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

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.

This article was written for an earlier version of The Daily Roxette.
Technical errors may occur.

  ★ The author:

  ★ Publishing date:

May 22nd, 2009

Internal reference code for TDR's Good Reporters: [tdr 111274]

This article was posted here on TDR in these categories:

Archive, TDR:Fans, vintage.

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