Just like the other Scandinavian countries, Sweden has a particular pride in its language, Swedish. Although it may not be a primary consideration when being granted a residence permit in the country, it will soon occur to you that learning Swedish as an extra language makes life much easier there. You can’t imagine walking into a shop and the attendant assumes that you can speak Swedish. Of course they will switch to English if you are an English speaker, but it does feel overwhelming just having to first alert the person that you speak only English.
To avoid the laborious journey of language barrier as a newcomer in Sweden, learning Swedish is an item for your to do list. It may not be easy and simple to learn a new language, especially Swedish but it is actually possible if you put your mind to it. The push to learn the language will work miracles for you.
Why do I need to Learn Swedish?
As soon as you arrive in Sweden, be it as a student, foreign worker or resident of whatever status, Swedish will be the primary language of first interactions. Because learning Swedish is the first point of integration in Sweden, it is likely that the person you interact with assumes that already you can speak the language. Woo to you if you cannot utter any Swedish word and appear as the only stranger in Jerusalem. another great way is for example to go on a kulturferie (to use a Scandinavian word).
Learning Swedish when living in Sweden just makes life generally easy for you. Maybe your studies or work does not necessarily require ability to speak Swedish but your everyday social interactions do. Again, you may harbour interests of staying in Sweden longer or even get a permanent residence there. Language proficiency is one important consideration when making a decision on your permanent residence application. Therefore, learning Swedish has much more benefits than you can first imagine.
Where to learn Swedish
Linguists will tell you that language is dynamic in the sense that it has various elements that vary such as intonations, syntax and many more. Therefore, the best way to learn a language is by tying it out and accepting mistakes. If you happen to have some people within your circle who already have a proficient or near proficient understanding of Swedish, that is a plus for you since they will act as your contact people.
However, it is understandable that without at least some initial knowledge of a language, learning it from others or practicing may just be self torture. To cure this, you can always turn to self learning methods including mobile phone applications such as Duolingo that combine texts and speech. In 2021, a new website called learning Swedish is being launched.
Learning Swedish is a new website which makes it easy for new learners to access all they may need to learn the language. Although it is intended to be a free website which requires you to create a personal account, you will need to pay a fee of 10 euro.
Swedish and Job Search
While it is encouraged that someone living in Sweden learns the language to some level, it is not a primary determinant of the opportunities that come your way, especially if you are an English speaker. Unlike Norwegians and Danes who are a bit reluctant to speak a language outside their own, Swedes are very fluent speakers of English.
Some employments which require regular interactions with the Swedes of all walks of life may necessitate learning Swedish. As much as the people may be able to speak English, you being able to speak their language gives a first impression that you are one of their own. Actually it is even more fulfilling to be able to speak English and Swedish.
There are various jobs in the service sector, engineering, IT, international subsidiaries and more that will employ you even if you do not have any Swedish language proficiency. It would only be for self-benefit to learn the language for purposes of socialization.
Paid online Swedish language courses
- Swedish Online
- Babbel Swedish
- Berlitz Live Online
Free Swedish language Training
- Swedish Flashcards
- Folkets lexikon