By Amy Dalrymple, The Forum

Minnesota State University Moorhead will offer a Swedish language and culture course this fall for the first time in about 20 years.

The course, taught by MSUM professor emeritus James Kaplan, will be open to MSUM students and community members.

Kaplan, who retired in 2008 from MSUM as a French professor, lived and worked in Sweden and founded the Swedish Cultural Heritage Society of the Red River Valley. He was decorated by King Carl XVI Gustav of Sweden for his service to the Swedish American community.

Kaplan first taught Swedish at MSUM in 1976 and offered the course for about 10 to 15 years.

At the time, it was a popular course, with people driving from one to two hours away because it was the only place it was offered, Kaplan said.

“We had big crowds of people coming to learn Swedish,” he said.

Concordia College offers Norwegian and Scandinavian studies but has not offered Swedish language classes.

The course Kaplan will offer this fall is called Introduction to Swedish Language and Culture. The two-credit class will be from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays beginning Aug. 24. It will be limited to 27 students.

About two-thirds of the class will cover the language and one-third will cover cultural topics such as Swedish artists and composers, Christmas among the Swedish pioneers and the emigration from Sweden to America.

MSUM students can register through the normal registration process. Community members can register through MSUM’s Office of Continuing Studies, (218) 477-5862.

For more information, contact Kaplan at kaplan@mnstate.edu.