. What do you do? – Mi a foglalkozásod?

5. Why have you volunteered for talking to people on the phone? – Miért vállalkoztál arra, hogy telefonon beszélgess emberekkel?

6. How many phone calls have you had so far? – Hányan hívtak már fel?

7. From which countries? – Milyen országokból?

8. Can you share any interesting stories you’ve heard from them? – Tudsz mesélni valami érdekeset, amit tőlük hallottál?

9. What do you like doing in your free time? –Szabad idődben mit csinálsz szívesen?

10. What’s your favourite animal? – Mi a kedvenc állatod?

11. What’s the weather like today in Sweden? – Milyen ma az idő Svédországban?

12. What would you recommend for me to see in Sweden? – Szerinted mit érdemes megnézni Svédországban?

13. Have you ever talked to a Hungarian or am I the first one? – Beszéltél már valaha magyarral, vagy én vagyok az első?

14. It was nice talking to you. Thank you for taking the time. – Jó volt veled beszélgetni. Köszönöm, hogy időt szántál rám. 

Vocabulary

to gin up interest

felkelteni az érdeklődést

randomly

véletlenszerűen

to demand

kérni, követelni

proof

bizonyíték

politely

udvariasan

on behalf of

valaki/valami nevében

to draw attention to

ráirányítani a figyelmet

statement

közlemény

ambassador

nagykövet

exemplary

példás

to be obsessed with something

valami megszállotja

elk

jávorszarvas

to run into

összefutni valakivel/valamivel

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