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Swedish lessons take off across Europe

Published: 12 Feb 2013 13:12 GMT+01:00

While it may be common for people around the world to be learning Spanish or English, the latest trend to start spreading around the globe is learning Swedish.

The biggest interest stems from Germany, where 7,500 people study the language.

"There are more people who study Swedish in Germany than people studying German in Sweden," Monika Wirkkala, department head at the Swedish Institute (SI), told the TT news agency.

One student, Danny Marr, chose Swedish as her main language in her Scandinavian Relations course at Humboldt University in Berlin, and isn't having any troubles either.

"Your grammar is so easy," she trumpeted.

Over 200 universities in a 38 countries offer Swedish classes, with an estimated 18,000 students around the globe learning to get their lips around the ö:s, å:s and ä:s.

And the reason people are lapping up the language? To improve career possibilities in the Nordic nation.

However, the language courses haven’t spread to every corner of the globe, at least not yet.

Wirkkala at SI points out that the lessons have yet to take off in South America or Africa, but that the European market is well-covered.

"It’s only Albania that doesn't have some kind of Swedish course," she said.

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Your comments about this article

13:50 February 12, 2013 by oddsock
Poor naive little things.
14:02 February 12, 2013 by EP
Why even bother? Learn something more useful like Spanish, French, German or even Mandarin.

Swedish is insignificant outside of Sweden, and besides you can get by in English here
15:13 February 12, 2013 by RävUK
I am very slowly learning Swedish by myself and find the language fascinating. As a frequent visitor to Sweden (and with the dream of living there one day) it's important to me that I make a genuine effort to learn the native tongue. It is at times a complex language but I'm having fun exploring it, and I hope others across the continent do too.
16:04 February 12, 2013 by m2hm
Why do I sometimes get the feeling that some people who comment here are just the negative moaning type?

They want to learn Swedish because they think that Sweden is where they want to move...So what? Sweden is generally a nice country. Loads learn English to move to the US for example. Do all Americans think the US is a paradise? Of course not. Sweden might be better than their homelands (the students I mean) and it's up to them to get the best out of Sweden and learning the language is just one step forward.

If you have no other comments but moaning, please keep them for yourself and let people dream work on realizing their dreams.
16:42 February 12, 2013 by prince T
Germany?? May be it is because of the swedish girls. Why would d biggest economy in europe be lookin for in sweden
18:19 February 12, 2013 by cogito
@#4.

Has it occurred to you that English might be a slightly larger language than Swedish?
20:24 February 12, 2013 by eurobloke
Well languages come and go in fads, for example Russian in the 50's (think the Cold War), Japanese in 80's and Spanish in the 90's. Today it is Mandarin and German as well as Swedish.

Like the posts n° 3 & 4, I would like to move to Sverige and trying to speak the local tongue. This should be welcome as the person is keen to integrate into local society.
20:29 February 12, 2013 by HelmiVainikka
Maybe someone should have mentioned that Germany has about...81,7 million people? So 7.500 study Swedish? Thats 0,000122%. Big deal.
09:45 February 15, 2013 by Dino7
Hello if someone can help me wher i can find GOOD Swedish online language course.

Thank you for help.
17:30 February 15, 2013 by james_g
@ m2hm #4 - couldn't agree with you more! - and @ cogito #6 - what's that got to do with m2hm's comment? (Assuming that by 'slightly larger language' you mean slightly (!) more widely used language and not something rather more abstruse - in which case, please enlighten us! Or perhaps you are referring to the fact that it has a larger vocabulary - in which case- again - so what?)
22:36 February 22, 2013 by HörbDörpmeister
Well, Swedish, German and English are all Germanic languages, sharing some features and have related grammar. It's not like we're talking about Korean, or god-forbid French.
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