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So you want to learn Swedish? You’ll be aware by now there are many ways of going about it. This article will help you fine-tune your learning style, give you the best available resources and methods to get you fluent in Swedish, and provide you with tips along the way.
We’re here to help. We’ve listed 40+ resources ranging from apps, books, podcasts and online courses to finding the best tutor to help you learn Swedish. Regardless of budget, you can do this! It’s as easy as going through this list and cherry-picking the ones that appeal to you.
First though, a run-down of my personal favorites. The best learning app to learn Swedish has to be Babbel – it’s fun, easy to use, and always provides useful examples. After that, I recommend you get a tutor using Italki to ensure your progress is accelerated without breaking the bank. Finally, listen to podcasts on Spotify such as Coffee Break Swedish to stay engaged with language learning and to have fun at the same time!
Whew! With that out of the way, here are the resources you need to become fluent in Swedish. Ready? Let’s dive in!
Best apps to learn Swedish
Let’s begin with some apps. Apps can help you master the basics, separate your lessons efficiently and of course they’re super convenient to use.
Remember to check out our full list of the best Swedish apps for more options!
Babbel: The best Swedish language app available right now. It covers every topic, grammar lessons and it’s customizable so you choose what level you start at. Babbel uses a mixture of audio, rote memory and fun quizzes to improve fluency quickly – try it now!
Mondly: Those who enjoy word games or learn visually will love Mondly. You can choose whether to focus more on vocabulary or grammar and it’s easy to track your progress.
Duolingo: Many will go straight to Duolingo to learn Swedish without exploring other options. It’s free to use but beware, there’s a limit to how much you can learn. It’s also incredibly repetitive and unlikely to take you beyond beginner level.
Lingio New in Sweden: This app was designed to help newcomers learn Swedish easily and naturally. It costs nothing and will help you learn the basics. Real Swedish teachers provided the content so you know it’s accurate and useful. Unfortunately, it is only available for Android users.
LingQ: A great app for people who learn best through consuming media. LingQ supplies you with Swedish media (TV shows, YouTube videos, book extracts etc) and then gives you lessons based on the contents. I’d recommend LingQ mostly to intermediate learners.
SVT SpråkPlay: Learning Swedish means learning about the Swedish culture, and there’s no better way to do that than do as the Swedes do: watch TV. SVT is the Swedish television network behind this app. It allows you to watch Swedish tv shows and get translations/transcriptions in other languages to help you learn. Great for any level learner.
Best Swedish language programs & online courses
Finding a Swedish course that suits you is paramount to success. Here are some of our favorites!
Pimsleur: If you’re an auditory learner (you learn through listening), Pimsleur is for you. Pimsleur teaches its users “rikssvenska”, a version of Swedish that has minimal or no influence from local dialects. That makes it the most useful if you want to secure work or travel in Sweden. This is a very thorough course that could take you from beginner to fluent in a matter of months. It’s a worthwhile investment if you’re serious about learning Swedish. Try Pimsleur Swedish free for 7 days!
Rosetta Stone: Rosetta Stone used to dominate the language market, but in recent years it’s fallen behind. The content is accurate and straightforward, but it fails to take into account modern uses and words. Beginners can definitely learn a lot from taking this course, however, and it’s a trusted brand that swears by its methods.
SFI: The Swedish government has a scheme to help newcomers learn Swedish called SFI (Swedish For Immigrants). Even if you haven’t moved to Sweden yet, you can get help before you arrive. The online version is no different to the in-person course, other than you do it in your own time and without classmates. Learn more by visiting the SFI website.
Best podcasts to learn Swedish
Podcasts bring Swedish to life. Hearing spoken Swedish is great especially if you don’t have any Swedish friends you can listen in on. The biggest benefit of using podcasts (other than improving your listening skills) is that all of these are available on Spotify FOR FREE!
Coffee Break Swedish: Learn Swedish with our favorite language podcaster Mark and his tutor Hanna. Together they explore Swedish culture and give Swedish learners pronunciation tips, fun grammar lessons and new vocabulary each week.
Say It In Swedish: This podcast is hosted by native Swedes and gives learners an introduction to the language in a fun and modern way. They invite you to join the Say It In Swedish Community where you can meet other learners and get your questions answered – check it out here.
Simple Swedish Podcast: Best for intermediate learners. The host speaks slowly and introduces listeners to new grammar concepts and vocabulary in context. Best for intermediate learners.
Fikadrottning: In the market for a wholesome, feel-good Swedish lesson? This is it! The host, Tini Ismail, is a Singaporean who can’t get enough of Stockholm or fika. Her episodes allow you to travel around the Swedish capital, sip coffee with her and learn new Swedish words and phrases. Helpful bonus: she translates new vocabulary to English and Malay, so you get a bonus lesson for free!
Best websites to find Swedish tutors
You’ve got the power in you to learn Swedish, but there’s no shame in asking for a helping hand. In fact, there’s no one out there trying to learn a new language who can’t benefit from a tutor. Here are our fail-proof favorites for achieving fluency:
Italki: Italki is your best option for finding a high-quality tutor at a reasonable price. One of the trickiest parts about learning Swedish will be getting used to pronunciation, so a tutor is a must. Don’t waste your time or money on expensive mentors, Italki gives you the option of picking your tutor, the time you meet up, and it’s all done digitally. Bonus: you can learn a Swedish dialect if you want!
Preply: Preply is similar to Italki, but has a slightly higher cost on average. There are 43 Swedish tutors to choose from and you can be assured that your hard-earned cash won’t be wasted. A benefit of using Preply is that you don’t have to receive your lessons in English if that isn’t your first language, there are Swedish tutors on there who speak other languages too.
HelloTalk: Quick disclaimer: this isn’t strictly speaking a tutoring app. However, it does connect you with Swedish speakers, so in a sense you can use it to make Swedish speakers your tutors. It’s a great option if you don’t have the cash to spend on a tutor right now because you get help from native and non-native speakers alike – free of charge. Practice your writing and speaking skills using HelloTalk and then grab a tutor when you’re ready.
Books to learn Swedish
Using books to learn a language have multiple benefits. Firstly, you’re less likely to get distracted by notifications. Secondly, all the information you need is right in front of you, so no excuses! These are our favorite books to help learners like you learn Swedish quickly and effectively! Hop to the next article for the full list of Swedish learning books.
Teach Yourself Complete Swedish: When you want an all-round guide to learning Swedish, this should be it. It covers vocabulary, sentence structures, grammar and much more in just 358 pages. It also comes with CD’s for practicing listening skills. Beginners will benefit most from this, especially if you’re just starting out.
Basic Swedish: a grammar and workbook: Old-school methods are tried and tested and nothing really beats completing grammar exercises. This book is essential for getting written tuition on some of the more complicated aspects of Swedish, such as determining prepositions and word order.
From English to Swedish 1: a complete workbook: Don’t be put off by the illustrations, this is a very worthy book that will prove enormously helpful to anyone who needs step-by-step instruction. This guide makes easy to understand comparisons between Swedish and English and helps readers to develop their vocabulary and grammar knowledge with ease.
Short Stories in Swedish: I strongly advise Swedish learners to see what they learn in context, and that’s what you get with this book. It demonstrates written Swedish in a way that allows the reader to pick up on new vocabulary intuitively. Also, it is a great tool for practicing reading aloud in Swedish. Once you’ve read the story, try reading it aloud or using words you learn in conversation – you can thank us later!
Counting Sweden / Räkna Med Sverige: If you want your child to learn Swedish, then start here. It’s delightfully illustrated using Swedish symbols (such as the Dala horse) to visually aid young learners count. Not only that, but it introduces learning Swedish in a fun way.
Best websites to learn Swedish
The best thing that can be said about the internet is that it’s a wealth of resources. There are so many websites out there which can teach you everything and anything – and that includes Swedish. They’re free to use and can be accessed anywhere you’ve got a connection. Check them out!
Swedish 101: This website is affiliated with the Swedish 101 podcast and contains useful information about where to find great Swedish learning resources. You can read up on vocabulary, download flash cards and conjugate verbs, as well as much, much more.
Swedishlesson.com: A useful website to bookmark because it links you to Swedish lessons and e-sources. They focus mostly on the pronunciation side of learning Swedish, so if you struggle with that you should definitely check it out.
Reddit: I’m a big fan of reddit because it puts you in touch with like-minded individuals. This sub in particular puts users in touch to discuss learning Swedish. Users of this forum talk about problems they’re having, interesting things they learn and recommendations for Swedish learners. (Psst: check out r/swedishproblems too. It’s a bit of comic relief!)
Digitala Spåret: Sadly, this website looks like it was made in 2002 but it is the official learning portal for Swedish learners in Sweden. The content is accurate and varied but I have to impress on you that it doesn’t look great. If you can get past the seemingly terrible layout, there are loads of free exercises to try your hand at.
Best YouTube channels to learn Swedish
YouTube is every DIY-ers database. Luckily, there are several channels dedicated to teaching Swedish. Make the most out of them and you’re on track for success!
Say It In Swedish: This channel is the video supplement to the podcast of the same name. It teaches you everything from pronunciation to weird Swedish city names. The host, Joakim, is a funny and easygoing mentor who makes learning Swedish fun.
Fun Swedish: This channel doesn’t just talk about learning the Swedish language. It also covers cultural aspects and things non-natives might not be aware of. Fun Swedish also goes into a lot of depth on sounding the alphabet and getting used to the å, ä and ö letters.
Stefan Thyron: As an American living in Sweden, Stefan gives unique insights into what it’s like to move to Sweden. This is a great channel to watch to supplement your lessons and to wrap your head around some of the stranger aspects of Swedish culture.
Learn Swedish with Katrin Berndt: Love spending hours watching vloggers? This might be your best option. Katrin speaks slowly and helps her viewers along while discussing various topics.
How to learn Swedish fast
The best way to learn Swedish is to try every method at least once. These are my top tips as a native speaker to get you on track to fluency fast!
- Start by learning the alphabet: It sounds obvious but you wouldn’t believe how many people skip this step. Remember that the letter “i” in Swedish is pronounced the same as the English “e”. Get used to this contradiction!
- Speak Swedish as often as you can: One of my English friends would only text me in Swedish when she was learning. When she didn’t know a word, she would put the English word in brackets. Find a friend you can do this with. It helps!
- Consume Swedish popular culture: Whether it’s news or kids shows, you’re sure to pick up on things that aren’t in textbooks. Crack a Swedish joke or two and get the feel for the language. It’s just as important as grammar!
- Remember this rule: 5, 10, 15: Five minutes speaking, ten minutes writing, and 15 minutes reading. Every. Single. Day. That’s just 18% of your day and in a month you will have done 930 minutes of Swedish practice!
- Be realistic: You will make mistakes and Swedes will correct them (it’s in their nature). That’s fine. Mistakes are indicators that you are making progress!
Best Netflix movies & TV shows to learn Swedish
Speaking of Swedish culture consumption, what better way to do it than to watch some Swedish movies or TV shows? Kick back, relax, and indulge like a Swede on a Friday (fredagsmys, anyone?)
Quicksand: Fans of the Nordic crime genre, you’ve got to see this. It’s harrowing and certainly comes with trigger warnings, but if you love psychological thrillers then this is as good as it gets.
Bonus Family: Want a glimpse into Swedish life? Bonus Family is the show to watch. We meet a new couple, their ex’s and their children as they try to settle into a new family routine. It’s a comedy you can’t help but binge-watch.
Love & Anarchy: It starts off as weird dares between two people and then quickly spirals into a romance. Of sorts. This whacky TV series puts a new spin on “living your best life”. Watch it and you’ll see what I mean.
The 100-Year-Old-Man: The movie based off of the bestselling novel is one of the best nods to Swedish cinema in recent years. It’s funny, outlandish and entirely absurd. Find out how Allan, a Swedish centenarian, ends up on the run from a drug cartel, how he met Stalin and why he used to blow up toilets. Enjoy!
Lastly, remember that we have lots of resources here on Hey Explorer for Swedish learners. Check out some of our other articles below and let us know in the comments how your Swedish learning is going. Lycka till!