Friday, 10 October 2008

Language Matters!

My contract work for Going There that started just a couple of months ago, has been an interesting journey. The learning curve has been steep, the path a little rocky, the cultural differences evident and the bureaucracy rather frustrating.....

Today I received a second invoice for the letting agent's services. I rejected the first one because it was in Swedish and I need to forward it on, so they sent me a new one. Even then, all information, except the description of what the invoice is for, is in Swedish. Payment information, date to be paid, etc etc all in Swedish!!

Now I'm not talking about some little guy who is a one-man show - but rather the company that obviously supplies him with financial services - a big, well known company. Are they not able to provide me with an invoice that is completely in English? Is this the first time they have sent an invoice abroad?

It baffles me.


  1. Funny.. the other day I answered a job ad for a vacancy at an international NGO.. I answered in English, since the announcement was written in English...

    They wrote back rejecting my application in Swedish.. saying that they had a problem since my letter and cv were written in english...

    and that was from the head of communications department, at a reputable international aid organization!

  2. that is absurd! Ludicrous! That is the sort of thing that REALLY infuriates me!! What idiots!! Sorry but that is too much - did you bother to apply again in Swedish?

  3. no not really... the deadline was well past over by then! I wouldn't work for that type of boss anyway.

    I have a good feeling that one day i will meet her at some function and make sure to remind her of this experience in the company of her superiors or peers.

  4. It does amuse me. I remember when I first arrived. I applied for my residents permit in English from Migrationsverket and they sent everything back to me in Swedish.

    Its the same thing with Folkuniversitetet. I sent off my registeration for beginners Swedish and received everything back in Swedish!!! How good do they expect their beginners to be.


  5. yeah... I remember being surprised about all that too. I guess it is all in the name of not being discriminating in favour of English speakers???