How to Learn Swedish: 6 Useful Ways to Learn Swedish Swiftly

Kelsey Wetherbee Published on December 28, 2022

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Hallå! Are you trying to find the best resources to put you on track to becoming fluent in Swedish?

In this article, I’ll show you the best ways to start studying Swedish and the best tools you can use to build a comprehensive study routine. I’ve included all you could need: Swedish apps, books, online courses, YouTube channels, and podcasts. If you’re more into traditional learning, I’ve also included the best platforms you can use to find a Swedish online tutor.

The Langoly team has over 5 decades combined of language learning experience, so we’re familiar with everything that goes into learning a new language. We’ve personally tested and reviewed over 600 language products to ensure they offer high-quality content. After reading this article, you’ll have all the tools you need to reach your Swedish language goals.

Best Swedish App

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Best Swedish Course

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Best Swedish Tutors

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How to Learn Swedish: Use These 6 Methods to Become Fluent!

While Swedish shares many similarities with the English language, you still need to be able to apply its vocabulary and grammar correctly to become fluent in it. If you want to communicate like a Swedish native speaker, you need to develop all areas of language, such as vocabulary, grammar, listening, speaking, writing, and reading. But since there isn’t one resource that can successfully cover everything you need, it’s always best to use a variety of study tools.

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But, finding the right resources for your learning style and goals can be time-consuming, especially if you’re completely new to Swedish. To save you time, we have tested 6 different resources following our strict methodology to choose the best for all levels of Swedish learners. Below, you’ll find a list of effective Swedish language resources that can help you improve your language skills.

Use the Best Swedish Apps

Language apps can be convenient tools if you’re trying to squeeze Swedish lessons in between work or school. Besides being completely portable resources, they can help you build a foundation of the Swedish language in a fun and engaging way. Most apps have brief lessons, and you can complete as many or as few as you want to develop your Swedish skills. Babbel, Pimsleur, and Mondly are quality apps that can help you start learning and communicating in Swedish.

Commitment: Low
Price: Low-Medium
Convenience: High

See more Swedish apps

Babbel

Babbel is the best app to learn Swedish because it shows you how to apply the language naturally. In each lesson, you learn the most important topics and practice all language-learning skills like speaking, listening, reading, and writing. What makes Babbel my favorite app for Swedish is that it has built-in grammar explanations that show you how to build sentences and conjugate verbs. If you want to learn through application rather than memorization, I recommend Babbel. You can try 1 free lesson on Babbel or read this Babbel review for more information.

Pimsleur

Pimsleur is the best Swedish app if your goal is to become conversational quickly. Its Swedish course is completely audio-based and teaches you the language you need to start speaking from the first lesson. What I like about Pimsleur is that you listen to a conversation between Swedish speakers, and then they break down each phrase into sounds. This way, you can learn Swedish vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation all in one place. You can try Pimsleur for free with a 7-day trial, or read more about it in this Pimsleur review.

Mondly

Mondly is the best app for beginners because it can help you master the basics of Swedish with brief lessons. With Mondly, you can follow a structured lesson plan to increase your vocabulary or choose what topic to study next. This app is very popular for its unique language tools, like AR lessons and a chatbot that mimics a conversation with a native speaker. Mondly lessons start with the most basic Swedish and continuously build upon what you previously learned. You can even track your progress to see how far you’ve come! Mondly offers a 7-day free trial, or you can read more about it in this Mondly review.

Take an Online Swedish Course

Online courses can be a great option if you’re trying to learn Swedish through self-study. With online courses, you can take Swedish lessons based on your level. Following a structured lesson plan can help you see more progress. There are different types of online courses, and you can choose one that focuses on the skill you want to improve, self-paced lessons, or group lessons. Folkuniversitetet Online, Svenska Distans, and the Foreign Institute Swedish course are three comprehensive options that can take your skills to the next level.

Commitment: High
Price: Medium-High
Convenience: Medium

Folkuniversitetet Online

Folkuniversitetet Online has a variety of online courses that range from beginner (A1) to advanced (C1). The lessons are completely in Swedish, and you participate in small group work in breakout rooms. To me, this is the most effective option for self-study learners who like traditional learning. The course is made to give you the classroom experience, and there’s homework in between classes to reinforce what you’ve learned. They also offer free courses for vulnerable populations such as asylum seekers and immigrants who want to become care staff. You can try a free lesson to see if a Folkuniveritetet online course is a good choice for you.

Svenska Distans

If you’re planning to move or visit Sweden, Svenska Distans offers online courses you can complete at your pace to develop the language skills you need for daily life. You follow an individualized course and are assigned a teacher who can answer your questions and provide feedback on your written assignments. The courses follow the guidelines for SFI (Swedish for immigrants), which is what makes it the best choice if you’re preparing for a study or work visa. There are courses for all ages and all levels. You can learn about what options are available on the Svenska Distans website.

FSI Swedish

The FSI Swedish textbook was made for the Foreign Service Institute to train diplomats who will be placed in Sweden. It’s not the flashiest course, nor the most interesting, but it’s been proven to be effective to learn in a short amount of time. It’s generally used in a classroom setting with a teacher, but can also be used as a self-study guide. This is an effective option but can be too in-depth for casual learners. For this reason, I recommend it to motivated and serious learners. You can download the free PDF here.

Find an Online Swedish Tutor

Talking with a native Swedish speaker is one of the best way to improve fluency and speaking skills. But it can be difficult to practice if you don’t know anyone who speaks Swedish. Thanks to the internet, there are now many platforms can help you find the best Swedish tutor for your study method and goals. Taking classes with an online tutor makes it easy to practice from the comfort of your home and focus on the language areas that need work. Italki, Preply, and The Swedish Teacher are secure platforms you can use to find a Swedish tutor.

Commitment: Medium
Price: Medium-High
Convenience: Medium

italki

Italki is an online language-learning platform with more than 50 Swedish teachers available. You can choose a teacher based on what you want to learn, the teacher’s availability, and more. Teachers set their own prices which lets you find one that fits your budget and makes learning Swedish accessible. My favorite italki feature is that you can message your tutors beforehand to let them know what you want to study. All teachers create their own curriculum, so you can focus on your weaknesses or review what you’ve learned. Most teachers offer a discounted trial class so you can see if they are a good fit for you. You can also read more in this italki review.

Preply

Preply is a platform that’s similar to italki. There are more than 60 Swedish teachers available, and you can check their profiles to see their bio, schedule, and past student reviews. Preply sells lessons in bundles so it’s important to find a tutor you like. Most Preply tutors also offer discounted trial lessons, so you can try a couple to see which one fits your learning style the best. If you aren’t satisfied with your tutor during your trial lesson, you can take another trial class for free. You can read more about it in this Preply review.

The Swedish Teacher

The Swedish Teacher is a platform specifically for Swedish learners who want to take online lessons on Zoom or Skype. This is a very flexible option because you can choose between one-on-one lessons or small group lessons depending on what you’re most comfortable with. They offer a wide range of levels, from A1-C2 as well as special topics like Swedish at Work and writing lessons. The lessons have flexible schedules so you can take class when it’s convenient for you. You can sign up for a free trial lesson on their website.

Study with High-Quality Swedish Books

Books are a traditional way to learn Swedish, and for a good reason. Not only can you take them everywhere, but they are also excellent reference guides for Swedish grammar. This is the part most language learners struggle with, but books have clear explanations and examples to make understanding grammar easier. Many books are designed for self-study and others include additional learning materials to complement your studies. Complete Swedish, From English to Swedish, and Swedish Short Stories for Beginners are three books that break complicated Swedish into digestible bits to keep you moving forward.

Commitment: Low
Price: Medium
Convenience: Medium

Complete Swedish

Complete Swedish will take you from beginner to an intermediate level and it covers the major areas of language: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. The book teaches everyday Swedish to become conversational and navigate common situations, such as introducing yourself and asking for directions. The book uses the discovery method to help you notice the patterns in the language, which is why I think it’s best to have some previous knowledge to benefit from it. There are also cultural notes about Sweden and practice exercises so you can check your progress. You can find out more about the book here.

From English to Swedish

From English to Swedish is a 2-book series that covers the A1 and A2 levels of the CEFR. This series is specifically designed for English speakers who want to learn Swedish comprehensively. There are vocabulary lists, grammar explanations, and commentaries in English to help you understand more thoroughly. The book takes advantage of the close relationship between Swedish and English and uses English to introduce you to 1,500 of the most commonly used Swedish words. Each chapter has practice exercises to reinforce what you just learned, and cultural notes to teach you about life in Sweden. Read more about the book here.

Swedish Short Stories for Beginners

Swedish Short Stories for Beginners has 20 entertaining stories you can read to learn important Swedish vocabulary and grammar. The stories focus on real-life situations and have dialogues that show how people speak, including Swedish slang (which I found very helpful). Each story has a summary in Swedish and English, a vocabulary list, and practice questions to test your understanding of what you read. Finding reading material that’s suited for beginners can be hard, so I think this book is essential for every Swedish learner looking to test their skills. You can learn more about this book here.

Watch Swedish YouTube Videos

Watching YouTube videos is fun, but it can also be very beneficial if you’re a visual learner or trying to improve your language skills. There’s a great variety of YouTube channels that can teach you how to speak Swedish like a native speaker. The YouTube channels below have tons of great content to expose you to natural Swedish speech and help you effectively develop your pronunciation, speaking, and listening skills.

Commitment: Low
Price: Low
Convenience: High

Nackagubben

nackagubben youtube

The Nackagubben channel is a bit of a hodge-podge of videos, but they are all hosted by a fun and energetic native Swede. His videos cover interesting language and cultural topics like untranslatable Swedish words and Swedish idioms. His channel has a nice mix of entertaining skits and language lessons to teach you casual and natural Swedish, which is why I included it in this list. If you want to add some fun to your routine, there are more than 200 videos on the Nackagubben channel.

Fun Swedish

Fun Swedish has language learning videos that start with basics like learning the alphabet, and advance to more complicated topics like word order. What makes this channel a great place to learn Swedish, however, is the easiness with which it tackles grammar. You can study tricky prepositions, reciprocal verbs, and compound Swedish words with videos that last around 15 minutes each. All the explanations are in English, so you won’t feel overwhelmed. There are more than 160 videos for you to watch on the Fun Swedish channel.

Linn Ahlborg

Linn Ahlborg is a Swedish influencer and blogger. All of her videos are completely in Swedish, so her channel is best for intermediate and advanced learners. Her videos don’t teach the Swedish language but focus on her daily life in Stockholm. If you want to practice listening to the language in a casual context, Linn’s channel can teach you what life is like in Sweden while you test your skills. You can watch her videos on the Linn Ahlborg channel.

Listen to Swedish Podcasts

Podcasts are a modern way to learn a language if you have a busy schedule. Since they’re audio-based, you can listen to them while you’re doing other activities. You can use podcasts to practice listening to spoken Swedish or learn more about its culture. The podcasts below, SwedishPod101, Coffee Break Swedish, and Swedish Linguist are three high-quality and accessible options that can help you develop your conversational skills at your own pace.

Commitment: Low
Price: Low
Convenience: High

SwedishPod101

swedishpod101 logo

SwedishPod101 is a language learning platform with hundreds of podcasts to teach you essential topics of the Swedish language. Each track features a dialogue between native speakers and breaks down the pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar used in the lesson. If you’re looking to improve your Swedish pronunciation while you develop your listening skills, SwedishPod101 has content for all levels of learners. There is also a lot of additional material like lesson notes, vocabulary lists, and practice exercises. You can try SwedishPod101 for free for 7 days and read more about it in this SwedishPod101 review.

Coffee Break Swedish

The idea behind the Coffee Break Swedish podcast is that you can learn and practice Swedish in the time it would take you to drink a cup of coffee. Their short episodes feature native speakers and teach you important Swedish aspects like saying how you’re feeling or asking for directions. There’s also a mini-series that talks about interesting aspects of Swedish culture, gives you study tips, and quickly breaks down complicated grammar. Overall, I think this is a great choice for beginner learners to start their Swedish journey. You can listen to all the episodes for free or sign up for premium access to get lesson notes and other additional material.

Swedish Linguist

The Swedish Linguist podcast is hosted by Fredrik and is entirely in Swedish. He speaks slowly to make it easier to understand, and each lesson comes with a transcript to make the content accessible for beginners. However, what I like the most about this podcast are its cultural notes about Swedish history and current events. There are over 150 episodes, so there’s plenty of content to teach you about spoken Swedish and life in Sweden. You can listen to all episodes for free on the Swedish Linguist website.

How to Learn Swedish: Final Thoughts

Learning Swedish can be fun, but you do need the right tools for the job. Using a high-quality resource, such as the ones on this list, can help you improve quickly. Once you get into a language-learning routine, you’ll be on your way to having a conversation in Swedish!

Want to learn more? Check out our Swedish resource page.

How to Learn Swedish: FAQ

How long does it take to learn Swedish?

According to the US Department of State, it takes about 600 hours to learn Swedish to a proficient level. But this number varies for every person based on a variety of factors such as your natural ability to learn languages and if you already speak a similar language.

To see how long it will take you to learn Swedish, check out this fluency calculator.

How can I learn Swedish quickly?

The best way to learn Swedish quickly is to dedicate the time necessary and use a high-quality resource that you like using. You’ll be more motivated to study if it’s an enjoyable experience. If you study every day, or at least a few times a week, you’ll be surprised by how quickly you can pick up the basics of Swedish.

How do I learn Swedish at home on my own?

There are many ways to learn Swedish at home. One of the most popular is learning with a language app. They’re convenient and can be a fun and interesting way to study. Other people might prefer to take online classes, either privately or in a group. There are also unique options, such as watching YouTube videos and listening to podcasts.

How hard is it to learn Swedish?

Swedish is considered one of the easiest languages for English speakers to learn. The two languages share many similarities. They’re both Germanic languages and share similar vocabulary and grammar structures.

How do I learn Swedish fluently?

One of the best ways to become fluent in Swedish is to study with a qualified teacher. It’s possible to reach a high level of Swedish on your own, but to reach an advanced level, taking online classes will give you the opportunity to practice conversation and understanding with a native speaker.

How do I learn Swedish for free?

There are quite a few options to learn Swedish for free. Podcasts and YouTube videos are entirely free and available online. Some language apps offer some or all of their content for free, such as Duolingo and SwedishPod101. You can also check out your local library for Swedish books you can borrow and many libraries offer free subscriptions to language apps like Mango Languages.

Kelsey Wetherbee

Kelsey is the Content Manager and Editor of Langoly. She is a TEFL-certified English teacher with more than eight years of classroom experience in three different countries. She’s an avid language learner with an advanced level of Spanish and is currently studying French. Whenever possible, she loves to travel and enjoys meeting people from all over the world. Connect with Kelsey on LinkedIn.

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