Everything You Need To Learn Swedish
Swedish is a North Germanic language, spoken by approximately 8 million people, predominantly in Sweden and parts of Finland. It is one of five recognized official languages in Sweden; the others include Finnish, Meänkieli (a variety of Finnish) spoken mainly in the Torne Valley region, and Sami (a minority language) spoken in certain northern parts of Sweden.
Swedish is part of the Indo-European language group and is closely related to Norwegian and Danish, with which it is somewhat mutually intelligible. It is a descendant of Old Norse, the common language of the Germanic peoples living in Scandinavia during the Viking Era.
Written Swedish, as with Danish and Norwegian, is said to be one of the easiest languages for English speakers to learn. This is because Swedish has preserved many features of its Germanic heritage, including nouns and verbs that are conjugated much like English verbs.
Below, you’ll find a list of useful resources to help you learn Swedish. Though it isn’t a long one, there’ll more than enough here to get you to a good level on your own.
Swedish Language Learning Books
One of the best ways to learn the language without spending too much money would be with a good, old-fashioned Spanish course book or textbook. These books cover everything from Swedish grammar to pronounciation and basic conversation, setting a solid foundation in the language.
Get yourself a concise English-Swedish dictionary, and you’ll be able to look up the meaning of all the new words you encounter, and find easy-to-understand examples of how to use them in different contexts.
Traveling to Sweden any time soon? Consider getting a Swedish phrasebook to help you make the most of your trip. It’s a great way to learn the most useful words and phrases to use with the natives.
And if you like puzzles, then a Swedish word search puzzle book is a fun way to pick up plenty of new vocabulary.
Swedish Children’s Books
Another great way to learn some new words and familiarize yourself with how the language works, is by reading children’s books in Swedish. Swedish kids’ books are written in simple language, are filled with lots of colorful, memorable illustrations, making them perfect for beginners.
Some of the books on this list are bilingual English-Swedish kids’ stories that give you both texts in the same book, allowing you to use the English version as a guide for understanding the Swedish.
You’ll experience the biggest boost to your vocabulary reading more advanced books, namely Swedish books for adults/older readers. The language used in these books is more complex, relevant and engaging. Though they may be challenging at first, they’re totally worth it.
Swedish Movies & TV Shows
Watching movies or TV shows with Swedish dubbing or audio is an excellent way to learn the language. One of the main reasons is because you have visual cues to help you remember words and learn their meanings in context. Another reason is that you’ll learn proper Swedish pronunciation.
Also, you’ll pick up things like Swedish slang, idioms and turns of phrase that you probably wouldn’t find in textbooks.
Swedish Digital Courses
You can skip books for the time being and get your start with a Swedish e-course that uses audio or video instruction to teach you the language.
These types of courses are more focused on building your Swedish listening and speaking skills, but will also introduce you to all the grammar concepts you need to speak the language correctly.
Udemy’s comprehensive Swedish course is great value for money, even without the heavy discounts. You get an impression 13.5 hours of video lessons (150 lessons in total), plus lifetime access on any smart device.
SWEDISH UDEMY COURSES
SWEDISH AUDIO COURSES
There are also a number of audio-only courses available from many of the major digital language course providers.
Pimsleur’s Conversational Swedish and Basic courses along with the Michel Thomas Method’s Foundational Swedish course all offer hours of audio lessons. They aim to get you conversational using nothing but audio, and are perfect for those with limited time.
Typing in Swedish, using the Swedish alphabet, can be a chore without the right keyboard. With Swedish keyboard stickers, you can easily transform your regular keyboard into a Swedish one.