The Ultimate Guide to Learn Swedish (for free!)
I’ve compiled a list of free resources and ways to learn Swedish. I’m hope that you’ll find it useful! If you have any other suggestions, please write them as a comment at the bottom of this post and I’ll re-update this! 😀 Let’s get started:
Speaking and Writing Swedish
SFI (Svenska För Invandrare)
SFI literally means “Swedish For Inmigrants”. It is a governmental free system of Swedish courses available for free to all Swedish residents. There are dozens of SFI schools all over the place so chances are that there will be one nearby where you live/work. They have also most levels ranging from beginners to advanced. Google: “SFI + [your-city]
Swedish Courses at your University
Most Swedish universities offer Swedish courses to their students throughout the year. These are mostly beginner courses aimed to give you a general grasp of the language.
In the unlickely case that your university would not organize such courses, there are plenty of other universities who do! Most of these are for free but a couple require a modest payment (which can be a great incentive for you not to drop out!)
Online Swedish Courses
There are loads of amazing free online resources available to learn Swedish! Check out www.101languages.net/swedish/ to get access to radio stations, TV programmes, Swedish guides, and crash courses! My all time favourite is FSI Swedish basic course originally developed for the USA ambassadors that were assigned to Sweden.
Duolingo has recently developed a Swedish course. It is one of the best and fun ways that I’ve found to learn Swedish! It’s basically like playing a game, except that you will learn a language in the process! You can also compete against your friends in terms of points!
Your university probably has some sort of Språkkaffe in which you team up with someone fluent in Swedish and speak Swedish for half an hour, and then switch to your mother-tongue language so that the other person can practice this too. These are great tools to improve fluency, and in addition to being free, they are loads of fun and an awesome way of socializing!
- Pro Tip: If you meet a cute guy/girl and want to see him/her again but don’t really know how to go about it, ask them if they could help you out with your Swedish by having a Språkkaffe! It works every time! 😀
Meetup regularly organizes some free get-togethers for people who want to learn Swedish (and they have it for a few other languages too here in Stockholm). You basically sign up on the website, meet up some Swedish learners and some Swedish speakers in a café, and spend a couple of hours speaking in Swedish (or trying).
Forgetting your Own language
If you really want to learn Swedish at a super-fast pace, then you should be ready to stop speaking your own language (or English) and only try to speak in Swedish, no matter the occasion and how bad you are. Experts have long supported the notion that TOTAL IMMERSION is the best and fastest way to learn a new language!
Learning the Vocabulary
Did you know that knowing the 2.000 most common words of a language will make you understand up to 96% of the used words in a language?? Learning words is a super-efficient way of better understanding a language! Here are some ways in which you can do this:
There are some really helpful vocabulary flashcards available for free on the internet, and they are a great way of expanding your Swedish vocabulary. My favorites are Babbel (they have an app), and Mohammed suggested The Swedish Core 2000 Flashcard set available for free in the Shared Decks section of the Anki flashcard site.
Update: It seems like they have removed this deck, so just go to THIS PAGE to see what other decks are still available
If you don’t really care too much about the visual appearances, you can put up your words-to-learn in an Excel spreadsheet. I found a database (in Excel format) with the top 8000 most common Swedish words… It is really a treasure! Learn a couple of new words while you are sitting in the tube or bored in class and your vocabulary will expand at a dramatic pace in no time! 😀
1000 Most Common Swedish Words with Sounds
Have you ever been in the middle of a conversation in Swedish and didn’t find the word that you were looking for? Note down those words and look them up later on Google Translate, so that next time you’ll know how to say it.