I've been pretty proactive about learning Swedish since I met M over two years ago...I spent lots of time studying on my own, patiently listening to Swedish conversations trying to pick out words, watching TV in Swedish, and whizzing through the Swedish for Immigrants classes that are offered here. I'm feeling really comfortable understanding and reading Swedish, almost to the point where I barely have to strain my brain in order to understand everything.
But, there's something about speaking Swedish that is neither easy nor fun for me. The pronunciation, especially of vowels, is SO tricky...you'll end up saying a completely different word if you don't get your ä's, å's, and ö's sounded out perfectly. And I'm starting to admit to myself that I really don't enjoy the feeling of speaking Swedish. In order to sound correct you have to speak way in the back of your throat in kind of a nasally, snobby way, and something about the Swedish intonation reminds me of a disapproving grandmother (not that my slopppy, monotonous American English sounds any better).
Back in Guatemala when I was learning and speaking Spanish, the way the rrrrrr's rolled off my tongue felt fun and badass. The better I got, the more fun it was to speak...almost like salsa dancing in your mouth. I've never had that feeling with Swedish, even as I've gotten better and better at it. Maybe it's just a matter of time...hopefully someday I'll grow to love these exaggerated vowels and nasally "oj oj oj's."