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Argentinian fan who learned to speak Swedish is subject of Aftonbladet article

Written by Lars-Erik_Olson on May 22, 2009 to . Source: Aftonbladet.

There's an article in today's edition of Aftonbladet about Diego Nuñez, a long-time Roxette fan who lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He has never been able to afford a trip to Sweden to see a concert – let alone live there for any length of time – but he nevertheless has managed to learn to speak Swedish fluently, mostly by self-study.

When The Daily Roxette reached Diego by telephone this morning from New York, he wasn't aware that the Aftonbladet story had been published. "Wow, this is all very exciting," he said.  Victor Ginner, the Aftonbladet reporter, had called him only yesterday from Sweden.  How this reporter in Sweden found out about Diego is a bit complex.

"He found out about me because a documentary filmmaker had come to Buenos Aires looking to find people interested in Sweden, and the Swedish Institute here had put him in touch with me. They [the Swedish Institute] know about me because I hang out there sometimes reading books in their library." The filmmaker in turn let someone at Radio Sweden know that a young man in Argentina had learned to speak Swedish by listening to their programs, and they interviewed Diego about a week ago for their "Språket" language program. The Aftonbladet reporter had listened to that.

Diego is not alone, as there are other fans of Roxette from outside Sweden who have also – with varing degress of success  – learned to speak Swedish, because of their interest in Per and Marie.  Feel free to leave a comment and let us know about that.


Diego works at the Help Desk for a Buenos Aires-based software company, taking calls from users in Sweden.  Diego tells the Daily Roxette that he's currently on sick leave for a few weeks, as he's recovering from hand surgery. 


Here's a translation of the article written by Viktor Ginner for Aftonbladet:


Speaks Swedish Thanks to Roxette

He has never set foot in Sweden.

But nevertheless learned to speak perfect Swedish – with an accent from Skåne.

"It is my tribute to Marie Fredriksson,"says Diego, 30.

Diego Nuñez lives in a poor suburb of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Quite far, in other words, from the Skåne countryside [in the south of Sweden].

But over the last ten years he has given everything to learn to speak Swedish like a genuine Skåne guy.

It was his big idols Roxette which aroused his interest in Sweden. And when he heard Marie Fredriksson's solo album in Swedish, there was no return.

Lyrics were difficult

"There was a tenderness and feeling in her voice that I had to find out what she sang about," he says.

In order to learn the foreign language he started gathering instruction books with both Swedish and Spanish translations.

Then he compared.

But that learning technique gave only a store of words like "coffee maker" and "record button."  Marie Fredriksson's lyrics remained a mystery. Radio Sweden [via the Internet] had to replace the manuals. The "Klartext" program [easy Swedish for foreigners] on P4 was a favorite, and his Swedish developed rapidly.

"But after a while I learned that Marie spoke with a southern accent," says Diego.

Then it became local radio from Skåne instead. And soon he began to take lessons from a teacher - from Malmö [in Skåne].

"It was an incredibly lucky that I got in touch with her here in Buenos Aires," he says.

Likes Dalecarlia horses

Diego's friends have found it difficult to understand the interest.

"They think I'm weird," Diego says. "Most set out to learn the major languages such as English and French."

But he laughs best who laughs last. The hard work has given him a job. Today, Diego works with technical telecommunications support for Swedish customers.

And his interest in Sweden has developed into something like obsession. His home is chockfull of Evert Taube books, Sweden posters and Dalecarlia horses [carved from wood, and painted in a traditional Swedish style].

In spite of this, he's torn about visiting Sweden one day. Maybe the sky-high expectations would disappoint him.

"But yes, if I knew there was a chance to meet Marie, I would never hesitate," he says.

Other articles with the same topic


In Rosario, Argentina, I took Swedish clases with 3 more friends (Rox-fans of course). We were lucky enough to find an Argentinean guy that lived his childhood in Sweden and speaks Swedish fluently.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t keep up with the classes because of work among other reasons.

Some of us also took some Swedish classes in the Technological University of Rosario (UTN), but they don’t teach Swedish anymore :(.

I understand some Swedish if I read it, but I wouldn’t say ’I know Swedish’.

I‘m a great fan from Argentina too. I want to learn to speak swedish but I‘ve had a lot of problem to find out some books, dictionary or anything else.
That‘s the way I‘ve had to thank Marie and Per for everything they give in the last 17 years.
Everyone around me think I‘m crazy, but I don‘t care at all, I‘ll try (a little bit harder)to get what I want. Someday it will be!!

I tried to learn swedish in the swedish institute of the embassy in Buenos Aires but i could´t because of work.

I do not think expectations disappoint him, Sweeden is beautifull, the people is kind all the time and its the best country I ever stood in. The only dissapointing thing is the winter, but who cares. If I had a chance i will go againg to sweden even to live there.

Kul!! Jag läser svenska för länge sen. Har läst några böcker på svenska redan och ja..det är helt enkelt nyttig att förtå svenska om du är Roxettefan. Jag ville veta vad Per och Marie sjunger om....
But to be honest I’m not very good in grammar / creating my own sentences. The easy things like eating in a restaurant, go shopping and have an easy conversation in swedish is not a problem for me. German is also very comparable to swedish so that it was not so difficult to learn I think.
It was once Pers and Maries fault that I started to learn swedish. (around 1992 for myself, take swedish lessons since...ehm..2001 or so) Nowadays it’s because I love Sweden so much.I’m feeling home there. The people are so great, the landscape is beautiful, the sky is wider and the popmusic is better. :)
I also remember that I sat down with my old radio around 1990 and tried to find a swedish radio station on short wave and felt happy as I finally suceeded..... :)

I press my fingers for Diego that he can visit Sweden really soon!!!!

CRIZ, I think your swedish is excellent. When I started to learn swedish I tought I will never learn it. I attended a swedish evening course once per week for 2 semesters in my hometown and as I wanted to speak swedish fluenty I decided to pack and live in Sweden for one year. This was 10 years ago and the decision of my life. Right now I am working for great swedish client for more than 4 years and I am really happy to be in touch with swedish language every day at work. And you are right about Sweden, people and everything... great country:-)

If we changed it back, things would never be the same

I don’t think he’d be disappointed. I dreamed of going there for ten years and pretended I was there on trips to Minnesota. When I finally got there to take delivery of our new SAAB, it was like living and driving around in heaven! It is wonderful that most all Swedes speak English. I love it that some of Per’s music is in Swedish and some is in English. I love the Swedish songs even though I can’t understand Swedish, because Per’s music is fabulous. He is truly a pop music genious, and he brings much happiness because of it into my life!

@dubacik: Tack ska du ha....where do you come from?
Well, I think I have to practise a bit more. In my swedish lessons we are “only” translating but we don’t speak very much.
Once I asked Per something in swedish.(I guess that is 4 years ago already)..He did understand me but I didn’t understand his answer...THAT WAS EMBARRASSING!!!! I lost a bit of selfconfidence than.. In 2007 it was better. ;) I will have some practise in 2 months again when we’ll meet our friends in Åled!!! I’m really looking forward to that!

Hej alla!

I´ve been studying Swedish for 4 years in Buenos Aires too. I even took some classes with Diego. He´s a great guy, we meet every now and then in the Roxette-related events that take place in Buenos Aires or at the Swedish Embassy. He DOES speak Swedish with an Skåne-accent!

I´m writing this from Stockholm, After years dreaming about it, I got here last May 8th. I´ve been to both Cirkus concerts, got to meet a lot of cool fans from different parts of the world and then I´ve been living here for the last 2 weeks. People wonder how it is possible for someone visiting Sweden for the first time to speak Swedish in a more or less fluent way... Getting to know Stockholm and living here has been a fantastic and unforgettable experience. Diego, I´m sure you´ll make it here anytime and enjoy it very much!

Thanks to Roxette, I´ve met a lot of people who are now my friends, and even a very very special friend: my girlfriend is a Gessle-lover!


In 2003 I got Mazarin album from a friend of mine who was in Sweden back then and even visited Åhlens shop and got it signed for me (with a spelling mistake, without “s” in “Tomasz”, but well, I had to live with that :)

Till then I always found Swedish as a strange language to learn and I couldn’t understand why all these freaky people who like ABBA or Roxette start to learn language used by only 9-10 mln people around the world… After all Swedes DO understand and DO speak English, so why bother?

But never say never as people say. I fell in love with Mazarin album, then I’ve started to listen Marie’s albums and tried to translate some lyrics. It wasn’t most easy task to do as long I didn’t know a single word in Swedish (besides nej, ja and tack). 2 years later I’ve decided to start Swedish course on Warsaw University. It was a pure stroke of luck that in 2007 I was granted with Swedish Institute scholarship and spent four months in a little town near to Jönköping learning Swedish, living with Swedes and I even met with PG twice. I understood very well then that I didn’t want to stay in Sweden for any longer, because there was far too many differences between me being Polish and them being Nordics. I also realised that there was something about this country which I still really loved - language, literature and music, which still make me interested and curious about this northern land. Seems like this love will last forever. At least I hope. 4 years of learing cannot be a simple waste of time, can it?

Yep, it’s official, in some way I’ve become freak that I never wanted to be. And everything has started because of this little duo which name we all know very well.

Tomasz, 23, Warsaw, Poland

P.S. Using Swedish in Sweden doesn’t give me any privilages (as long as someone doesn’t know me), because everyone thinks I’m immigrant! So better speak English instead :D

Hej Ezeqiel!! I guess it is you who also was involved in this funny party with in the “Laughing Duck” together with the rest of the world (England, Sweden, Denmark, The Netherlands, Germany, Uruguay...) GREAT!!! I’m the girl who was sitting opposite you! :) What a funny night!!! :) I’ll never forget it.
God created a few perfect people, the rest are righthanded

@CRIZ - the party at the laughing duck was fantastic :P
i haven’t learnt swedish so to speak... i understand a lot through reading translations but as yet i haven’t had the chance to really learn it properly. would love to one day though!

as many of you i don’t speak Swedish but have learned a few words cos of Per and Marie. I remember this embarrassing experience in Stockholm before the en händig man concert: after getting to the central station I was trying to find my hostel, asked someone on the street and wanted to pretend that I could say something in Swedish, so it happened, the other guy understood my question but I didn’t understand the answer back. @Criz, than God that it was not as embarrassing as if he were Per. Swedish is tricky!

Yeah, the after concert party at “Laughing Duck” was superb ! Another “crazy” fan who can speak Swedish here (my accent is dreadful tho !)


I’ve always wanted to learn some swedish, as a language teacher myself swedish does look atractive enough given the language family it comes from but it so happens that there are only 4 registered swedish teachers here in Lima Peru, there is no official liason between a language institute and the swedish embassy. I hope in the future this changes because I would like to check out roxette-land one of these days and even when I know that I would do well with my english, speaking some swedish would definetely enhance the experience.
Does anyone know of a web link with free online swedish lessons? I’d appreciate the help.

I think the article is great, full credit to the guy for his hard work! :)

I first started to learn Swedish back in 1992 when I acquired my first copied Gyllene Tider cassette (cassette remember those?) off a penpal!

... and the rest they say is history... I have no problems reading it after years of practice and have lots of Swedish books I’ve picked up over the years to help with that but when it comes to speaking it I am still a very lazy brit who sticks to English! I lack confidence, I am sure if I was to move there for some months the confidence to use the language daily would happen but when your there for a couple of days or weeks at a time it just never happens! The same goes for all the other languages I have learnt over the years from school, French, Spanish and German...

hej guys, i started with the rosetta stone language program it was on amazon and it cost 200dollars but you plug in a head set and away you go, youd be suprised how easy it can be. ive seen torrents for it on pirate bay, if you know how to get a crack if you cant afford to buy it. but i highly recomendit, the programs and lessons are huge, i got part 1,2, and 3 and if anyone wasts to understand per and gt early lyrics try: have a good 1 guys

How great, and he even got a job because of his Swedish? That’s cool. The radio station, Aftonbladet or someone should pay him the trip to Sweden just because.

Hej hej.
I think tat’s nice if someone is learning a new language. Maybe he wants only to understand what is Per and Marie singing about.
I have been learning swedish language for one year. The reasons the same, but when I was in Sweden that was quite nice to speak with swedish people. They say that’s a (litle)strange language, but I love!

It’s nice to understand each other!

Hi There,
Wow that a great story and I admire Diego for this. But..!
Why is always about Argentina and Brazil?
Dear Roxette you have lots of European fans that sacrificed to see you on concerts or buy your CDs too.
I come from a little town in Sardinia (Italy) and 20 years ago I didn’t even know what internet was.
I use to work hard in the summer seasons and travel to London in the winter to but Per & Marie Cds as in my town there was not sign of them as a solo Music.
Now i have 150 Cds of Roxette and solo music from them and all original from every part of the world! That is for me is a huge achievement.
P.S i am going to see Roxette to Frankfurt on the 6th of December hope you will all go on those dates.

I believe its always Argentina and Brazil ’cause we are 10.000km from Europe and we are very different people here. Maybe we live fanatism in very strange and different way. Maybe these facts are interesting for them to remark. Who trips 10.000 kms to see a band here? I think no one would make it. However i never thought i was a bad idea to spen all the money i saved up in years just to see Per & co and enjoy my best 3 weeks ever in sweden.

As I posted on roxetteblog yesterday, I think it’s nice, always good to have Roxette-related on the media, but surely not the only one :)

Marie Fredriksson Online
Be strong, speak true

Solros, I am from Hungary, too and i have been learning swedish one and a half year. It’s great to understand what Per sings and was even better when each member of the band understanded i asked at the meet&greet.:)
Which gig have you been to this spring?

I started lostening to Marie and Per’s songs in Swedish recently and I’m very curious about their lyrics. I see some words sound similar to Enligsh, so it’s mut not be so difficult.

So who knows? Maybe I’ll end up learning Swedish like this guy. I’m from Buenos Aires too and, as I have been a Roxette fan for so many years, it would be a great tribute! :)

I wanna live, I wanna give, I’ve been a miner for a heart of gold...

great story!. what would you guys recomend to start learning the language , I cannot afford a private teacher, and on the other hand I feel I am a bit old to learn, you know.. when you get older it is not easy to learn a language as when you were a child.

best regards.

@Unreal: I started with a dictionary and the lyrics of Maries “Den ständiga resan” - album. I like singing and I wanted to sing along and you can’t learn lyrics that good when you don’t know where a word starts and where it’s ending and when you don’t know what it’s all about. So I sat down, listened to the songs, read the lyrics at the same time and than started to translate them...not all but some of the songs. Maybe my swedish nowadays sounds like a mix between “skånska”, “halländska” and tyska....ingen aning...haha..
Here in Germany I also found a really fantastic swedish course on CD for PC with a help of a friend. I’m just too lazy right now ..... It’s called “schwedisch aktiv” and I can recommend it even if its expensive. There must be something like this in other countries too.

At present then there is no place in Rosario to learn Swedish?
Thanks for answering if you already have the info.
Rox you like a baby! Rosario is Roxette!

He isn’t the only one, but he’s very persistent considering he’s never been in Sweden :-)

I fell in love with Roxette in 1989. I bought every album, also in Swedish, and I began to study the language in the beginning of the 90’s. First there was no place to learn the language, so I exchange lessons with Swedes living in Spain. They wanted to learn or practice their Spanish, I wanted to learn Swedish. So I got private teachers for no money at all. Later the Scandinavian Club in Spain helped me and a few others to find a real teacher. So we had lessons in their club for a couple of years. Later the Official School of Languages introduced Swedish as a trial and we joined the course for advanced students. And then, in 1997, I moved to Sweden, to Malmö, where I worked as an aupair and tried to improve my Swedish. In the end, I moved to Copenhagen in 1998 and since then I’ve been living here with a Dane I met. Danish and Swedish are so close to each other that I cannot speak Swedish any longer without mixing in an awful lot of Danish, but I do understand everything, and I can communicate perfectly with Swedes using my Danish-Swedish. The funny thing is that after all this years in Denmark, sometimes I still get confused and use some Swedish words!!!

So all of this because I found Roxette! One could say that they really changed my life :-)

Anyway, Scandinavia like every other place on Earth is not heaven or paradise. Sweden is beautiful, the language sounds great, the music some of the Swedes make is marvellous, and so on... But there are so many problems, too.

For those who speak Spanish, I write a blog where I explain about my life here in Scandinavia.

Another wannabe Swede here!

I first started learning Swedish because of Roxette when I was 14 years old... 19 years later, I’m still learning, but I can read it and understand the spoken language for the most part. I hope to set foot in Sweden soon, when the ABBA museum finally opens. Or, I can just jump the gun and go out to Tylosand and see the mini-Roxette exhibit there, instead. :-)

I wonder if Per and Marie realize how much they’ve influenced our lives, in so many positive ways!

“Où sont mes pantalons?”

yeah,sure... everybody studies swedish now!! ha ha ha..please, nobody is gonna show up in the newspaper ha ha ha

@CRIZ: I am from Slovakia. If you would like to practice your swedish just drop some e-mail to [email protected]. Would be nice to “meet” you...
If we changed it back, things would never be the same

I’m from Australia, I learned it by myself then lived in Sweden for a year and took proper lessons. At the first lesson my teacher took me aside and said I didn’t belong in the beginner class since I managed to have an entire conversation about how I went on tour with MF and Roxette while the others were learning “Hej, jag heter....” (Hi my name is) But I needed to start in beginners to learn the grammar and alphabet properly. I was speaking fluently when I left, haven’t spoken Swedish for 3 years and forgot a lot. However if I run into a Swede and start talking, after a few minutes I’m speaking fairly fluently again, just struggle to remember words sometimes.

I´m from Argentina and I love Roxette!!!
I just read the article about the Argentinian fan who learned to speak Swedish... and I think it´s great! Congrats to Diego for the remarkable effort he made!

I’ve learnt Swedish by myself in Hungary, and 2 years ago moved to Stockholm, I got a job because I was fluent in Swedish.
It took hell of a long time to get books and dictionary and when the internet became available, well, that changed the possibilities. I had to begin with song texts, nowadays read at least one book / month without any problem.
Everybody thinks I’m a freak since I learnt a language without living in the country, but I don’t think it’s a big thing. I made the same at school with English. Of course, you have to be interested in what you do and 100% committed.
But isn’t it so with everything in life? :)
So, don’t give up, guys! :) Cheers!


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