We’ve all been there. You hear a string of sounds that make sense to everyone in the room but you.
Sure, there are parts that seem familiar; that you know you’ve heard before. But it all moves so fast your brain just can’t keep up.
Yep, learning Swedish is no easy task. Classes can only take you so far, and words often ‘look’ different than they sound. Plus Swedes often switch to English at the first sign you’re struggling.
But now Swedish public broadcaster SVT has developed, SVT Språkplay, a free app that lets you learn Swedish - and watch TV at the same time.
The app gives you access to thousands of subtitled TV shows with interactive Swedish language support in 18 languages, including English, Spanish, Arabic, and Russian.
Thus, SVT Språkplay makes SVT's programmes more accessible to people who are either new in Sweden or simply want to develop their Swedish language skills.
"This is a really useful tool for people who want to improve their Swedish,” says Erik Hedin, project manager at SVT.
“It’s a great way to learn the language and more about Swedish society,”
Click on words to learn more
After downloading the app, simply choose your language, level of Swedish, and start watching.
When someone starts speaking onscreen, clickable Swedish subtitles appear on your screen.
Clicking on a word automatically brings up a translation into your chosen language. You can click to hear that word spoken on its own, and also save words in a personalized glossary.
Choose from thousands of programs
The app features thousands of SVT programmes in several different categories, including, drama, comedy, and children's programmes – there’s really something for everyone.
You can find all the programmes using the Search field or scrolling through the different Categories. Once you’ve picked a show, the app lets you practice your Swedish while watching something you like.
"We feel we’ve managed to develop a tool that is both simple and fun to use,” says Hedin.
“In addition to language learning, we hope that the app will help contribute to a more inclusive Sweden by giving more people a chance to keep up with events through news and popular television programmes.”
SVT Språkplay is currently only available to users in Sweden and supports English, Russian, Spanish, Arabic, Turkish, Albanian, Bosnian, Croatian, Persian, Finnish, Greek, Kurdish, Serbian, Somali, Azerbaijani, Amharic, Tigrinya and Pashto.
This article was produced by The Local Client Studio and sponsored by SVT Språkplay.