How to Learn Swedish in 18 Steps

By OptiLingo • 10 minute read

How to Learn Swedish

How to Learn Swedish in 18 Simple Steps

Sweden’s an awesome country. Whether you’re visiting it or you plan to move there, you should definitely learn some Swedish before you do either. But, how can you learn Swedish? Do you need to join a class? Can you learn it on your own? These 18 steps will reveal the best way to learn Swedish and reach fluency that’s tailored to your needs.

How Long Does It Take to Learn Swedish?

Of course, if you’re along for the ride, you want to know how long you need to strap in for. I’m sorry to disappoint, but there’s no exact number for how long it takes to learn a language. It’s not a science, it’s an art. It depends on what your native language is, what language learning methods you use, and, frankly, what kind of learner you are.

But, we can still give you a rough estimate, if you insist. The US Foreign Service Institute says that it should take 44 weeks or 1100 hours to reach fluency.

Since Swedish is one of the easiest languages to learn, it’s not a bad first estimate. But, you can do better. Especially if you follow the next 18 steps of this guide. Buckle up to find out how to learn Swedish on your own as a beginner!

18 Steps to Learn Swedish for Beginners

There’s no reason why you can’t learn Swedish on your own. Swedish is considered one of the easiest languages to learn. That’s because it’s incredibly close to English in a lot of ways. So, often you can just follow your intuition as you’re speaking Swedish. But, some useful steps and guidelines don’t hurt either. Follow these steps for the best Swedish learning experience.

1. Find the Best Way to Learn Swedish for You

How you learn Swedish matters. You need to find the language learning methods that works for you best. One that brings you to fluency fast and efficiently. But, it should also let you have fun. Here are some popular options with Swedish language learners.

  • Join Classroom Lessons: This is always the first thought of language learners. You learned in a classroom in high school, why not do it again? Well, a classroom setting can actually induce language learning anxiety more. Not to mention the cost of these lessons won’t be cheap, especially if you take a college course in Swedish.
  • Hire a Private Tutor: One-on-one tutoring can be really beneficial. Having an expert’s attention to help you with all your Swedish learning needs is great. But, you need to pay for their time and expertise well. 
  • Buy a Textbook: There are plenty of awesome Swedish learning resources you can put together to have the best way to learn a language. Even if you’re a beginner, you can do it on your own. 
  • Download a Swedish App: The best Swedish language learning apps can take you to fluency. These aren’t just convenient, they’re also often built on scientifically proven methods. So, you can trust them to work. Plus, they’re quite easy on the wallet too.

2. Master the Swedish Alphabet

Although it seems too easy to be true, the first thing every Swedish learner needs to know is how to read the alphabet. That’s because reading is an extremely crucial part of language learning. Plus, you can master Swedish pronunciation best if you know what the letters represent.

The Swedish alphabet has 29 letters. 26 of these are the same Latin letters English uses. Additionally, Swedish also has 3 special characters.

A a

B b
C c
D d
E e
F f
G g
H h
I i
J j
K k
L l
M m
N n
O o
P p
Q q
R r
S s

T t

U u
V v
W w
X x
Y y
Z z
Å å
Ä ä
Ö ö

3. Beginners Should Read Swedish

Swedish is very easy to read. That’s because a lot of the words look like their English equivalent. Don’t underestimate learning to read Swedish early on. If you’re comfortable with this skill, you can read Swedish newspapers, blogs, and textbooks much faster.

Read Swedish for the best way to learn it

4. Get Familiar With Swedish Grammar

Swedish originates from the language of the Vikings. These brutal and tough people must have spoken an incredibly complicated language. Or so you’d think.

Learning Swedish grammar is surprisingly easy. That’s because it’s related to English. Verb conjugations, sentence structures, and the general structure of the language is basically the same. So, if you learn these rules early on, you’ll have a much easier time constructing sentences of your own in Swedish.

5. Focus on Common Swedish Words

Learning thousands of new Swedish words can be really daunting. But, what if I told you that you really don’t have to do that. For one, English and Swedish share a lot of cognates. Cognates are words that look similar and also have the same meaning. So, you actually know a lot of Swedish words already.

English

Swedish

to park
parkera
to study
studera
pipe
pippa
three
tre
apple
äpple

But, what if I told you that you can make your Swedish vocabulary studies even more efficient? Instead of trying to learn ALL Swedish words (even just cognates), try focusing only on the most common words and phrases in Swedish. Because that’s exactly how real Swedish locals speak. They use 20% of their vocabulary for 80% of their everyday conversation. So, that means that you can engage in most conversations with just minimal Swedish vocabulary.

But, where can you find a list of that exact 20%? If you want the vocabulary of the most common Swedish words, you’re in luck. OptiLingo has already gathered them all. By downloading our app you can easily access the most essential part of Swedish vocabulary. Don’t waste time learning unnecessary words, get to fluency faster by downloading OptiLingo!

6. Start Speaking Swedish From Day 1

The best way to learn Swedish never includes typing it. Languages are first and foremost a verbal form of communication. So, you need to practice your speaking skills immediately if you want to become fluent in Swedish.

Don’t worry about your accent. Disregard your fear of embarrassment. Don’t even think about not knowing enough vocabulary/grammar rules/ Swedish recipes. Just start speaking. Pronounce everything. Get familiar with the language. Soon, you’ll be comfortable with speaking Swedish. And that’s the true key to speaking Swedish fluently for beginners.

Speak Swedish from Day 1

7. Write Your Swedish Lessons Down

Did you know that handwriting is linked to tactile learning? So, when you’re learning Swedish, writing it down with your hands can help you remember more of your lessons. While this isn’t the only way you can make sure your memory holds valuable Swedish information long term, it’s certainly an easy technique.

8. Beginners Should Practice a Lot

You need to practice learning Swedish every day. Even just 20 minutes every day can already bring you amazing results. Practicing your reading, writing, listening, and most importantly, your speaking skills should be a daily activity.

Are you worried that your Swedish studies don’t fit into your busy schedule? Worry not. If you’re really that short on time, combine language learning with other activities. Listen to a Swedish podcast as you’re cleaning. Review some grammar rules on the bus. Or simply watch Swedish films when you relax. Everything you do in Swedish will help your fluency.

9. Make Learning Swedish Fun

This is the best way to learn Swedish. Hands down best advice anyone can ever give you. Have fun with it. You need to enjoy your lessons to keep coming back to them. And if you have fun, you stop worrying about how long it takes to learn Swedish. You’ll look forward to your lesson. And, best of all, you’ll actually learn better because you give more attention to the task.

How to Learn Swedish

10. Listen to the Sounds of Swedish

Improving your listening skills in Swedish is crucial. This exercise doesn’t just help with your language comprehension. It also makes your Swedish pronunciation and accent better.

Listening to Swedish doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to eavesdrop on Swedish locals. Try one of these free and easily accessible listening exercises even beginners can follow.

  • Watch YouTube: YouTube is an awesome language-learning resource. Subscribe to the channel of some popular Swedish YouTubers to get regular Swedish content.
  • Tune in to a podcast: You can reach Swedish radio channels and podcasts online. You can learn the sounds of the Swedish language and keep up-to-date on current events at the same time.

11. Watch Swedish Movies

Ingmar Bergman was one of the most influential directors of the 20th century. Thanks to his legacy, the Swedish film industry is still very relevant and important in international cinema. 

Watching Swedish films can help you learn Swedish better. You can listen to authentic Swedish being spoken by real Swedish people. You can get new vocabulary from these films. And, if not anything else, you can fall in love with the culture and the people of Sweden through movies.

12. Sing Swedish Songs

ABBA was a force of nature of a band. Their fame and popularity rivals all. But, this band didn’t just provide the songs to the Mamma Mia musical. Although most of their hits are in English, they also have Swedish songs that are great to listen to and sing. That’s right, the members of ABBA are in fact Swedish.

But, there are also other Swedish songs that you can listen to. If you like heavy metal, Sweden has you covered on that too. Whatever music genre you choose, I promise you, singing it will get you to Swedish fluency faster. That’s because you inadvertently speak and practice your Swedish every day with music.

13. Bring Swedish to You With Post-Its

If you’re as forgetful as me, post-it notes are a lifesaver. But, you can use them for more than just writing down your shopping list. Write common Swedish vocabulary on them and stick them to your everyday items. You’re bound to come face-to-face with your Swedish vocabulary. And then you’re reminded of the word, as well as the fact that you need to study. Swedish for beginners becomes a lot easier and much more colorful.

14. Make Swedish Friends

Swedish people are awesome. And if you learn Swedish, you have a great way to break the ice when you first meet them. If you have a Swedish friend you can practice with, your motivation to learn and your accent will all become better. So, it’s really worth learning Swedish to make friends. And friends make it worth learning Swedish. That’s some incredible win-win.

15. Don’t Be Afraid to Make Mistakes

A lot of language learners are afraid to make mistakes. Fearing embarrassment, offense, or messing up only limits you. Don’t let language learning anxiety limit you. The more you worry about meaningless hiccups, the longer it will be until you reach success.

Learning a foreign language and stumbling as you’re learning is nothing to be embarrassed about. If anything, you should be proud. You’re learning a whole language! That’s amazing! And making mistakes is how you learn. So, really, mistakes help you learn Swedish. 

16. Use the Best App to Learn Swedish

If you follow these steps, you’ll surely reach Swedish fluency. But, you can also make your life a little easier and download an app that does it for you. If you want an app that can teach you Swedish fast, but also by using scientifically-proven methods, you need to download OptiLingo.

OptiLingo includes the list of the most common Swedish words and phrases. That 20% that you need to reach fluency fast and efficiently. With OptiLingo’s spaced repetition, you’re also guaranteed to remember your lessons. Achieve Swedish success by downloading OptiLingo today!