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Did you know that in Sweden, the most popular language to learn on Duolingo is Swedish? Swedish is spoken only by around 10 million people, but there are thousands more who want to add their names to the list. One of the ways you can do so is by downloading some apps to learn Swedish – and lucky for you, we’ve listed the best ones out there.
I’ll cut to the chase. There’s a pretty sizable variety of apps to learn Swedish out there, and not all of them are good. The ones that we think are useful are included below. We’ve even categorized them so you can get what you need as efficiently as possible. First though, a run-down of my personal favorites.
Babbel is the app I recommend to any level of learner. It covers all areas of language learning, tracks your progress, and teaches you what you actually need to know. To get you speaking Swedish, there can only be Italki, an app that gives you the opportunity to practice your Swedish with a Swedish speaker who can correct, motivate and teach you. Lastly, I’m a big fan of Språkkraft Reading Coach, an app that turns your Netflix lazy-time into Swedish lessons.
But those are just a few of my favorites. Now it’s time to get into the details – here are 14 apps to learn Swedish for every type of learner. Let’s go!
The best apps to learn Swedish
No doubt about it, Babbel is our number one choice. Customization is key, and Babbel lets you decide what you learn and at what level. Everything from the topics to the type of lessons you’d like to receive can be tailored to suit you, so you can optimize your lessons according to your goals.
Swedish vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, and pretty much any topic you like is what’s on offer. All learners of every level can benefit from Babbel’s wide selection of lessons and topics, making it a great place to start.
Why you should try Babbel:
- Offers courses for all level of learners
- Content is useful and applicable to real-life situations
- Great customization features
- Varied content to keep lessons interesting
- Cross-platform syncing
Pricing: Try it free for 7 days! After that, a monthly plan is $13.95, while a 3-month plan is $41.85, a half-year plan is $83.70, and a full-year subscription is $167.40.
Auditory learners, this is the app for you. Learn the Swedish language as it’s “meant to be spoken” (at least according to scholars!).
Pimsleur teaches its users “rikssvenska”. That means that your accent and word choice will be the most neutral in Sweden as it relies less on dialect. You get access to thousands of words and phrases, taught seamlessly through audio.
Why you should try Pimsleur:
- All learners are catered for (beginner thru to expert)
- High-level accuracy and continuity
- Huge range of vocabulary
- Great for improving spoken Swedish
- Improves your listening skills
Pricing: You can get access to your first Swedish lesson on Pimsleur for free. Following that, Pimsleur has a monthly subscription that costs $21.95/month
Why are you learning Swedish? To speak it, of course! There’s no better way to practice your speaking skills than having another person who can correct, encourage and teach you.
Italki is your pocket portal to a whole new world of language learning. Pick a tutor that suits you and you’re halfway there. Want to learn Swedish with a particular dialect or accent in mind? You can!
Why you should use Italki:
- App offers native and non-native tutors
- All tutors specialize in different areas
- You get to practice speaking informally and formally
- It’s customizable (tutor, times, methods, content, etc.)
- It’s convenient – any time that suits you suits them!
Pricing: The app is free, but tutors set their own pricing for lessons, which range from $4-80. Find a tutor on Italki now!
Learning Swedish is the follow-up app to the course of the same name. It’ll teach you all the basics, making it a great option for beginners. It was developed by the Swedish Institute and it’s best for learning written and spoken Swedish.
Why you should try Learning Swedish:
- You’re a complete beginner
- You need an app that covers all the basics
- Gives insight into cultural norms and practices
- Well-structured lessons with steady progression
SFI is the official Swedish government scheme for helping immigrants to learn Swedish (SFI stands for Swedish for Immigrants). This app offers courses B,C,D in app format, though unfortunately it only works for Android users. If that’s you, however, you can definitely benefit from using it. The course is optimized to help non-natives learn the Swedish they’ll need in everyday life.
Why you should use SFI:
- The content has been devised by Swedish teachers
- It covers the basics
- It’s easy to follow
- It includes formal lessons (updated monthly) and a test at the end
- The app is free to use
- You can receive lessons in your native language, including Arabic, Spanish and English
Best apps to learn Swedish for immersive learners
Learn best by just throwing yourself in the deep end? Or have you tried learning by rote and given yourself a headache? Not everyone has the option of moving to Sweden to learn the language. But you do have the option of checking out these apps to save you the air fare.
Movie buffs and lovers of Swedish pop culture, LingQ was created for you. Learn Swedish by watching Netflix, reading books you’ll actually enjoy, or just by browsing YouTube. It’s not the media that’s important, it’s what you take away from it.
LingQ works by providing a whole host of Swedish media – so, YouTube, Netflix, ebooks and news articles, and turning them into lessons. Fussy about what you like? You have the option of uploading your own stuff too. Highlight words you don’t know, set some goals and soak up Swedish in a way that engages you.
Why you should use LingQ:
- You’re already familiar with some Swedish vocabulary
- You learn best through immersion tactics
- You want to set your own goals and interests
- It’s easier than watching Netflix and pausing to grab a dictionary!
Pricing: It’s free to download and use LingQ, but there’s a daily cap on your unknown words. Premium costs $12.99 per month, but you can also buy bulk usage of the app: 6 months – $11.99 per month; one year – $8.99 per month; and two years will cost you $7.99 per month.
SVT Språkplay is similar to LingQ but it’s made with just Swedish TV in mind. If you don’t know what SVT is, it’s the name of Sweden’s national broadcaster (think ABC or BBC but the Swedish equivalent).
Here’s how it works: you select your proficiency level, pick a TV show you like, and watch. Every time someone speaks, you get a transcription in Swedish, a translation to your native language and additional language support. It’s a great way to get to grips with cultural nuances and improve your listening skills.
Why you should use SVT SpråkPlay:
- You’re already familiar with some Swedish
- You want to learn dialects or more about Swedish culture
- You prefer “doing” to “reading”
- Puts lessons you learn from books, other apps or courses into context
Don’t fall into the trap of isolating yourself with media and/or books. If you want to learn the Swedish language, there’s no better way than to actually start speaking it. HelloTalk is a digital pen-pal service that links users with individuals or groups to practice speaking languages. I recommend using this app in conjunction with one or a few of the other apps listed in this article to get the most out of it. You might even make a new friend!
Why you should use HelloTalk:
- You need to practice speaking/writing every day to achieve fluency
- It’s a fun and interactive way to learn Swedish
- You get corrections, advice and encouragement from native speakers
- There’s a huge chance you’ll learn something you won’t find in textbooks!
Pricing: It’s 100% free to use unless you’re irritated by advertising, in which case you can pay $6.99 a month for a decluttered screen
Språkkraft Reading Coach is another great (free!) app to learn Swedish. You answer a few questions about the media you like (tweets, anime movies, YouTube vlogs for example) and Språkkraft does the rest. Each word is translated for you and conjugations are included so you get a grammar lesson while you scroll Twitter!
There’s also a cool feature that allows you to link your Spotify account to Språkkraft so you can get translations of your favorite Swedish songs! Any word that is uttered, sung or otherwise featured can be highlighted by you and saved to your own curated word bank.
Why you should use Språkkraft:
- It doesn’t matter what level you are, this app is for everyone!
- You want to learn Swedish interactively
- You need fresh and varied content to learn
- You’re someone who prefers your grammar lessons disguised as fun!
Best apps to learn Swedish for free
When funds are low but determination is high, you can get the basics of Swedish for free from apps. Of course, when we say basics, we mean the basics. But as starters, these do a pretty good job. Here are some apps to help you learn Swedish for free!
Many beginners to learning languages settle for Duolingo straightaway without comparing it to its competitors. However, there’s a lot to consider here. While Duolingo does offer a lot of basic lessons free, they do become repetitive and the ads can become infuriating over time.
In my opinion, Duolingo occasionally sacrifices functionality for entertainment. The above pictures are genuine screenshots supposedly for expert level Swedish. Simply put, Duolingo is great for picking up vocabulary, but it isn’t the fastest or most efficient way to learn Swedish.
Why you should use Duolingo:
- You’re learning Swedish for fun
- You’re a complete novice
- There are forums you can discuss learning Swedish with fellow learners
- Each lesson has grammar, pronunciation, and/or cultural tips
- You learn best through repetition
Pricing: Free. Duolingo is a free app to learn Swedish, though you can pay to get access to special features such as going ad-free. If you want to upgrade, Plus is $12.99 on a monthly plan, $47.99 for 6 months, and $79.99 for the full year.
11. Hej Bas
Hej Bas scales back learning Swedish to its simplest form: learning phrases, building up useful vocabulary and training your brain to recognize words and phrases. This app uses a blend of techniques to ensure that you maximize listening, reading and writing skills. The interface would probably make Steve Jobs shudder, but the content is accurate and easy to follow.
Why you should use Hej Bas:
- You’re a complete novice who doesn’t know where to begin
- You want to practice multiple skills at the same time
- You’re prepared to sacrifice aesthetic for results
- You like uncomplicated interface
Sorry Apple users, this one is only for Android owners. Lingio New In Sweden was developed by local governments in Sweden to help newcomers learn the Swedish they need to get by. Themes covered include, but aren’t limited to, introductions, at the grocery store, and time and numbers. Those who are planning on moving to Sweden can definitely get a head start by downloading this app.
Why you should use Lingio New in Sweden:
- You’re a beginner Swedish learner
- You need to learn the basics quickly
- The content is accurate and easy to follow
Best Swedish dictionary apps
When you need to look up a word or phrase, relying on Google Translate can get you into dangerous territory. It’s always better to go for the dictionary’s opinion before you start declaring a mask a worm or vice versa (unhelpfully, the Swedish word mask can mean either of these things. Context is key!)
Here are my favorites:
13. Lexin Pro
Lexin Pro is based on the Folkets Lexikon, which is a huge online anthology of Swedish words (colloquial and official). This app is a must-have for Swedish learners because it provides more than just a simple translation. You get common uses, pronunciation, plurals or conjugations and it’s optimized for more than just translations to English.
Why you should use Lexin Pro:
- It’s easy to use
- You get access to more information than just a word’s English equivalent
- You can set your own language preferences (Swedish to ____)
- You’re always gifted context and common uses
If in doubt, use what the locals do. This is my favorite Swedish language app for getting in deep. If you’re in the intermediate to expert range of Swedish learner, this is for you.
This app includes a “historic dictionary” where you can find out when a word or phrase was first used and in what context. Also interesting to find out how words have changed meaning over time.
Why you should use SAOL:
- You’re comfortable with basic Swedish vocabulary
- You need a comprehensive digital Swedish dictionary
- You want to look up unusual/uncommon words or phrases
- This is the dictionary to help you achieve fluency
And there you have it! You now have 14 apps to learn Swedish to choose from so that you can achieve fluency. Don’t forget, we have articles on Swedish words and phrases to help you out. Lycka till från oss!
Before you hit the apps, check out: 100+ Swedish words and phrases you need to master.