Did you know that there are about 500,000 Swedes who live in other countries than Sweden? Some of them are young adults, teens and children, who never got the chance to learn Swedish. Times have changed. We now know what a gift bilingualism is, but only 10-15 years ago, myths about blingualism were strong and prevented parents from passing on their language to their kids.

The Swedish interest group SMUL (short for “Svenska som modersmål utomlands”, i.e. Swedish as a Mothertonue Abroad) is initiating a new project during spring 2014 – “Swedish, Twitter & Teens”. The aim of the project is to raise awareness about Swedish as a language among teens in North America of Swedish descent. Since some teens with one Swedish parent may only have limited skills in their mothertongue, the language of communication will be English. The tweets will include Swedish expressions and names to create interest for the language.

The project will be run Yelena Kasionova, Jaclin Stublarec, Nandi George and Tanja Rostamian. All four team members are students at Chapman University, Orange, CA, where they are conducting “Swedish, Twitter & Teens” as a project using social media to grow SMUL as an interest group. The project is being supervised by Lena Normén-Younger, creator of SMUL, and professor Niklas Myhr, a leading social media expert in the LA area.

Four main subjects for tweets have been chosen for Tweets:

  1. Swedish events & music
  2. Swedish food
  3. Fun facts about Sweden
  4. Facts about the Swedish Language: Words & expressions, including slang

The team starts from scratch using the newly created Twitter channel SMUL101. The challenge is to build as large audience within 4 weeks, the duration of the team’s project. Final measures will include a short survey to assess whether or not the target group has been reached.

The details of the projects are being planned as we speak. If you have suggestions about twitter topics or channels/groups to include more of the target group, i.e. teens with one or two Swedish parents living abroad, please contact the team using the twitter account SMUL101 or email: nandi.dion@gmail.com.


Presentation of the SMUL Twitter Team

SMULtwitterteamYelena Kasianova was born in Russia and moved to the States at the age of 8. She is currently a junior at Chapman University, studying Business Administration with a focus in Marketing and Entrepreneurship. She also has an extensive artistic background, having illustrated three childrens’ books, which led her to pick up a Fine Arts minor. Yelena’s focus at the moment is start ups. She is very excited to continue improving her online marketing skills and sharing her ideas through the SMUL project.

Jaclin Stublarec is from Marin County, California. She is a junior at Chapman University, taking a Business Administration major with an emphasis in Marketing and a minor in Psychology. She has work experience from the retail business (Anthropologie) and has interned at Triton Container. Currently, she is the Vice President of Finance for the GammaPhiBeta sorority. She is very excited to be furthering her marketing skills and to be more involved with SMUL!

Nandi George is a Junior at Chapman University, majoring in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing and a minor in Education. She is currently the Awareness Director for the Chapman University Program Board, where she develops initiatives that raise awareness of social and global issues and enhance the educational experience of Chapman students. In addition, she is the President of the Black Student Union. Nandi feels passionate about embracing and learning about cultures. She can’t wait to help SMUL spread the Swedish language and culture around the world!

Tanja Rostamian is a Senior at Chapman University, majoring in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing. She was born and raised in Stockholm, Sweden, to Iranian parents. Her multicultural background has made her fluent in four languages: Swedish, Farsi, English and Spanish. As the only Swede in the project, Tanja will be the go-to-person when it comes to any translations that come up during the SMUL project “Swedish, Twitter & Teens”, and will probably be helpful with her great social skills – she claims that she speaks a lot!


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