14 Best Books to Learn Swedish for Beginners & Beyond

*This article may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. For full information, please see our disclaimer here.

You’ve decided to learn Swedish, and now you need to know what to do next. First of all, congratulations on coming to the right place! What you need is a variety of resources for learning Swedish and a great place to start is books.

Not just any books, though.

There are both effective and garbage books teaching Swedish out there and we’re only interested in delivering you the best ones. What we’ve done is compile the 14 best options we can find for every type of learner out there.

Ready to become a Swedish speaker? Let’s get into it!

Editor’s note: To reach fluency faster, combine these books with the #1 app to learn Swedish – Babbel –, and pick up conversational skills with the famous Pimsleur audio course. Also, consider hiring online tutors through italki. All these and more in this list of 40+ Swedish learning resources, including FREE ones.

Best Swedish books for beginners

Every journey starts somewhere, right? Maximizing your chances at learning Swedish starts right at the very beginning, and that means getting down to basics. Here are the Swedish learning books we recommend to beginners to ensure the best start!

1. Teach Yourself Complete Swedish

If you want a book that covers every aspect of learning Swedish, this is it. This is a beginner’s bread-and-butter guide and it covers everything you need to know in a methodical and concise way.

Click to: Buy on Amazon / Buy on Book Depository

This book is best for:

  • Complete beginners who don’t know where to start
  • Learners who want a book that covers all aspects of learning Swedish
  • Introducing the basics of Swedish without overcomplicating
  • Learning the basics of Swedish

2. Shortcut to Swedish: Beginner’s Guide to Quickly Learning the Basics of the Swedish Language

If you’ve never learned a new language before, I highly recommend reading this before you pick up anything else.

To be clear, this book teaches the basic structures of Swedish. It does not teach you in-depth Swedish per se. It does however teach vocabulary and very simple grammar principles.

Click to: Buy on Amazon / Buy on Book Depository

This book is best for:

  • Beginners who have not learned a second language yet
  • Discovering the structures of Swedish
  • A basic introduction to grammar and vocabulary
  • Simplified explanations of complex grammar terminology

3. From English to Swedish 1: a complete workbook

Do not be put off by the seemingly childlike cover. This is the best workbook for beginners out there – really.

With this book you get step-by-step instruction that walks you through the whole process. It’s concise, accurate and even entertaining.

If you hate drill exercises, you’ll particularly enjoy the approach this book takes instead.

Click to: Buy on Amazon / Buy on Book Depository

This book is best for:

  • Beginners
  • Learners who prefer Q&A over exercise drills
  • Easy to follow instruction
  • Gaining cultural insights

Best textbooks to learn Swedish

Textbooks are the one-stop-shop of language learning. That’s to say, all you need to learn in one place.

Textbooks or workbooks formalize your lessons and help you stay disciplined, but most importantly, they give step-by-step instruction in sizable chunks.

These are our favorite Swedish textbooks:

4. Colloquial Swedish

This workbook takes an easygoing approach to the mammoth task of learning rudimentary Swedish. It’s conversational and light without being fluffy and has a particularly excellent pronunciation guide.

Click to: Buy on Amazon / Buy on Book Depository

This book is best for:

  • Absolute beginners
  • Swedish learners who want to learn conversational Swedish
  • Its emphasis on pronunciation and grammar
  • Q&A style learning

5. Get Started in Swedish Absolute Beginner Course (Teach Yourself)

Personally, I feel this book is mis-titled. Absolute newbies may get overwhelmed by this book. However, if you already have knowledge of another Germanic language (other than English), you’ll definitely be able to keep up with the pace and sheer volume of content it provides.

It’s also travel-sized so be aware that it’s a lot smaller than traditional textbooks!

Click to: Buy on Amazon / Buy on Book Depository

This book is best for:

  • Intermediate learners
  • People who have learned another Germanic language
  • In-depth analysis of Swedish grammar
  • Getting access to plenty of new vocabulary
  • Learners who like the “discovery method” of language learning (teaching yourself pattern recognition)

Best books to learn Swedish grammar

Unfortunately, grammar is a necessary evil. Making grammatical errors is a bad habit to get into early on. Therefore, it’s super important that you include Swedish grammar books into your learning regime.

Here are some great options that (hopefully) won’t bore you to tears:

6. Basic Swedish: a grammar and workbook

Repetition is a tried and tested method of learning proper grammar and that’s exactly what this book provides. It is an absolute essential for beginners as it gives clear and concise instruction.

Be prepared to complete plenty of grammar exercises and watch your progress accelerate!

Click to: Buy on Amazon / Buy on Book Depository

This book is best for:

  • Beginners
  • People who need plenty of examples
  • Getting clear step-by-step instruction

7. Intermediate Swedish: A Grammar & Workbook

Not a beginner anymore? Sorry, that doesn’t mean you can slack off.

This is the next book in the series and it goes into even more complex grammar rules so it’s perfect for intermediate learners.

This is definitely a step up from the last book so don’t despair if you find it difficult – that’s how you learn!

Click to: Buy on Amazon / Buy on Book Depository

This book is best for:

  • Intermediate learners
  • Learning more advanced aspects of Swedish grammar
  • Getting step-by-step instruction

8. Swedish Tutor: Grammar and Vocabulary Workbook (Learn Swedish)

Not everyone wants a separate book for their grammar and vocabulary building. This 2-in-1 book is designed to teach both simultaneously and it’s an excellent option for learners who like to keep their learning organized.

The content gets progressively harder and it is a great substitute for an actual Swedish tutor (though we’ll talk more about those at the end of the article!)

Click to: Buy on Amazon / Buy on Book Depository

This book is best for:

  • Beginners and intermediate learners
  • Learners looking to improve grammar and vocabulary at the same time
  • Learning grammar thematically

Best audiobooks to learn Swedish

When you want to up your pronunciation game or it’s an inconvenient time, audiobooks step in and save the day. Drive and learn or take some time out to hear the words and phrases you’ve been reading about.

Here are our favorites:

9. Pimsleur Swedish

Beginners, Pimsleur is a distinguished audio course that will take you from recognizing Swedish words to mastering them in context.

Each lesson provides 30 minutes of spoken language practice and they don’t skimp on the details. The core audio lessons can be supplemented by bonus learning materials: flashcards, quizzes, and speed round games.

Get over your fear of speaking Swedish aloud with Pimsleur.

Click to: Try Pimsleur Swedish for free!

This book is best for:

  • Beginners
  • Getting short but highly focused lessons
  • Improving pronunciation
  • Mastering conversational Swedish

10. Keep Talking Swedish: Ten Days To Confidence

Once you’ve mastered the basics, this audiobook will accelerate your progress.

It focuses on maintaining conversational Swedish and is based around real dialogues you’re likely to have with Swedish people. It’s excellent for picking up new vocabulary.

Click to: Buy on Amazon / Buy on Book Depository

This book is best for:

  • Intermediate learners
  • Getting used to hearing spoken Swedish
  • Learning new vocabulary

Extra books to improve your Swedish

11. Berlitz Phrase Book & Dictionary Swedish (Bilingual dictionary)

If you’re trying to teach yourself Swedish, a dictionary is a must-have, and it’s best to go for one that contains verb tables – such as this one.

Click to: Buy on Amazon / Buy on Book Depository

Why you need it:

  • You’re a beginner still learning verb conjugations
  • To check spelling and grammar
  • It’s more accurate than current versions of online translators

12. Short Stories in Swedish

Those who are serious about learning Swedish will inevitably struggle to read in it at first, and that’s why it’s best to start off simple.

Each story contains small summaries to make sure you’re keeping up, as well as follow-up questions to improve reading comprehension.

Click to: Buy on Amazon / Buy on Book Depository

Why you need it:

  • You’re a beginner and need something easy-to-follow
  • You can practice reading aloud to improve pronunciation
  • The stories are varied and interesting
  • It contains a glossary so you can look up new words

13. Counting Sweden / Räkna Med Sverige

You’ll probably come across numbers early on while trying to learn Swedish, but if you’re trying to teach young ones it can be very tricky. This book is delightfully illustrated using Swedish symbols (such as the Dala horse) to visually aid young learners count in Swedish.

Click to: Buy on Amazon / Buy on Book Depository

Why you need it:

  • You’re trying to teach children Swedish
  • Images help you to learn
  • It gives insights into Swedish culture

14. Magnetic Poetry: Swedish

Okay, so this isn’t strictly a book. But it’s something to use with your books!

This magnet set contains Swedish words, word endings and their verb conjugations. Using them allows you to construct your own sentences and check them for accuracy.

They also work as a visual aid that will improve memory retention and enforce Swedish grammar rules simultaneously.

Click to: Buy on Amazon

Why you need it:

  • It allows beginners to put what they learn from books into practice
  • To supplement what you learn in books
  • There’s no crossing out or paper wasted – just rearrange when you make mistakes!

The best way to learn Swedish

Let’s be honest. Even if you bought and read every one of these books, there’d still be gaps in your knowledge. Books offer written guidance, the opportunity to answer practice questions, and a physical copy of your progress to keep track of. So what’s missing?

Well I always suggest to fellow language learners that a pick ‘n mix approach works best. To make things simple, I’ve broken down language resources into five groups. Make sure you utilize at least one from each and you’ll be well on your way to fluency. Here goes!

1. Books: Yep, we just covered those. Make sure you’ve at least got one good grammar book and a textbook. Alternatively, get a 2-in-1 book that covers both. Either way, this is non-negotiable if you want to become fluent in Swedish.

2. Apps: There are loads of apps to learn Swedish out there, and I’d recommend Babbel above all others. Read our guide to the best apps to learn Swedish for more details and options.

3. Courses: If you know you lack discipline, following a course gives you a gentle (but firm) kick in the butt! It’s already structured for you so admin is minimal. My personal favorite is Pimsleur because it’s catered towards audio learners like me. We’ve got a whole host of other options to suit other kinds of learners, however, check that out here.

4. Tutors: At some point, you’ll need a tutor to correct your mistakes and make sure they don’t persist. You can get lessons for as little as a few dollars on Italki – and they’ve got experts and native speakers available for hire so you know you’re getting quality tuition.

5. Podcasts: Accompanying CD’s or MP3 tracks tend to be a little on the cheesy side, we all know that. But listening to Swedish and learning at the same time is a vital resource, especially if you’re hearing it as it’s naturally spoken. Spotify is free to use (if you don’t mind the occasional ads) so make the most of it! (You’ll find recommendations here.)

Final thoughts

You’ll find links and more information on everything we’ve mentioned in the article in our list of the 40+ best resources to learn Swedish. We’ve also got some guides to help you master basic phrases with audio, so give those a read and get a head start!

Finally, lycka till with your Swedish lessons and let us know in the comments below how you get on!

Leave a Comment