• Sweden's news in English
 

Top ten tips for taming the Swedish language

Published: 22 Jan 2013 17:19 GMT+01:00

Perhaps you’re an exchange student in Sweden, slowly realizing that the only Swedish culture you’re learning is the importance of a cinnamon bun with your coffee.

Or maybe you find yourself sitting in a Swedish for Foreigners (SFI) class staring listlessly out the window, mourning how the weekly tests do nothing for your heart rate.

Click here for our top ten tips to mastering Swedish

Or do you wish your Swedish was a smidgeon more advanced so you could expand your small talk to medium talk when buying a latte at your local café.

Or do you just need a motivational kick into the field to get into the game and interact with the locals...

Well, you’re not alone. And that’s why we've gathered what we consider to be the best tips to help you break through the barrier and speak better Swedish.

This list aims to provide useful tips for anyone from a beginner to someone who has almost mastered the language.

But be warned, some are not for the faint of heart.

Oliver Gee

Follow Oliver on Twitter here

Related links:

Your comments about this article

18:22 January 22, 2013 by Emerentia
Listen to audio books!
22:23 January 22, 2013 by virgoman
Don't waste your time clicking the link!
12:48 January 24, 2013 by ann2
Watch Swedish programs WITH SWEDISH TEXT -- on your remote look for "text", press it and enter 199 for SVT1, 299 for SVT2, and 899 for channel 4. Barnkanalen is 793, kunskapskanalen is 794 (or maybe those two are reversed). Reading along you understand a lot more than just by listening.
23:56 January 24, 2013 by kalbininkas
Don't waste your time learning Swedish because you will never have Swedish friends. You will never even have a conversation with a Swede. They hate foreigners. What they say about being able to get along with just English is true, but not because nearly all Swedes speak English, but because they exclude you and segregate you no matter how eagerly you try to befriend them.
01:39 January 25, 2013 by sunnchilde
@kalbininkas You're being too general. I'm sure that not every single Swede will shun every single foreigner. It may indeed be challenging to be "accepted" in what is largely a homogeneous culture, but one thing is for certain, if you do not at least TRY to acclimate, you will never be accepted.
09:26 January 26, 2013 by calebian22
The number 3 tip, why lie? I have found that shaming a Swede worked wonders when they switched to English. I always asked in Swedish, if my Swedish was so terrible that they had to speak English with me. Frankly it was horrible but that was not the point. I didn't need to practice my English. Not a single Swede ever continued in English for more than another sentence. Most immediately switched back to Swedish.
11:34 January 27, 2013 by mayhem
I found the tips funny and accurate! I don't understand why all haters of Sweden come here to leave their poisonous comments like ''kalbininkas''.. Why don't you stop reading about Sweden if you hate Swedish people so much my friend? I think you are insulting a whole nation just because you happened to have some bad experiences (obviously).. Please try not to be too general. I am a foreigner in Sweden too and I've been treated with nothing but respect so maybe if you are a bit kinder to Swedes you will be treated better too..

P.S: watching TV does wonders indeed! I highly recommend it!
20:38 January 27, 2013 by kalbininkas
@sunnchilde Didn't you read my comment? I said "no matter how eagerly you try".

@mayhem You are confusing cause and effect. You're claiming that the segregation Swedes shower me with is due to my dislike of them when in fact it is the reverse: my dislike of them is due to their segregation.

How much they dislike you depends on where you come from. If you come from a nice place like Germany, Holland, The States, Canada, Australia, Britain, or the rest of Scandinavia, you might be accepted a little bit eventually. But If you are Third World trash (which is what they call you when you're not around), then you will never be accepted, no matter what you do. (Can you imagine Princess Madeleine marrying a guy from, say, Pakistan?) I studied Swedish eagerly for over 3 years thinking that it was my poor command of the local language what made me unpalatable to the Swedes. Trust me, it wasn't that. I still don't even know anything about their traditions or holidays or anything that has to be conveyed through human relations. You need actual human interaction to learn those things.
13:05 January 29, 2013 by mayhem
Kalbininkas again you are being extremely general.. I don't think most Swedes call you 3rd world trash that is simply not the case, I see many of friends/family that I have in Sweden socializing with people from less privilleged countries and they treat them equally.. I have seen racism in other countries trust me and this here is not racism.. Swedes have a lot of flaws like everyone else but they can embrace other cultures.. Perhaps you have been unlucky with your peers? I am sorry for that but maybe -I insist- it is your own attitude because you have been disappointed in the past so it is a self-fulfilled prophecy.. I hope that changes for you but 1st you need to lighten up..
Today's headlines
'Racist dog' owner avoids Swedish jail term
Not the Swedish dog in this case. Photo: TT

'Racist dog' owner avoids Swedish jail term

A man who instructed his dog to attack young people with non-Swedish ethnic backgrounds has been found guilty of inciting racial hatred and instructed to carry out 120 hours of community service. READ  

Analysis
Why Sweden's economy is 'brightening' in 2015
Photo: Ola Ericson/TT

Why Sweden's economy is 'brightening' in 2015

Sweden's economy is set to get a boost in 2015 and the coming years, with "strong investment and a brightening outlook for exports", according to a key EU report released on Tuesday. The Local looks at why the Nordic nation is on the up. READ  

'Fake' eyesight course pulled by Sweden school
Glasses, the usual form of eyesight correction. Photo: TT

'Fake' eyesight course pulled by Sweden school

An evening course that promised to teach students how to improve their own eyesight has been pulled by Sweden's largest adult education organization after opthalmologists described it as "pure quackery". READ  

Swedish ice hockey team reported for 'Indian' logo
Frölunda Indians with the controversial logo on their shirts. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

Swedish ice hockey team reported for 'Indian' logo

Swedish ice hockey club Frölunda Indians have caused a stir after they were reported to Sweden's Equality Ombudsman for their logo depicting a Native American. But the case does not count as discrimination, a spokesman for the government agency has told The Local. READ  

The Local List
The Local's top Swedish songs of the month: May
Julia Adams. Photo: Gustav Wiking

The Local's top Swedish songs of the month: May

The Local's music guru, Paul Connolly, has a bumper crop of great new Swedish songs for you to enjoy during these early summer nights. READ  

Voters thaw on Sweden Democrats co-operation
Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Voters thaw on Sweden Democrats co-operation

Almost half of Swedish voters – and a majority of two of the Nordic country's centre-right parties – want to co-operate with the nationalist Sweden Democrats on some issues, while 41 percent of voters want to limit the party's influence, according to a poll by Ipsos. READ  

Opinion
'Swedes are great friends but terrible strangers'
Ever been offered help on Stockholm's subway? Photo: Melker Dahlstrand/Image Bank Sweden

'Swedes are great friends but terrible strangers'

After eight months of living in Stockholm, The Local's Editor Maddy Savage has embraced the city's nature, eaten her bodyweight in meatballs and made some wonderful friends. But she's not so impressed by the (lack of) kindness of strangers in her adopted city. READ  

Sweden ranks fifth best place to be a mother
A Swedish mother and child. Photo: Lena Granefelt/Image Bank Sweden

Sweden ranks fifth best place to be a mother

Sweden remains among the top five countries in the world to be a mother, according to Save the Children's annual global scorecard, with Stockholm singled out for tackling inequality among women. READ  

Viking 'forest' language set for Nordic preschool
Älvdalan in central Sweden where Elfdalian is spoken. Photo: Elfdalian

Viking 'forest' language set for Nordic preschool

A rare Nordic language used by a tiny forest community is set to be taught in a preschool in central Sweden. Elfdalian, which shares some similarities with Old Norse is a hot topic at an international linguistics conference in Copenhagen this week, as Scandinavian language experts campaign to stop it dying out. READ  

Swedish broadband 'priciest in Scandinavia'
Mobile broadband is cheaper in Sweden's Nordic neighbour states. Photo: Ulf Huett Nilsson/imagebank.sweden.se

Swedish broadband 'priciest in Scandinavia'

Sweden is known as one of the world's most tech savvy countries. But high mobile broadband prices force many customers to turn to operators across the border in its Nordic neighbour states, where internet access is often cheaper and more generous. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
Property of the week: Hjortnäs, Leksand
Sponsored Article
How to change the world: Malmö to Mogadishu
National
Ecuador stray dog Arthur in Swedish charity race
Sponsored Article
'Educated immigrants get stuck in limbo in Sweden'
National
Sex-crazed grouse terrorizes Swedes
Blog updates

4 May

 (Joel Sherwood) »

"Taxes time in Sweden. Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXDvQwWz3Ks I invite you to follow more posts at my FB page. ..." READ »

 

30 April

 (The Local Sweden) »

"Greetings from Sweden’s capital, where there’s been a big buzz in the city’s creative and business..." READ »

 
 
 
National
IN PICTURES: Sweden's King Carl XVI turns 69
National
Dolphins spotted in Baltic
Gallery
People-watching: May 1st-3rd
Sponsored Article
'Never waste a good crisis'
National
Road trippers flock to 'The Bridge'
National
Why are Swedish supermarkets banning paracetamol pills?
Gallery
People watching: April 29th
National
"In many ways Swedes and Americans are kindred spirits"
Politics
Did you know four Swedish party leaders are women?
National
Swedish rescue team stuck on way to Nepal quake zone
National
Why Sweden's brown bear population is in danger
National
TIMELINE: Julian Assange sex allegations in Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Forshaga
National
Here's how a Swede became the world's boxing champion
National
Swedes bask in early summer sun
Business & Money
Is this Sweden's priciest flat ever?
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's Princess Leonore meets Pope Francis
VIDEO: How did these Swedish cops become New York heroes?
Business & Money
Five crucial things you need to know before you move to Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: April 25th
National
What's on in Sweden: April 23rd - 30th
National
Brits in Sweden face NHS black hole
Business & Money
The Swedish regions where you're least likely to stay jobless
Gallery
People-watching: April 22nd
Sport
Sweden's Eriksson joins row over foreign England player quotas
National
MEP says ignoring migrant crisis like 'Sweden's Holocaust appeasement'
National
How much would you pay for first Swedish strawberries of 2015?
Gallery
IN PICTURES: The Swedish mining town that's being moved
National
Refugees in Sweden fear for families lost at sea
Gallery
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
National
Swedish researchers pore over link between coffee and cancer
National
Syria claims ‘most dangerous’ Isis leaders are Scandinavian
Gallery
People-watching: April 18th
Features
What you can buy in Sweden for the price of a London shed
Politics
Is Sweden returning to 1990s social democratic welfare politics?
National
Mamma Mia! Abba entertainment venue set to open in Stockholm
National
Swedes launch first donut into space
National
Why Sweden is top place in the world for expats to raise children
National
What does Zlatan think of his ban?
National
Swedish 'submarine' was civilian boat
National
Why has a US town got pulled into a Swedish spelling row?
Swedish Hasbeens
Sponsored Article
Is the world wrong to connect Sweden with sex?
Sponsored Article
'Impossible' to run Skanska without Bromma Airport
Sponsored Article
Does far-north Sweden have to punch above its weight?
Sponsored Article
Want to study in Sweden? Read why Stockholm is the best choice
Sponsored Article
'Sweden must embrace openness and diversity'
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

3,334
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se
?>