• Sweden's news in English

Swedes 'best in the world' at English

The Local · 26 Oct 2012, 10:01

Published: 26 Oct 2012 10:01 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Sweden, which finished fourth last year, moved up to first place in the study, carried out by education company Education First.

“We are extremely proud that Swedes are the best in the world at English,” said Mats Ulenius, the head of Sweden’s branch of Education first.

“One of the factors of our success is that we begin with English education already in lower school. Another is that we are exposed to a lot of English as we travel a lot, our TV programmes aren’t dubbed and we use the internet a lot.”

Scandinavian companies performed well in the study, with Denmark in second place, Finland in fourth and Norway in fifth. The leading country from 2011’s study, the Netherlands, finished third this year.

“For an export-driven country like Sweden, good English is extremely important. The report has also shown that English is a key factor for economic welfare. A better handle on English goes hand in hand with higher income, more export, a good innovation climate, and better business,” Ulenius said.

Furthermore, the study revealed that women spoke better English than men due to more women studying humanities and attending university in general. The best age range for English proficiency was 26-35 years old.

The language test was made up of 100 online questions about grammar, reading and hearing comprehension, as well as vocabulary.

Education First is a language company that was founded in Lund, southern Sweden, in 1965 in the hope of bridging language, cultural and geographical barriers.

Story continues below…

The Local/og

Follow The Local on Twitter

Related links:

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

10:46 October 26, 2012 by Freelife
Swedes 'best in the world' at English as certified by a swedish organisation.

What a surprize!
11:00 October 26, 2012 by smilingjack
the swedes speak better english than most native english speaking countries. with a lot having a third language up their sleeves.

not hard though considering most yanks can barely read these days let alone speak. UK population speak like ali g and the yanks like w8nker gangsta's.

a study in australia revealed most kids thought yoghurt grew on trees!
11:12 October 26, 2012 by Freelife
And regarding English spoken in India...

We don't speak 'American' or 'British' English. We speak and use our own English called 'as' Indian English. And we are pretty good in it, obviously. :)


Amazingly, the organization with an aim of bridging language, cultural and geographical barriers, seems to be not aware of it.

I have read their report.!

I find it is meaningless to judge and compare English speakers in 54 countries.

The survey was conducted among 2 million people. And the population of India is 1.4 billion. 2 million is not even 0.002% a 1.3 billion. How can this be a good sampling for a statistics?
11:30 October 26, 2012 by artjok
@Freelife, if you find it meaningless, why are you troubled? If you are really concerned about the matter, carry out your own research in India and prove this ungrateful world wrong!)
11:55 October 26, 2012 by Aigulle Delaz
Depends whereupon, the English we are talking about: Are we talking about the Slang Latin (Old French)/Latin/needless foreign words mess or actual English, which maintains most of the Germanic words, keeps the the befitting benoting of 'be' in place of 'have' (verbs that wend because of fare or growth and so forth). An example is, "I am changed" anet to "I have changed". It also keeps pronominals as opposed to folks beginning or ending their sentences with verbs not conjugating fittingly such as, "in it, in which, in what, in there and so forth". There are many more. However, If the latter, it will be a shock for a few seconds but much easier for Swedes to learn, if the former however, then that tongue real counteth not because it is not English ! Not to say that Native speakers are any better (we have been fed this diaglossia slang for eras upon eras now).
12:06 October 26, 2012 by ozu
What do TOEFL, TOEIC, IELTS and those major international English tests? They must be providing more accurate results annual I guess? (But Swedes speak and write very good English, yes.)
12:10 October 26, 2012 by omphus
I can't argue with this, everywhere I go in Sweden everyone can speak near flawless English. The standards are just so high, my uncle for example is embarrassed speaking English because he has only ever had a Swedish education and never learned English formally, but his high level of English amazes me, it's like he is a natural native speaker. If only people in Australia were held to such a high standard...
12:13 October 26, 2012 by ozu
sorry i meant "What do TOEFL, TOEIC, IELTS and those major international English tests say?". (my English is bad...)
12:41 October 26, 2012 by skogsbo
Freelife, I can converse quite readily in my native English with tanks, ozzies, kiwis etc.. but when I had the joy of attempting to converse with an indian call centre worker, its often a nightmare! You just don't always get the true context and meaning of words. As a rule 99% of young northern Europeans do, but their base language is similar, even if sentence structure changes a little.
12:53 October 26, 2012 by Rishonim

not hard though considering most yanks can barely read these days let alone speak

It that the reason why the yanks have the best universities, world most renowned linguist, economist, inventors, literature and scientist ?

Congratulation to Sweden. I have to agree with the survey at least when comparing it to other European nations.
12:59 October 26, 2012 by intrepidfox
The Swedish are competent with the English language but not brilliant. The Dutch are much much better.
13:03 October 26, 2012 by Freelife

Sir, I agree that most of the Swedes do speak very good English.

However, I disagree with this survey which makes a comparison is at a global scale. My comments was about this study in particular.

There many flaws in the survey.

Kindly refer to the official report of TOEFL scores.


Page 9 & 10:- Average scores are Swedish(91), Danish(101), Finnish(98).

Even among Indians, the average TOEFL score of people with Konkani as their mother tongue is 101 as same as Danish.

The average score of the people who have the southern south Indian languages as mother tongue are Kannada(96), Tamil(96), and Malayalam(95) which is above the average of people with Swedish as their mother tongue.

Now the population of Kannada speaker is 37 million, Tamil is 85 million, and Malayalam is 33 million approximately.

It is absurd to compare average of 1.4 billion with the average of 9 million.

Obviously, in studies such as this, more the number, lesser is the average.

Also if you count the number of authors of Indian origin who have won 'the booker prize', you will realize the difference. I am not being a chauvinist. This survey has many logical flaws.


You are correct. But we Indians do not speak, British, Ozzi , American or Kiwi English. All we speak, study and use in India is 'Indian English' which a different English with its own features and peculiarities.

You must complain to the call center about that bad service. They have not trained there personnels effectively. They hired unqualified people to save money.

When someone wants something for cheap, obviously they should not expect that thing to be of high quality.

When I call to a Indian call center of a bank, they speak perfect 'Indian English'. Even my mother can understand them clearly. They are quite polite, humble and patient.

Could you ask that call center to be moved to Sweden? Do you think, it is ever gonna happen?

I would be glad to see these call center go away, where my people work all night till dawn speaking with rude people.
13:33 October 26, 2012 by cogito
Of course. Swedes are Best in the World at Everything.

Just ask them.

@intripidfox. Correct. The Dutch are much better. The Finns, too.
13:59 October 26, 2012 by Migga
Surveys, studies and tests should never be set in stone. Change a few factors and the Danes, Finns, Dutch or Norwegians might top the chart. I don`t think it`s any doubt that northern Europe is at the top though. Early schooling, english speaking movies/series and the easy access to the internet is the reason behind it.
14:12 October 26, 2012 by skatty
Which means that Swedish language is practically useless (by considering the article).

If Swedes are the best in the world at English because many things are in English (which is true, from entertainments to literature), then why they insist so much from immigrants to learn Swedish language!

Let all speak English and forget Swedish, make life easier and more useful for everybody!
14:19 October 26, 2012 by eppie
Also being understandable is important. For the untrained ear indeed indian english is not understandable, even though Indians are probably superior in grammatics and written English.

Regarding the northern european countries in the top 5. I think the Swedes have the best pronunciation. (apart from not being able to distinguish the sj sounds such as in cheese, ship, cheap etc.),

Danes, dutch and finns have a primary language that has some pretty heavy sounds, and this probably makes their english also a bit different. Swedish is a much softer language, and this may be the reason for their good pronunciation
14:49 October 26, 2012 by Freelife

"Also being understandable is important. For the untrained ear indeed indian english is not understandable, even though Indians are probably superior in grammatics and written English."

There is a logical flaw in your statement. The statement is wrong.

1. We all Indians understand our own accent obviously, we are 1.3 billion.

2. Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Nepalese, Bhutanese and Sri Lankans speaks almost in an Indian accent. They are about half a billion.

3. Now what about Chinese? Well I have no idea, if they find which accent more difficult.

Now, Indian accent may be difficult to you. However, we don't speak so that mere Europeans or people of European ancestry understand. We speak so that we Indians understand each other. India has 26 different official language. We need this English to communicate among ourselves. Indian English is our main official language. Why should we change our accent? When our accent is 100% correct and legal in our country. That's is how we learn and use our Indian English.

Why do we Indians need a Swedish company wrongly set and gauge the level and standard of our English, just to make a propaganda themselves as better than people of 54 nations in the world? Why is this national Narcissism?
15:20 October 26, 2012 by lorenzogranada
sorry, I meant online etymolgoical dictionary, not "oxford". it's at

16:38 October 26, 2012 by Abe L
So why can you still barely come by with just knowing English in Sweden then? Simple things such as a job, friends or any kind of social interaction seem limited to those speaking Swedish.

So how does this pay off to the crowd that also speaks English but not their language?
17:53 October 26, 2012 by skogsbo
Freelife, if only Indians can understand indian english what purpose does it achieve?
19:35 October 26, 2012 by dirty lobster
@ Abe L.

They did not learn english so it could pay off for others who do not find the time to learn Swedish. Haha. They learned it to help themselves.

Anyways, very linguistic society here in sweden. maybe not the most social.
21:49 October 26, 2012 by Cornelius Hamelberg
The vagaries of language - this one is about words that sound alike

She asked me what it what it's called in English I told her it's a shoehorn " No!", she retorted, "that's Swedish!"

22:14 October 26, 2012 by Greysuede
In India, Jamaica and Pakistan they are best at it as well.
23:23 October 26, 2012 by Freelife
@ skogsbo

"if only Indians can understand indian english what purpose does it achieve?"

May be you need read a bit of history. English was push down our throat by the English colonizers who ruled India for 200 years.

People speak nearly 4000 languages in India. And Indian English is used as a common language.

Even our prime minister and president speak in Indian accent. Check youtube
05:04 October 27, 2012 by Rima1985
I think Swedish are the best at everything.
07:24 October 27, 2012 by skogsbo
freelife, but if it's an alternate Indian language that only Indians can follow, why do you expect it be benchmarked against global English which EVERYONE else uses and can understand. It's just another Indian dialect. There is no one forcing it on you now, it is your choice?

ps. coloniSers in English English, no Z, if you are blaming the English for the introduction of English, you should get it right. ;)
09:34 October 27, 2012 by rise
There are probably many reasons as to why Swedes apparently knows the English language. One of them probably is Sweden doesn't dub TV-programs but you have to read the translating sub titles instead. Imagine Clint Eastwood speaking French, German or Swedish with some other person's voice - horror! ;)
12:59 October 27, 2012 by Flutterbye
I will agree that Swedes speak brilliant English.

As I have told people here in the UK when you are in Stockholm its like you are in London (only better).
15:58 October 27, 2012 by Dijondel
I'd hope that most people reading this are at least bilingual.

For once, I agree with something that smilingjack says. Having spent many years in London, and seen and heard how the common people speak and write, I've been of the opinion for a long time that Swedes speak better English than the English themselves.

Swedes do not put an apostrophe in common nouns, or even verbs!

Swedes know the difference between its and it's

Swedes know the difference between their, there and they're

Swedes know the difference between your and you're

and they can also spell "definite" correctly. Even though all native English speakers can spell "infinite", they somehow can't take a simple example and apply it to another word.

@Rishomin, you make good points Grasshopper, but what I think was being referred to was all the text-speak and gangsta-rap that is infiltrating down to kindergarten level these days.

@rise, I concur here too, watching native speakers is a good way to learn, although I have seen French VO TV in Sweden, it doesn't mean that Swedes can magically speak French.

@skogsbo - do you live in a forest ?
08:27 October 28, 2012 by cogito
"coloniSers in English English, no Z, if you are blaming the English for the introduction of English, you should get it right. ; (#26 skogsbo)

@Freelife (#24)

Some backwoods Brits have difficulties with accents or spellings other than their own. Because they once ruled the waves, they are now unable to waive the (old) rules.

I am confident that Indians, like most educated people, understand that coloniZe and coloniSe are the same word. And that theatER and theatRE both refer to a building or outdoor area in which plays and other dramatic performances are given.

Your spelling was correct. Chinese and most young Asians also prefer standard American spelling and pronunciation, while aging Europeans are partial to what they refer to as "the Queen's English."
09:00 October 28, 2012 by rise

"Swedes know the difference between its and it's

Swedes know the difference between their, there and they're

Swedes know the difference between your and you're"

I'm glad you brought that up because at least for me (as a Swede) it's sometimes difficult to understand what people means when writing "its" instead of "it's". In Swedish the words is "dess" and "det är" with purely different meanings. It is pure indolence to leave out the "'". To write "your" instead of "you're" is just plain stupidity.

P.S. About the sub titles for TV-programs... I wrote "one of the reasons", didn't I? ;)
19:59 October 28, 2012 by Freelife


Swedish people might speak English well. They might even have accent closer to Americans or British.

However, I have studied for 2 years in Sweden, and I have been working among Swedes for more than 2 years. I find, they are not quite good in written English.

One can hardly find an English newspaper or magazine in Stockholm. It seems they don't read English as much they watch English movies.
11:31 October 29, 2012 by martin malmo
As a native english speaker, I have to agree. The Swedes always amaze me in their ability to speak english so well. One reservation though, Swedes use too many

19:52 November 6, 2012 by born2die
I agreed that Swedish speak English better than others non native-english.
02:50 November 8, 2012 by visitorfromnowhere
Swedes may very well be the best at English. But it really isn't saying that much. Yes, they can function in a business environment. And they can tell a run of the mill story without too much difficulty. But they still have no sense of any of the subtleties. And if they had to read the greatest English stylists of this era, the very things that make those writers great would be lost on the Swedes. Believe me, I could cite deeply important writers who would give just about any Swede a serious headache.

And if a Swede who speaks reasonably well should find himself in a conversation with someone who speaks English at a high level, the Swede should understand that the English speaker is simplifying his speech in countless ways.

Here's another kind of subtlety that the Swede probably doesn't realize. The differences between various Englishes (England, US, Canada, Australia, India, etc) are not very important compared to the differences between the hoi polloi and those who speak English at the higher levels. The well spoken Indian is going to be much more impressed by the well spoken Canadian than either is going to be by the typical Brit. The British accent only has value for American marketing firms. Once upon a time, English speakers the world over looked to England to set the standard for the language. Those days are over. These days the Queen's English is artificial and stilted and largely irrelevant. The great writers of today couldn't care less about it. So, if you are working on your British accent, you are wasting your time. You surely won't impress anybody who is worth impressing.
00:02 November 13, 2012 by sfk
Why on the earth nobody discuss that if Swedish would not speak good English they would be idiots.

Since The Swedish and English belongs to the same language family (Germanic).

So it is to learn English anyway. See the links which are provied below.

If Swedish or those other Germanic language speakers would be real master of learning language, they would excellently speak other languages (i.e. Chines, Japanese, Russian, or Arabic, Turkish) too. However they are not...


22:16 November 18, 2012 by thevoiceofenlightment
Yes, I agree.....Sweden is....
20:18 November 22, 2012 by MGBrick
Congratulations to Sweden, not just for its population's proficiency in English, but also for teaching it without fear of losing its native language. Like it not franco phones and Esperanto nuts, as a result of the British Empire and American global influence, English is the worldwide language of commerce.

Quebec, could learn something from Sweden. Stop shooting yourself in the foot Quebeckers and teach your children English in order to allow them to compete in this world.
18:00 July 26, 2013 by sergar
I don't think it has so much merit the fact that Swedish, Norwegian, Danish and Dutch are able to speak English so well.

In my opinion it's because of the huge similarity among all that west germanic languajes, and to a very lesser extent the effort, the good education and all these repeated and flattering nonsenses about Scandinavians.

Their good English is inversely proportional to their bad latin languajes skills, for instance.

I mean, just as a Spaniard can learn very easily Italian and viceversa, a person who speaks any west / north germanic language, can learn very easily English.

16:48 October 28, 2013 by calle1976

Regarding Indians. How many % of the population actually speak English? That is the question here. 30%? By virtue of you huge numbers that makes a lot of English speakers but it also leaves 70% of your country ignorant. Hardly something i would brag about.

16:59 October 28, 2013 by AgeOfReason
Actually it is about 10%, however due to the huge population that means around 125 Million people, that is quite something to brag about! The fact that once their economy becomes more of an internal market (just as with China will someday soon) then what you call ignorance of English becomes irrelevant since they would have no need for external business as they do today, the ball will be in the other court, so to speak, your ignorance of Chinese or indian will be nothing to brag about!
17:29 October 28, 2013 by Hisingen
There is English, and there are national varieties of same. The English spoken by most Swedes today is the American variety, padded with the British swear-words which they use in abundance without appreciating the error.

There is not much worse than hearing a Swede using Americanisms to the full, and then throwing in a few 'f's and 's's' for good measure, but not realising how they are lowering their standards.

Whenever you see swear-words in a British newspaper, for example, they are in fact padded with asterisks. OK we know what the words are, but no-one really likes to see them in full print. But not so the Swedes. Witness that film about Åmål, for example, and of course, often they translate the Swedish four-letter words and use the English version in their everyday language, and to an oldie like myself, it sounds absolutely disgusting, and is a big let-down in the main.

When teaching English in the past, there were two words that I used to assist Swedes into the zzz sound that we English speaking people have, and which they do not.

His and hers. When spoken by Swedes it often comes out as 'hiss and herss'. I used then Hiss - as in lift (elevator in US English) and hearse as in likbil in Swedish. It created some amusement, and also a reason to accept the zz sound a little easier.

Norwegians and Danes, are, on the whole, far better at English than Swedes, due to the wartime influence from the 'underground' collaboration. Latterly as the older generation passed on however, the younger people have been influenced more by films and TV, and so they also tend to speak more the US form of English, and as we all know, the main difference between the British and the Americans is the language.
17:57 October 28, 2013 by intrepidfox
I have always found that the Dutch are good English speakers
20:09 October 28, 2013 by colem15
Filipino is the BEST too
23:09 October 28, 2013 by sv1000
So, what is the benefit if swedes in 1st place or 40 place ?

SWEDEN is not a commonwealth country or an English speaking country!!

You cant live and work and talk to society with English only ,

Can you get A JOB with English , you cant even Engineers or doctors cant!!

You cant do anything with English .Just a tourist you will be . You cant get any benefit by Speaking English cause the whole system is and in swedish .

If they use English with you,then they consider you as a foreigner who need help!!

So sweden is like Germany and others in Europe except GREAT BRITAIN ,they use English when its necessity or very very necessary!!
23:22 October 28, 2013 by Hisingen
sv1000 - have you never heard of the export market, or communication - both of which are made considerably easier with good English since the rest of the world considers Swedish as a very foreign language.

Just look around you a lttle - open your eyes - and ears!
23:42 October 28, 2013 by sv1000
Thank you Hisingen.

Im opening my eyes well, but all these things will not affect your life or my life or even immigrants life!

Taxes are high ,importing manpower from non-EU is not cheap and hard , every thing is complicated by both Swedish and EU laws !!

Rooms are expensive and fees for everything around you even your house is not yours !!

Visas are complicated for everything and waitng time is increasing while it must decreased for IT which Sweden have

,English for toursists not for Jobs .

Thats my opinion
00:14 October 29, 2013 by Gamla Hälsingebock
English is the language that separates a lot of the World from the British Empire...separated by a common language...as it were.

How did Wales, Scotland and Ireland do in that survey...they were the first to lose their language to the colonialist English and "forced' to speak a foreign tongue!

When I was a little boy I almost failed a spelling quiz because I used "our" in several words...I said to my teacher that's how it is spelled in English...The reply is we are in America and that's how it is spelled here!...If you notice I still use "our" in my postings...My teacher was a revolutionary...Bitch!!!
11:06 October 29, 2013 by Mib
English is the most commonly used language in business and science, hence why the Nordics and others focus a lot on teaching their young people English at school. Sweden is only spoken by 9.3 million Swedes and a few hundred thousand in Finland, although the Danish and Norwegians can communicate with each other in their respective languages

Listen...Sweden didn't ask you to move here. It is polite to learn the language of the country that you live in. Simple. It is the best way to integrate and develop in a new country. You won't get too far in the UK without English, although you still have a chance with the many cultures that live in the country. So you can cry as much as you want and blame the Swedish for not accepting you because of your lack of Swedish, but it is your fault. Not theirs. If there is a Swedish person who has the same skills as you, the employer will choose the swedish person.

So either work your ass off to learn the laguage or move to a country where you can speak english and get work with just english. Or become a fantastic developer and then your spoken language doesn't matter!! It's your choice!
13:53 October 29, 2013 by sv1000
Mib to whom have you writing this ?what you meant by "YOU"

Probably its in general ! your opinion.
14:21 October 29, 2013 by calle1976
The question should be how many % of the total population speak English. I'm sure India has many proficient English speakers by virtue of it's size alone but how many % of their total population is that? 30%? Hardly something i would brag about.
14:42 October 29, 2013 by Hisingen
I can remember Peter Sellers in one of his Indian English rôles singing about "warm face, warm hand, warm foot".

But regarding Indian English, since the advent of the out-sourcing of telephone service agencies, and the use of those in India, I think there have been many complaints due just to the Indian English dialect being somewhat too unusual for native English speakers to follow. I know that I have had a few contacts that gave me problems, but then age has reduced my hearing abilities somewhat, so I perhaps was partly responsible for the misunderstandings - but only partly. A Londoner faced with that dialect can not be an easy situation - - - not on the dog and bone anyway.

But in the international trade world, English if one variety or another is usually the most common language of contact. The differences do, however, sometimes produce some rather amusing results - and subsequent misunderstandings. These we see from the various 'Instructions for use' that come with goods and appliances, where a translator has done his/her best, but clearly using a dictionary and unfortunately choosing the wrong meaning of a word, thus producing some hilarious results.
16:11 October 29, 2013 by Mib
YOU have to take responsibility for YOUR life! Don't expect the whole of Sweden to change to accomodate non-Swedish speakers. Where are you from? Would you expect your country to change just for me and a few other immigrants?

There are many immigrants in Sweden who have been very successful both with swedish or without swedish. The difference is that instead of complaining about life, they made the effort to change their lives for the better. Of course everything could be easier, simpler, cheaper, but that is not going to happen. It will only get easier if you decide to make the effort, otherwise in 10 years time, you will be on here STILL complaining. It's not going to change for at least another 2 to 3 generations in which time most of us will be dead!

So stop crying like a baby and start being an adult.
17:00 October 29, 2013 by skogsbo
Kind of, the real language of the UK prior to the invasion by the Romans, Vikings, , Saxons, French... was very close to Welsh or Gaelic, Celtic origins, they were pushed away, or fled north and west into the less desirable parts of the UK and away from the entry points of the foreigner invaders. And so what was a celtic language changed quite rapidly over a 1000 years with many influences, hence the number of words in common with the Nordic languages, or the latin base of other words.

Successful people generally have a few things in common, they were motivated, even when they had struggles and failures, plus they were happy & positive, regardless of the obstacle in front of them. Moaners and lazy people, rarely do well in life, plus they also make really poor company!

SV1000... If people have a problem with Sweden or Swedish, then there are a dozen or so English speaking countries in the world, many of them will give you a visa pretty quickly if you have the right skills or qualifications.
20:33 October 29, 2013 by sv1000
Hey Mib ,

You stop criticize me better for YOU ,

I know all of what you have said very well.

Im not new in SWEDEN to know rules in here .You didnt explianed who are "YOU" but i think it for me!

What i said is this country is not an English Speaker country , they do not use English in their commericial system even.

The courts and all the whole system is in swedish ,

When My country will bring immigrants they should be clear if English in Jobs will be used or Itself language will be used ,so if my country of origin will enforce you to to learn in order to survive as a resident not as a tourist so its useless to talk that my country s English is in 1st place !!.

As a proffesional you get the worst (big loser)if you have to spend years in learning and integrating with a culture of any country cause you can not get benefits of your proffesionality unless You used their system cause this country is not using The international Language in their commercial system!! and after all these years you probably can get a job and maybe you cant.

Im not saying that Sweden have to do any thing cause im not newcomer and i know what people think .

But please stop amplifying talking about Scandinavia as English 1st place cause its against YOU .Then

They will say that YOU must know English +Swedish very Excellent for a housekeeping job!!

And its useless .


10 million population but it still not as people marketed as a paradise ,situation like 40 million with many jobless and too much racism !


Im not stupid to be here if i cant integrate well. And im not here for English in this stage of my life

I ,myself is not criticizing anything , i accept every thing but im talking about facts.
22:23 October 29, 2013 by Mib
Sweden is the best at speaking the language English outside the normal speaking English countries like the USA & UK. It doesn't mean they speak English to each other. They speak Swedish!! Why would they speak English to each other when they're Swedish? They speak very good English because as a nation of exports, it has to teach English or it would collapse, because no-one outside the Nordics understand Swedish.

I'm sorry, but I struggle to fully understand your English and maybe there is something lost in your post when I read it. I really don't know what you expect if you understand the meaning of Sweden being the best in speaking English. But Swedish is the language of the country and while Swedes are very good in English, there can still be misunderstandings. That is why they speak their own language. Some feel uncomfortable speaking English in front of other Swedish. But they do speak English in my company as they trade with customers/suppliers outside Sweden.

If you want to know who I am, I'm from the UK and work in Sweden. I use Swedish everyday, although I still have a lot to learn. But which ever country you go to it will be difficult, especially if you can't communicate in their language.

Of course you don't need to speak Swedish for a cleaning job, but when there are many Swedish people who want that job and you don't need qualifications to do it, then there will be more competition and will tend to choose a Swedish person unless you do it much cheaper. That is why I said before that you should focus on the IT sector, especially development as there is a shortage of people for these jobs and so you do not need Swedish, because they need those development skills. There are thousands of English speakers only working in Sweden today!

What do you want?
Today's headlines
Löfven: 'Sweden will double its number of troops in Iraq'
Stefan Löfven and Haider al-Abadi during the visit on Monday. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has promised to double his country's number of troops in Iraq following a meeting with Iraqi counterpart Haider al-Abadi on Monday.

Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
Should Swedes think fairtrade with porn? Photo: Karin Malmhav/SvD/TT

A fairtrade attitude to pornography would be beneficial, Sweden's health minister told The Local.

Presented by Stockholm University
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Simon Paulin/imagebank.sweden.se

Nordic fashion took centre stage in the Swedish capital last week as Stockholm University hosted the “first-ever” academic conference looking at luxury and sustainability in the fashion industry.

Referee, coach and parents in Swedish youth football fight
File photo of a referee holding a red card not related to the story. Photo: Stefan Jerrevång/TT

A football dad broke his leg in the brawl in front of 11-year-old kids after a Hammarby youth football game.

Illicit abattoir kept more than 100 bulls' penises
A couple of young bulls not related to the story. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Dried cattle genitalia, goats' heads and hundreds of litres of lard were just a few of the many strange finds discovered when police raided a property in Sweden.

This is officially Sweden's most beautiful beard
The most beautiful beard in Sweden. Photo: Memo Göcek

According to a jury of barbers and 'well known bearded profiles', that is.

Presented by Invest Stockholm
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm

You might think it’s hard to make friends in a new city. But if at first you don’t succeed – try something else!

Injured Swedish photographer protected by 'guardian angel'
Swedish photographer Paul Hansen on another occasion. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Photographer Paul Hansen thanked his lucky stars for surviving sniper fire while covering the battle for the Isis-held city of Mosul in Iraq.

How Sweden is trying to smooth relations with Saudis
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven meeting Saudi Arabia's Trade Minister Majid bin Abdullah Al Qasabi. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has visited Saudi Arabia a year and a half after relations turned frosty in a major diplomatic row.

My Swedish Career
'Swedish people love it, but they find it quite odd'
Scottish entrepreneur William Macdonald. Photo: Michael Campanella

Meet the web developer and entrepreneur using traditional Scottish ceilidh dancing to break the ice with Swedes.

Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
jobs available