Message for U.S. Citizens Europe Travel Alert

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United States Embassy London

Message for U.S. Citizens
Europe Travel Alert
May 1, 2017

The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the continued threat of terrorist attacks throughout Europe.  This Travel Alert expires on September 1, 2017.

Recent, widely-reported incidents in France, Russia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom demonstrate that the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS or Da’esh), al-Qa’ida, and their affiliates have the ability to plan and execute terrorist attacks in Europe.  While local governments continue counterterrorism operations, the Department nevertheless remains concerned about the potential for future terrorist attacks.  U.S. citizens should always be alert to the possibility that terrorist sympathizers or self-radicalized extremists may conduct attacks with little or no warning.

Extremists continue to focus on tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities as viable targets.  In addition, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, high-profile events, educational institutions, airports, and other soft targets remain priority locations for possible attacks.  U.S. citizens should exercise additional vigilance in these and similar locations, in particular during the upcoming summer travel season when large crowds may be common.

Terrorists persist in employing a variety of tactics, including firearms, explosives, using vehicles as ramming devices, and sharp-edged weapons that are difficult to detect prior to an attack.

If you are traveling between countries in Europe, please check the website of the U.S. embassy or consulate in your destination city for any recent security messages.  Review security information from local officials, who are responsible for the safety and security of all visitors to their host country.  U.S. citizens should also:

  • Follow the instructions of local authorities.  Monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities.
  • Be prepared for additional security screening and unexpected disruptions.
  • Stay in touch with your family members and ensure they know how to reach you in the event of an emergency.
  • Have an emergency plan of action ready.

We continue to work closely with our European partners and allies on the threat from international terrorism.  Information is routinely shared between the United States and our key partners to disrupt terrorist plotting, identify and take action against potential operatives, and strengthen our defenses against potential threats.

For further information:

  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
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Fellow expat releases 2nd book – Due North

A new travel book by Lola A. Åkerström

About Lola:

Lola A. Åkerström
Lola A. Åkerström

Having lived on three different continents — Africa, North America, and now Europe — for extended periods of time, Lola (Akinmade) Åkerström is drawn to the complexities and nuances of culture and how they manifest themselves within relationships.

She holds a master’s degree in Information Systems from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Lola worked as a consultant and programmer for over a decade before following her dreams of becoming a travel writer and photographer, exploring various cultures through food, tradition, and lifestyle.

Today, she’s an award-winning writer, speaker, and photographer represented by National Geographic Creative. She regularly contributes to high profile publications such as AFAR, the BBC, The Guardian, Lonely Planet, Travel + Leisure and National Geographic Traveller, to name a few –

She has received photography and writing awards, including recognition from the Society of American Travel Writers and North American Travel Journalists Association. In addition, Lola is the editor of Slow Travel Stockholm, an online magazine dedicated to exploring Sweden’s capital city in depth (

She lives in Stockholm, Sweden, and blogs at



Snälla, snälla, snälla, snälla

Source: Transparency Language

Saying Please in Swedish

Last week, we learned several different ways to say thank you in the creatively titled post, Saying Thank You in Swedish. When you’re learning a new language, all of those polite words can really come in handy. So let’s take a look at how to say please in Swedish.

You don’t.

I’m kidding. Kind of. Of course you say please in Swedish. But this is one of those words that new Swedish learners really struggle with sometimes. That’s because a lot of the times, you use the word tack. Thank you. For example, if your friend asks you if you want more ice cream (and of course you do) then you might respond “yes, please.” Let’s take a look at that in Swedish:

–Vill du ha mer glass?
–Ja, tack!

Notice how we use tack there? It’s almost as if, in Swedish, you’re thanking the person in advance. What if you’re a little eager for that ice cream? You might ask your friend for more ice cream before they even get a chance to ask you.

–Kan jag få mer glass, tack?

There it is again: “can I have some more ice cream, please?” We’re using tack!

Maybe you’re overwhelmed by the amount of thanking going on in Swedish. There are a few other ways of saying please without using tack.

Sometime you’ll hear the word snällaas please. Snäll means nice or kind. So you’re essentially appealing to a person’s kindness. It’s also usually used by children. So instead of a friend, let’s look at a child who wants a little more ice cream from their father.

–Snälla pappa, kan jag få mer glass?

So here we have an English sentence similar to: “can I please have some more ice cream, dad?” The child is appealing directly to the kindness of their father.

Similarly, you can use snäll or vänlig to appeal to a person’s kindness as a form of please:

–Vill du vara snäll och ge mig mer glass?
–Vill du vara vänlig och ge mig mer glass?

Literally, you’re asking someone if they can be nice and give you some more ice cream. This is a perfectly acceptable way to say please, although it can sometimes sound a bit formal, so be aware of that.

Editor’s note: I can’t say please in Swedish without thinking of this song:



Hen party!

Source: Transparency Language


Hen is a new pronoun in Swedish. It is a gender neutral pronoun that many people mean was needed very much to fill a hole in the Swedish language. The purpose of the pronoun isn’t to gender-neutralize a person but more like not revealing gender in cases when you don’t want to, or not important. However, it is also used as a collective pronoun instead or writing “he/or she can decide if…” we can simply write “hen can decide if…”. So I personally  really feel that this is one of the most useful area in the language. The Swedish newspaper called “hen” as the you Swedish export product, hoping that it will be used in other countries too. Germanic languages would needed.


On the other hand there are other Finno-Ugric and Turkish-speaking nations who use gender-neutral pronoun. Finnish: Hän, Hungarian: Ö etc.

The Swedish Daily Newspaper thinks it is Sweden’t biggest export product. In Norwegian they started to use hen, in Danish høn and in Icelandic hán as well. English has been a little more conservative when it comes to hen. English had tried a few alternative variations: ce, ze xo but without any results. källa: Dagens Nyheter

The Swedish language has already a gender neutral way to talk about things in general man but recently it has also been exchanged by hen in many cases. Many people find this revolutionary and historic from a language point of view because we have been witnessing such a major change in the Swedish language in our lifetime.



Jackie Kleefield Cohn – Conversations with My Cat

Jackie Kleefield Cohn

Jackie Kleefield Cohn


Jackie Kleefield Cohn‘s on tonight and tomorrow! May not be too late to grab a ticket.