Interview With Finnish National Radio

This one is dear to my heart.

After my little study on Germany’s €9 ticket, journalist Johnny Sjöblom contacted me to ask if I’d like to talk about my findings in a radio interview for Svenska Yle, the Swedish-language part of Finland’s public service broadcasting company.

Oh, how much I wanted to! Finally I got a chance to give something back to the country that had welcomed me so warmly. Johnny kindly offered to do the interview in English or even German (he’s Svenska Yle’s correspondent in Germany), but I insisted to do it in one of the two national languages of Finland – Swedish. Did you know that 5% of the people in Finland have Swedish as their mother tongue?

I learned some half-decent Swedish at Åbo Akademi, the Swedish-language university of Finland. I also lived in Sweden for a year, but frankly, that didn’t help much. I don’t consider myself a language person. If we leave out Latin and Ancient Greek (don’t ask), Swedish is my third language, and I manage to wind my way through a chat with workmates. But boy, giving an interview on a rather technical subject is another story!

Sebastian Wilken in front of the Turku Cathedral
After my first interview in Swedish (Photo: Johnny Sjöblom, Yle)

So I was pretty nervous when we sat down at the Turku Cathedral on a beautiful summer day to talk about things my Swedish books have taught me little about. But in the end it went quite well, and Johnny made me feel not too stupid. Thanks for the opportunity and kudos to the language teachers at Åbo Akademi for making this possible! Johnny was also kind enough to let me use his photo of me on this website.

Unfortunately (well, maybe not so unfortunately), the interview is not available on the web. But you can read an article on Svenska Yle’s website that contains some of my quotes.


Johnny Sjöblom, Nio euros biljett gjorde succé i kollektivtrafiken i Tyskland. Svenska Yle, published on September 3, 2022.