Only a few people would like to start learning a new complex language. Swedish is one such complex language. However, if you want to learn Swedish, know everything about Swedish beforehand.
Learning a new language is a fun activity. Knowing how hard it is to learn Swedish eventually will give you an idea of how long it will take to learn the Swedish language. Despite all, learning Swedish is easier than you think.
Swedish is indeed a language worth learning. Many reasons that make Swedish a great language to learn. Moreover, knowing an additional language will complement your skills and help your career prospects.
Furthermore, you will find several crucial aspects regarding the Swedish language in this article. So read on to know how hard it is to learn Swedish.
1. How Hard Is It to Learn Swedish?
The United States FSI (Foreign Service Institute) has categorized all foreign languages. They compared each language concerning the native English speakers. Further, they rated these languages on a scale of 1 to 5. It varies from easy to difficult level languages concerning English.
According to the Foreign Service Institute, Swedish is marked as a category one language. So, this means learning Swedish is quite similar to learning Spanish and French for English speakers. Therefore, Swedish is among the easiest languages to learn.
2. How Much Time Do You Need to Invest to Learn Swedish?
When you know how hard the language you will learn is, you can infer how long it will take.
The more complex a language is to learn, the more time it will need to invest. Since the Swedish language falls in category one. The Foreign Service Institute has provided several hours to get fluency in Swedish. It will take an average of 1100 hours for a native English speaker to get local Swedish fluency.
Nonetheless, it’s just a rough estimate by FSI. Technically, the time taken will depend upon the time you invest in consistency for practice. An agency would never know the circumstances you are going through and how motivated you are to learn. Moreover, knowing the correct strategies and ways to learn can improve your learning.
3. Reasons that Make Swedish Easier to Learn
It’s a misconception that Swedish is a complicated language to learn. There is no specific reason why it is considered a complex language.
You can have many other reasons to consider learning Swedish hard. Apart from this, let’s search for those reasons that make Swedish easy rather than challenging. So, here are a few factors that will make you think Swedish is not as complicated as you think.
3.1. Presence of Latin Letters
The Swedish language also uses Latin letters similar to the English language. Additionally, there are 29 letters in the Swedish alphabet. It is composed of the usual 26 letters of the English alphabet. Along with these letters, three other special characters together make the count of 29 letters.
However, these special characters are also familiar. Knowing a language with similar or the same letters in its alphabet automatically becomes more accessible to learn. This makes Swedish easy to understand, especially for English speakers.
3.2. More Cognate Words
Since English and Swedish share the same roots, most of the vocabulary is similar. You can also find many of the exact words. However, their meanings may differ. Therefore, you are presently in a dilemma as you already know many words in Swedish yet do not know them.
Further, cognate words have a similar or similar sound in both languages and the same meaning. For instance, some words are local – lokal, to study – studera, three – tre, etc. Despite cognate words, Swedish also has some false friends or false cognates.
False cognate words have the same sound but different meanings. For instance, destructive means bath in Swedish, and fart means speed. So, you will be required to pay attention to these false cognate words of Swedish.
3.3. Familiar Grammar
We already know that Swedish and English belong to the same root. So, most learners can easily understand the logic behind the grammar. You can quickly get a grasp of the verb conjugation. Therefore, you do not need to be afraid of Swedish grammar.
Since it’s a different language, there will be some distinct rules to learn. But, even with specific regulations, Swedish grammar is easy due to many similarities. Hence, grammar is also not a significant issue in your learning Swedish. Now, you can feel motivated enough to pursue Swedish.
3.4. Genders in Swedish
This is the problematic part of Swedish learning. Swedish used to contain three genders: masculine, feminine, and neuter.
Here, objects having a gender could be a new concept for native English speakers. However, many other Indo-European languages have genders. Nevertheless, dialectal Swedish still has three genders.
But, as for standard Swedish, masculine and feminine genders have been merged. Therefore, there are now only neuter and common genders to know about. This is how Swedish becomes a little easier than German to learn with just two genders.
4. Scope of Swedish
The scope of Swedish depends on the reasons you have to learn Swedish. For instance, you may want to learn Swedish to visit Sweden and easily navigate the country. In this case, you can gain the basics of Swedish within a week.
However, you need a thorough knowledge of Swedish if you plan to immigrate to Sweden. There can also be other reasons, such as the intent to read Swedish newspapers, listen to Swedish speeches, and communicate with Swedish people.
Around 10 million people worldwide speak the Swedish language. Furthermore, this is also the official language of Sweden and Finland. Also, it is expressed in several parts of Norway. Learning a foreign language is always beneficial for anyone.
Learning Swedish is necessary if you plan to find a job in Sweden. Many international companies require Swedish speakers to communicate with local clients or be Swedish translators.
Many companies would want to hire Swedish speakers in different parts of the world. It depends on the requirements of the companies. You can impress the companies by mentioning Swedish in languages, making your CV more impressive.
5. Ways to Learn Swedish
Being the most spoken Scandinavian language, Sweden has become an influential language. It is amongst the North Germanic languages.
Given below are some of the best ways to learn Swedish. It does not matter whether you are a beginner or a newbie. These ways will help you understand and improvise Swedish learning.
5.1. Memorize Basic Vocabulary
Memorizing basic vocabulary is the first step that many people follow. However, language does not finish by learning a few phonetic words. It goes beyond learning a few regular words. It would be best if you took all opportunities to improve your vocabulary.
However, it’s a good idea to start with learning greetings in Swedish. Learning greetings first will help you get familiar with the language. But it would be best to remember that Swedish is packed with thousands of words in different categories.
After that, you should learn rudimentary phrases that a person uses regularly. To remember your basic vocabulary, you can segregate and follow the categories. For instance, start with greetings and move on to the common polite phrases like thank you, please, welcome, see you, etc.
This will increase your familiarity with the language day by day. Also, they are easy to learn initially. Next, try to learn words like the names of animals, birds, vegetables, and fruits. Learning names that belong to different categories requires more time and practice.
After learning these, you will gradually move on to the technical names, scientific names, and pronouns. So, start with the basic vocabulary and move on to the difficult words.
5.2. Speak More Swedish Words
Learn a few Swedish words every day. Firstly, improve your basic vocabulary. Then, a better way not to forget these words is to speak them as much as possible regularly. Talking more Swedish words will motivate me to learn better.
When you start speaking Swedish words, your mind will remember them every moment. However, you may not be able to express sentences.
5.3. Set Your Specific Aim
Learning any new thing requires a lot of motivation and determination. Along with this, you need to be consistent. So, it’s always better to set up a specific aim. Your aim will become a source of encouragement that will motivate you to achieve it as soon as possible.
The aim refers to the level of fluency you want to achieve within a specific time limit. For instance, your dream can be as simple as “ learn to write within four months.” Moreover, you can set it at your convenience. But a number is always a must, whether six months or a year.
Having a goal motivates you internally. When you feel discouraged and disappointed in learning, your plan will determine you the next day. So, it’s good to set up an aim.
Enrolling in an online course is one of the best ways to learn. The Internet has many Swedish methods to help you understand better with experienced mentors. However, the systems can either be paid or free.
5.4. Enroll in an Online Course
Nowadays, many online learning platforms offer free courses for students who wish to learn new languages. These courses can be an excellent help to learn Swedish.
Further, if you take paid courses, there are other benefits of these courses. The sessions and learning material will be broad. However, paid courses usually contain a final project, which free classes might not include.
But, a free online course is recommended if you are low on budget. YouTube is also one of those platforms where you can start learning Swedish for free. There are thousands of videos on YouTube for learning Swedish.
These videos vary from beginner to advanced level. Also, you can choose your desired mentor on YouTube, as many YouTubers teach Swedish.
5.5. Take an On-campus Swedish Course
You can also enrol in an on-campus Swedish learning course. Usually, on-campus learning courses are better in many ways. Here, you can directly connect to your mentors and ask questions.
It also makes you consistent in learning. You will attend your regular learning classes no matter what you are doing. Also, there will be many learners like you, which will be helpful.
However, on-campus courses are always paid courses. But, they will provide you with certification upon completion of the system. So, you will be fluent enough in Swedish at the end of the course.
5.6. Prepare a Precise Study Schedule
A study schedule is a must for maintaining regularity in learning. Being regular is a must to achieve fluency in Swedish. You can achieve your aim by maintaining frequency and consistency immediately.
A study schedule will help you be persistent. Even if you are not in a mood, you must give a minimum of 15 minutes for the sake of your plan. Even 15 minutes are enough sometimes to maintain your regularity.
5.7. Read More Swedish Books
Reading books is crucial. Books provide you with more accurate knowledge. Reading has many benefits. These benefits are described below:
- Firstly, your pronunciation and understanding of letters will improve.
- Secondly, familiarity with grammar will also be enhanced.
- Next, you will observe the differences in the sentences made according to tenses, genders, nouns, etc.
- Your vocabulary will automatically become better.
- Further, you can choose books according to your choice. If you like fictional texts, read them. You can try any of your preferences.
- Reading Swedish books is more important than choosing the category.
- Whatever books you choose will make you learn something.
5.8. Listen to Swedish Music
Music is an excellent and exciting way of learning Swedish. It is perfect for music lovers. It will not make you learn grammar precisely. But you will be able to understand the lyrics.
Listening to Swedish music with subtitles can help you understand the correct pronunciation of the words. Moreover, this will gradually improve your familiarity with the language.
Furthermore, Swedish music is popular enough worldwide. Millions of CDs are sold around the world by renowned Swedish artists. It also helps you improve your verbal comprehension.
So, you can listen and learn the lyrics in Swedish and expand your Swedish vocabulary. Additionally, you can listen to Swedish music on Spotify, YouTube, iTunes, etc.
6. Learn More About Swedish
If you will pursue Swedish, let’s know more about it. In the European Union languages, Swedish is among the official languages. Also, it is referred to as a Nordic Council working language. The Swedish language was proclaimed as Sweden’s official language in 2009.
However, there are hundreds of forms of the Swedish language. It’s not possible to know each form of the language. Meanwhile, there are six main dialect groups. These groups include Svealand, South Swedish, Gotland, Finland Swedish, Norrland, and Götaland.
In the old times, the Swedish language was different in every region. Sometimes, there is a vast difference between standard Swedish and dialectal Swedish. So, it is not easy to understand because learners usually learn classic Swedish. Nobody can explain the thorough aspects of dialectal Swedish. Due to varied dialects, it’s difficult for a single person to understand them.
7. Bottom Line
Swedish is an influential and easy-to-learn language. Learning something requires determination. Without determination to learn, no method can help you know it. Also, consistency is one of the main factors that enables you to remember anything swiftly.
Swedish can be learned in numerous ways. The important thing is learning with the correct strategies. Mentioned above are several valuable techniques and methods to apply to your Swedish learning.
Moreover, many factors will affect your learning process. These factors include determination, consistency, motivation, time investment, and practice.