Is it hard to learn Swedish?? No, but..
On this page you will find answers to frequently asked questions about the Swedish language and how to learn it. Here is an overview of the questions:
Learning Swedish FAQ
- How many people speak Swedish?
- Why learn Swedish?
- How good is the English of the Swedes?
- Speak Swedish German?
- Is learning Swedish hard?
- What is easy about learning Swedish?
- What is difficult when learning Swedish?
- How long does it take to speak Swedish??
How many people speak Swedish?
Worldwide speak just 10.5 million People Swedish. The language is spoken only in Sweden and in some coastal areas of Finland as a native language, the so-called Finlandssvenska.
Why learn Swedish?
If you are not planning to spend your Swedish vacation in a retirement home, you are actually not dependent on knowledge of Swedish. You can get along fine with English there. Only the salesmen in some grocery stores in the countryside or a few elderly people have problems communicating in English from time to time.
How good is the English of the Swedes?
Swedes speak very good English. Hollywood movies and series are not dubbed but subtitled in Swedish. This leads to many Swedes coming into contact with the English language at a young age and developing a good feel for English pronunciation and colloquialisms.
Do Swedes speak German?
In Swedish schools, German is taught as a second foreign language after English. Until 1939 it was even the first foreign language in Swedish schools. Today, students interested in German can choose the language from the sixth grade onwards. About 20% of the students choose German. And even if many can say just a few sentences after several years of learning German in schools, there are quite many Swedes who understand German, at least in fractions, estimated to be one in three. "A beer please, waiter" is understood by almost every Swede. At typical tourist spots and hotels in big cities there is often at least one employee who speaks German sufficiently well. So you don’t have to speak perfect English or Swedish. Basic knowledge of English – "To the airport, please!" – are quite enough for a successful stay in Sweden.
Is learning Swedish difficult?
For Germans, Swedish is often the most difficult language to learn due to the linguistic proximity between Swedish and German not difficult. Easier than English. Especially easy: Vocabulary. Especially difficult: pronunciation.
What is easy when learning Swedish?
The easiest thing is learning vocabulary. Especially as a native speaker of German with knowledge of English, you will be able to understand the meaning of texts in newspapers after a short time.
Apart from the articles, en and ett, the sentence structure and a few irregular verbs the Swedish language is not difficult.
What is hard about learning Swedish?
Swedish is not so easy to learn, especially for Germans, when it comes to pronunciation. Swedish is in comparison to the German Very melodic. And there are many sounds – like z.B. the "y", as in "ny" (new) – which are difficult for Germans to pronounce because they do not correspond to any German sound but have to be completely relearned.
Even after several years in Sweden, it is still difficult for Germans to learn Swedish difficult to get the pronunciation perfect, even the Swedish Queen Silvia has after more than 40 years in Sweden still a clear German accent. It is said that usually only children up to the age of approx. 12 years to be able to learn a foreign language without accent.
Personally, it happens to me very often that I am already asked for a sentence in Swedish "Ah, you are from Germany, or?!"
Here the Swedish alphabet, which a Swedish friend recited for me. I myself would not have managed it so well. 10 concrete tips on how to learn Swedish more easily
It is possible in half a year Learning the language in such a way that you can survive at least a few minutes of small talk. Also from Germany. (View Swedish learning tips here.) That it helps to live, work or spend a semester abroad in Sweden makes learning immensely easier. You are automatically exposed to the language in your everyday life – whether you like it or not – and you have much more frequent opportunities to use your new linguistic achievements. "Var hittar jag en butik som saljer alg-bajs", one can ask yes simply times in the pedestrian precinct to the exercise. I’ve heard of particularly talented linguists reaching small talk maturity within three months.
With an intensive course you can after a year of fluency in Swedish speak. Business Swedish after approx. two years Intensive language training and, advantageously, while living in Sweden.
I learned my basic Swedish when I took a one-semester full-time short course at university (30 ECTS points). That gave quite a boost. So from not even being able to count to ten to small talk security in 4 to 5 months is possible – and I’m really not a special language talent now. But because understandably not everyone has the opportunity to take a Swedish course full time here are a few tips on how to still quickly achieve the desired success: