The Swedish language is spoken by more than 10 million people worldwide. This language has official status in Sweden and also in Finland, where Swedish speakers have lived for several centuries. Like other Scandinavian languages, Swedish derived from Norse, and became a distinct language in the 13th century.
Because of the isolation of certain parts of the country, the Swedish language evolved into six different dialects: Northern, Southern, Finnish, Svealand, Gotaland, and Gotland Swedish. In addition, there are hundreds of minor dialects that are still spoken in the rural areas. Standard Swedish is mainly used around the capital and in the media.
Is learning Swedish difficult for English speakers?
Swedish is a Germanic language, which means that a large percentage of its vocabulary derives from German. The Swedish language also shares some grammatical characteristics with modern German, like the formation of long name compounds. However, English speakers will be able to easily recognise some Swedish vocabulary words like “kung”, “balte”, and “mus”, which stand for king, belt, and mouse respectively.
Learning Swedish pronunciation should not be too difficult for English speakers, although there are some vowel sounds that have no English equivalent. Swedish grammar is overall very similar to English, although English speakers may have difficulties conjugating verbs and modifying adjectives, as these grammar aspects do not exist in English.
How to learn Swedish most effectively?
If you want to learn Swedish you can benefit from a wide range of learning programmes. Some learners find that traditional learning methods like attending a language school suit their needs best. Those who need more flexibility often choose to learn Swedish online. Other options include language exchanges or joining online communities. Of course, the best approach when it comes to learning Swedish is to combine different learning methods.
Make Swedish your own
Learning Swedish is a convenient way of improving your language skills, as online learning platforms allow learners to choose when and where they want to learn. Babbel is a language school that specialises in online courses. With Babbel, you can learn Swedish at your own pace with the guarantee that you are dealing with a reputable school. Babbel's Swedish courses are characterised by their personalisation and flexibility. The courses have been designed by native Swedish teachers to ensure that their content is adequate and can help you meet your learning objectives gradually.
Babbel's Swedish courses cover the four main skills you will need to become fluent in this language: Speaking, listening, reading, and writing. With Babbel, learning a language is never boring, as the exercises are interactive, engaging, and varied. You don't need to be an expert in computers either to take a Swedish course online with Babbel, as the technology is 100 percent user-friendly so that everyone can benefit from it. Lastly, you can also download Babbel's mobile application to your smartphone or tablet and use any spare moment you have to improve your Swedish language skills.