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Hallå! Learning Swedish is a useful endeavor and can be a gateway to all the Nordic languages. To improve your Swedish quickly and effectively, finding the best way for you to study is key. This article compiles some of the best Swedish resources available. You’re sure to find a way to help you take your Swedish to the next level.
Swedish is one of the most spoken languages in Europe and has over 11 million native speakers. It’s an official language of Sweden and Finland. There are many reasons to learn Swedish. It will help you understand other Nordic languages, Norwegian and Danish, making it a breeze to travel around this area of the world. It’s also grammatically similar to English and is one of the easier languages for English speakers to learn.
Sweden constantly ranks at the top of the list of best countries to live in and countries with the highest quality of life. If you want to move to Sweden, learning the language will make your stay much easier. There are also many large companies based in Sweden such as Volvo, H&M, and Ikea. If nothing else, learning Swedish will help you decipher the names on you Ikea furniture.
How Long Will It Take You To Learn Swedish?
What is your current level?
What level do you want to reach?
How many hours will you study each day?
Table of Contents
Learning Swedish takes hard work and dedicated study, but there are ways to learn more effectively. Finding a study method that works for you is the first step. How do you want to learn? Where do you want to study? How much time can you dedicate?
Answering these questions will guide you. For example, a language app or podcast might be best if you can only study for a few minutes on your way to work. Or if you are learning Swedish for business reasons, perhaps you could take online classes while you’re at work.
The next step is to create a study plan and stick with it. It’s much more effective to study a little every day than to have long cram sessions sporadically. With consistent practice, you’ll notice continual improvement.
Language apps are a convenient way to learn Swedish. You can use them on a phone, computer, or tablet so you can study anywhere and at any time. Many apps have games and activities, making it addicting to log in and learn more every day. Babbel, Pimsleur, and Mondly are big names in the language-learning industry and have quality apps that will help you learn quickly.
Babbel is the best overall app because it shows you the real way people speak Swedish. In each lesson, you learn the most important topics and practice all language-learning skills like speaking, listening, reading, and writing. The lessons are fun and easy to complete in a short amount of time so you can study on the go. You can try 1 free lesson on Babbel or read this Babbel review if you’d like more information.
Pimsleur is an excellent option if you want to focus on becoming conversational quickly. The Swedish course is audio-only and teaches you to speak from your very first lesson. In each lesson, you listen to a complete conversation between native Swedish speakers, then Pimsleur breaks it down and teaches you each aspect of it. You can try Pimsleur for free with a 7-day trial. You can also read more about it in this Pimsleur review.
Mondly is an app that can help you go from a complete beginner to understanding basic Swedish quickly. The lessons are short and simple, and you can focus on the topics that are most interesting to you. You can also track your progress to see how much you’ve learned. Mondly offers a 7-day free trial. You can read more about it in this Mondly review.
If you prefer to learn in a more structured way, an online Swedish course is a good option for you. They are easy to follow and have progressive lessons that build on what you’ve already learned. Some courses are self-paced and others require you to log in for live lessons so you have options based on your preferred learning style and schedule. Folkuniversitetet Online, Svenska Distans, and the Foreign Institute Swedish course are three quality options that are comprehensive and effective.
Folkuniversitetet Online offers a variety of online courses that range from beginner (A1) to advanced (C1). The courses have live classes that you attend with a maximum of 12 students. The lessons are taught in Swedish, and you participate in small group work in breakout rooms. You complete homework in between classes to reinforce what you’ve learned. They also offer free courses for vulnerable populations such as asylum seekers, women who can’t attend live classes because they have children, 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 offers online courses that you can take at your own pace. All the material is online and you follow an individualized course. You have an assigned teacher that can answer your questions and provide feedback on your written assignments. The courses follow the guidelines for SFI (Swedish for immigrants). There are courses for all ages, including children, and all levels. You can learn about what options are available on the Svenska Distans website.
The FSI Swedish textbook was made for the Foreign Service Institute to train diplomats that will be placed in Sweden. It's generally used in a classroom setting with a teacher, but can also be used as a self-study guide for motivated learners. It's not the flashiest course, nor the most interesting, but it's been proven to be effecitve to learn in a short amount of time. You can download the free pdf here.
Talking with a native Swedish speaker is probably the best way to improve fluency and speaking skills. But it can be difficult to practice if you don’t know anyone that speaks Swedish. Taking classes with an online tutor makes it easy to practice from the comfort of your home and on your own schedule. Italki, Preply, and The Swedish Teacher are secure platforms with many experienced teachers.
Italki is an online language-learning platform. There are 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. 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 is a platform that's similar to italki. There are more than 60 Swedish teachers available. You can check their profiles to see their bio, schedule, and past student review. Preply also offers a happiness guarantee. If you aren’t satisfied with your tutor during your free trial lesson, you can take another trial class for free until you find a teacher you like. You can read more about it in this Preply review.
The Swedish Teacher is a platform specifically for Swedish learners. You can choose if you want to take one-on-one lessons or small group lessons. They offer a wide range of levels, from A1-C2 as well as special topics like Swedish at Work and writing lessons. You take classes over Skype or Zoom, and they have a flexible schedule so you can take class when it’s convenient for you. You can sign up for a free trial lesson on their website.
Books are a practical way to learn Swedish. They are portable so you can study anywhere. They also offer flexibility because you can flip to exactly what you want to learn. Many books are designed for self-study and offer detailed explanations and practice exercises to check your understanding. Complete Swedish, From English to Swedish, and Swedish Short Stories for Beginners have excellent reviews on Amazon.
Complete Swedish will take you from beginner to an intermediate level and it covers the major areas of language: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. It’s a good choice for self-learners or someone who wants to refresh their Swedish. The book teaches everyday Swedish to become conversational and navigate common situations. There are also cultural notes about the country of Sweden and practice exercises so you can check your progress. You can see what other people thought about the book here.
From English to Swedish is a 2-book series that covers the A1 and A2 levels of the CEFR. It’s specifically designed for English speakers who want to learn Swedish. The vocabulary lists, grammar explanations, and commentary are in English to help you understand more thoroughly. By the end of the book series, you’ll know 1,500 of the most commonly used Swedish words. Each chapter has practice exercises to reinforce what you just learned. People who bought the book thought it was effective and entertaining. You can read more reviews here.
Swedish Short Stories for Beginners has 20 entertaining stories to help you learn vocabulary and practice reading in Swedish. The stories focus on real-life situations and have dialogues that show how people speak. Each story has a summary in Swedish and English, a vocabulary list, and practice questions to test your understanding of what you read. Best of all, it’s an inexpensive, yet entertaining, option to practice all language skills. You can learn more about Swedish Short Stories for Beginners here.
Watching YouTube videos is fun, so why not watch them to learn Swedish! They’re a great way to hear how native speakers use the language. Videos also have the added benefit of using visuals to help you better understand the content. The YouTube channels below have tons of great content to expose you to natural Swedish speech.
The Nackagubben channel is a bit of a hodge-podge of videos, but they are all hosted by a fun and energetic native Swede who’s quirky and entertaining. There are different types of videos that cover language and cultural topics. You can watch videos about untranslatable Swedish words, reaction videos, and videos that compare the different nordic languages. You can watch more than 200 videos on the Nackagubben channel.
Fun Swedish has language learning videos that start from the very basics, learning the alphabet, and advance to more complicated topics like word order and advanced vocabulary. There are also videos about different parts of Swedish culture so you can learn about the country while you practice the language. There are more than 160 videos for you to watch on the Fun Swedish channel.
Linn Ahlborg is a Swedish influencer and blogger. All of her videos are completely in Swedish. This channel is best for intermediate and advanced learners because she isn’t teaching the language, but focuses on her daily life. While you won’t learn the basics by watching her videos, advanced learners can hear how Swedish is spoken by native speakers and learn about the culture in the process. You can watch her videos on the Linn Ahlborg channel.
Podcasts are a more modern way to learn a language, and it definitely has its benefits. Since they are audio-based, it’s a great way to practice listening and understanding. Best of all, if you have a device and headphones, you can listen to a podcast anywhere and at any time. The podcasts below, SwedishPod101, Swedish Linguist, and Coffee Break Swedish are three high-quality options with tons of episodes for you to enjoy.
SwedishPod101 is an extensive platform and mobile app that has hundreds of podcast lessons that teach essential topics of the Swedish language and culture. Each podcast features a dialogue between native speakers so you can hear how Swedish is spoken conversationally. 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.
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. The lessons are interesting because he focuses on cultural topics and current events. There are over 150 episodes, and you can listen to all episodes for free on the Swedish Linguist website.
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. They have short episodes that feature native speakers and teach important aspects of the language. There’s also a mini, cultural series that talks about interesting aspects of Swedish culture. You can listen to all the episodes for free or sign up for premium access to get lesson notes and more additional material.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.