Learning Swedish is not that difficult. Do you want to impress with some Swedish language skills at a restaurant or bar during your next vacation in Sweden? Or do you want to polish your Business Swedish? Or maybe just learn a few extra words to understand Swedish song texts or websites and be able to read books?
Here are my top 10 tips on how to easily learn and improve your Swedish – whether you are still a beginner or just want to improve your existing language skills.
Top 10 Tips: How to Learn the Swedish Language
1. Listen to Swedish Music
Here is a list of bands and artists who sing in Swedish. Listening to Swedish music makes it easier for you to get the Swedish language melody and pronunciation right. At the same time you learn lyrics of songs, so next time a song is played on the Swedish radio you can sing along and impress your Swedish friends.
- Kent (Sweden’s most famous rock band,
- Gyllene Tider (the band of Roxette‘s Per Gessle),
- Veronica Maggio (Pop)
- Timbuktu (Hip-Hop)
Here you can find the Spotify list „Pop på svenska“, Pop in Swedish
2. Listen to Swedish Radio and Podcasts
I listen to both on a regular basis to improve my own Swedish.
3. Read Swedish Books
For beginners, a good tip would be to start out with reading children’s books. There is no shame in it! They can really help you improve your language skills! Advanced learners could try books for teenagers, as well. Pros can put their skills to the test by immersing themselves in Sweden thrillers in Swedish. To be able to read Beck and the Millennium Trilogy in Swedish may be enticing too.
4. Watch Swedish Movies
Watch movies in Swedish (DVD or download version does not matter). In many cases, it is possible to use Swedish subtitles or watch it in Swedish with German or English subtitles.
5. Swedish Websites
On these websites, you can find useful material and inspirational content:
- kreativpedagogik.se, collection with helpful websites all about the Swedish language
- 8 sidor, easily understandable news website in Swedish
- onlineswedisch.com, old design, but good selection content, useful overview of Swedish grammar
6. Swedish Web TV and YouTube Videos
News on the website of the federal Swedish television SVT, watch”Nyheter“news there onsvtplay.se , best would be to choose a version with subtitles to listen to the Swedish pronunciation and learn Swedish writing at the same time. YouTube videos can be used as small little Swedish minute sized learning bites for your odd breaks. A suggestion would be to watch Swedish sketches and stand-up shows for example. My recommendations: Johan Glans, who has a rather clear pronunciation and a kind of humour nearly everyone likes or episodes of the Raw Comedy Club.
7. Language Courses
For example at university or other public organisations. Look for Swedish language courses at local adult education centres.
8. Online Courses
Online courses are best suited for people who prefer to learn in their own pace or want to refresh their Swedish on the go on a mobile device. My personal recommendation: Babbel. Ad banners on this online course used to annoy me for years on end after I surfed on Swedish websites. When I finally decided to try it a while ago, I had to admit, that the online course is not only well thought through but also really fun. They offer courses for beginners and advanced learners. I especially love the pronunciation exercises. Follow the link and try it for free: babbel.com.
Alternatively, as a good friend of mine recommended: Duolingo. Which seems to be Babbel’s main competitor on the online/app language learning market. Just check out the free versions and see which fits better to your personal learning style.
9. Trip to Sweden
A trip to Sweden not only motivates but is also a great opportunity to practice your recently learned Swedish.
10. And last but not least…
A tip of my then 70-year-old Swedish teacher who would be retiring shortly. A tip that, in her opinion, can motivate you immensely to improve your Swedish and that I can highly recommend: pillow talk.
…preferably in combination with tip no. 9. ;)
More learning Swedish tips
- Basic Swedish Phrases, Words & Common Sentences – for Your Trip to Sweden
- Learning Swedish – course (By Sweden.se)
Have fun learning and improving your Swedish!