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Explore Swedish culture, one word at a time

Picture yourself in Stockholm's cafes, making friends and sampling the city's famous coffee culture. Attend gallery openings in Södermalm, know every street sign when cycling out to the Djurgården amusement park, and be ready to pump staff for questions at Malmo's prestigious design outlets. If that sounds good, learning Swedish is a must. If you learn Swedish, you'll open up a whole new world of social, cultural, commercial, and even professional opportunities. Although it is a cliche that all Swedes speak English, acquiring language skills represents an asset for those who intend to spend time in the Scandinavian nation. Think of it from a local's perspective. They have taken years to learn English, mastering vocabulary and grammar. And when foreigners visit but make no effort to reciprocate, it can sometimes come across as rude - and it certainly won't make Swedes keen to engage socially with visitors.

Swedish grammar and vocabulary

When exploring any country, we miss so much if we lack awareness of the local language. That applies everywhere, but it's especially true of Sweden. In Sweden, the country can sometimes be "too easy" for tourists to navigate. Everyone speaks English, museums have dual language displays, life seems easy. But that's an illusion. Underneath the surface, there's a totally different Sweden, and one that people who can't speak Swedish will never access. For instance, Sweden has a rich tradition of idioms and slang that English speakers will never get. If friends ask whether you're keen to "Sup dig snygg" (literally "drink until you are beautiful"), it's time to smarten up and hit the town. And if someone responds to your words with "Järnspikar!", you can be sure you've been talking nonsense. The closest translation is a term like "Fiddlesticks." But it goes deeper than that. From Swedish language bands like Bob Hund or Kent, to TV shows in the local language, there's a mountain of entertainment that Swedes adore, but foreigners miss. And it's all linked to a routine of traditions that also goes under the radar. Who wants to miss Cinnamon Bun Day? (October 4th in case you were wondering) or know how to find the most raucous Midsommar celebrations? With a little Swedish, you can ask directions, discover events, and generally feel part of the action.

Features of the Babbel-App

  • Immerse yourself in the Swedish language through real-life dialogues

  • Master Swedish courses which are based around your personal interests

  • Employ proven techniques that move new words to your long-term memory

  • Use human voices and speech recognition to learn speaking Swedish confidently

Start mastering Swedish today

Whether you're staging a flying visit or heading over for the duration, learning Swedish is an excellent idea. When you do, don't be too concerned about the difficulty of mastering the language. The dots above Swedish Os and As - overrings - may seem mysterious to novices, and the need to take genders into consideration can worry English speakers. But none of this is a deal breaker if you choose a smart way to learn. The best methods these days tend to involve app-based language learning, and courses that are built around the actual needs of learners. That's exactly what Babbel provides. Courses range from modules for absolute beginners, to packages for the almost-fluent. Each one is based around core listening, reading, writing, and speaking tasks that are based in real world experiences. And each course offers tools to master pronunciation. If you're booking tickets to Gothenberg or Malmo, or a course at Uppsala awaits, start a Babbel course today. It's a great entry point to a fascinating language with plenty of uses, and a guaranteed shortcut into Swedish society.

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