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Difficulties in Learning Swedish

*Norge*
post 24.Jan.2006, 05:24 PM
Post #1


Can anyone please tell me how hard Swedish is to learn compared to English, French or German for example?

What are the difficulties? biggrin.gif
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Alice Is Back
post 24.Jan.2006, 05:32 PM
Post #2
Joined: 15.Jan.2006

swedish has a few funny sounds like sj in sju (7) and tj in tjugo (20)which are very difficult but the grammer is easier than the other languages you listed and the language is phonetic unlike French or English

when I had my swedish class I was 27 and I always cringed when i had to say how old I am / I sort of gave up and said I was too old to be a student laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif

swedes seem to talk rather slow too, slower than the french at least
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Markbase with an Invisibl...
post 24.Jan.2006, 05:32 PM
Post #3
Location: Malmö
Joined: 8.Jan.2006

Hi Engal,

I couldn't say how hard it is compared with English (as I am English), but I'm fluent in French, and didn't find it too hard to learn, although I'm by no means fluent in Swedish! If you're pretty good at languages in general, and as long as you persevere, you should be OK.

I know quite a few Germans who picked up Swedish very quickly - within just a few months.

I think it depends on your mother tongue, whether you've learned any other languages before, and how much time you want to devote to learning.

Hope this helps.

Mark Base
http://www.markbase.net -
for observations and opinions about life in Helsingborg
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Alice Is Back
post 24.Jan.2006, 05:33 PM
Post #4
Joined: 15.Jan.2006

oh english speakers will struggle probably with the ö sound too
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etuna
post 24.Jan.2006, 05:44 PM
Post #5
Joined: 21.Jan.2006

Hi
I am finding it more difficult than the French and German I was taught up to A Level (reasonable standard back then). I think this is because at school I was taught across 7 years as opposed to trying to teach myself Swedish in a short a time as possible (probably a good idea when you first come over). I almost believed my own excuses that it was too difficult to learn whilst doing my Ma but a reality check sorted that out and I am about to embark on the SFI course.
Recent experience of learning a foreign language will help I'm certain.
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VikingHumpingWitch
post 24.Jan.2006, 05:46 PM
Post #6
Location: Gothenburg
Joined: 21.Dec.2005

I would utterly disagree that Swedish grammar is easier than French grammar! There are technically 5 different types of verb in Swedish and you have to learn different endings for each one in most tenses, which is damn hard. I think if you know English and German though you will probably find it quite easy. In terms of word order and stuff it's easier than German.

I have never been to a lesson though and have managed to get fairly fluent from a book and conversations with Swedes, so maybe it is easy. It's all subjective anyway I guess.
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VikingHumpingWitch
post 24.Jan.2006, 05:47 PM
Post #7
Location: Gothenburg
Joined: 21.Dec.2005

Oh and the rules on plurals seem unnecessarily difficult.

I've not found Swedish that hard to pronounce though (always with the caveat that I might be doing it wrong). Once you learn how letters are pronounced, Swedish is spelt phonetically (with a few exceptions).

I think it's a very sexy language and well worth learning, if that helps.
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Markbase with an Invisibl...
post 24.Jan.2006, 05:51 PM
Post #8
Location: Malmö
Joined: 8.Jan.2006

For North Americans, the "Ö" sound is a bit like the vowel sound in "look" or "book"; The Britrish tend to equate it to the "er" sound...Depends on your accent...

I know what you mean about the verbs, witchy-poo. Not easy, but perseverance and practice go a long way. Ditto with plurals...You learn bits as you go along anyway, right?

Mark Base
http://www.markbase.net -
for observations and opinions about life in Helsingborg
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VikingHumpingWitch
post 24.Jan.2006, 05:54 PM
Post #9
Location: Gothenburg
Joined: 21.Dec.2005

Yeah it's all practice, same as any other language I guess.

The ö is the same as in look for North Americans? Whaaaaat? <runs round to get Canadian colleague to say look to check this out>
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Alice Is Back
post 24.Jan.2006, 05:55 PM
Post #10
Joined: 15.Jan.2006

QUOTE (VikingHumpingWitch)
I would utterly disagree that Swedish grammar is easier than French grammar! There are technically 5 different types of verb in Swedish and you have to learn different endings for each one in most tenses, which is damn hard. I think if you know English and German though you will probably find it quite easy. In terms of word order and stuff it's easier than German.

I have never been to a lesson though and have managed to get fairly fluent from a book and conversations with Swedes, so maybe it is easy. It's all subjective anyway I guess.


yes but french has 3 classes of verbs and you still have the future and conditional endings which you have to learn. After you get that down you can start on that pesky subjunctive mood, which I always forget.

Anyway I believe swedish is generally easier than german that's for sure.

engel if your really looking for something hard try icelandic
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Alice Is Back
post 24.Jan.2006, 06:00 PM
Post #11
Joined: 15.Jan.2006

QUOTE (VikingHumpingWitch)
Oh and the rules on plurals seem unnecessarily difficult.


but they are all logical rules, with a few exceptions narurally

I always get annoyed with words w/o any plural marking like ett ord, två ord, you never know how many of something someone is talking about

en man två män, have been confused by this too
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Alice Is Back
post 24.Jan.2006, 06:07 PM
Post #12
Joined: 15.Jan.2006

QUOTE (VikingHumpingWitch)
Yeah it's all practice, same as any other language I guess.

The ö is the same as in look for North Americans? Whaaaaat? <runs round to get Canadian colleague to say look to check this out>


no the o (or å as they write it in Swedish) is a pure o not a lazy ah sound as in english. ö is made by holding your mouth and lips like when saying the e sound a in eat. Then you produce a english o sound like in oh at the same time and voila the ö sound

but if you say å instead of ö you will still be understood

but I am aways annoyed by how to speak the o letter. Sometimes it is spoken like å and sometimes like o in the english word oh. For example god and gott have different sounds if I am not mistaken even if they both mean good (can a swede confirm this, I was wondering about this anyway)
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Markbase with an Invisibl...
post 24.Jan.2006, 06:23 PM
Post #13
Location: Malmö
Joined: 8.Jan.2006

Aaron, you just confused me even more...Phonetically, the Brits & Canadians say things differently...I never think "eat" when I think Ö...

My Canadian brain says the "oo" sound in "took", and my British brain has the "er" sound as in, umm...well, anything ending in "er"!!

Maybe that's just me though. After 3½ years, no one's corrected me & all seem to understand, so I guess it's not far off...Or perhaps my accent's too mixed up & freaky in English, so that I'm confusing myself. Don't know.

Mark Base
http://www.markbase.net
For observations and opinions about life in Helsingborg
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*The Teenage Diplomat*
post 24.Jan.2006, 06:24 PM
Post #14


QUOTE (Aaron_in_berlin)
no the o (or å as they write it in Swedish) is a pure o not a lazy ah sound as in english. ö is made by holding your mouth and lips like when saying the e sound a in eat. Then you produce a english o sound like in oh at the same time and voila the ö sound

but if you say å instead of ö you will still be understood

but I am aways annoyed by how to speak the o letter. Sometimes it is spoken like å and sometimes like o in the english word oh. For example god and gott have different sounds if I am not mistaken even if they both mean good (can a swede confirm this, I was wondering about this anyway)

In general if you have two consonants after the o, it sounds more like å. Well I think it is that way at least, I don't think too much about the rules since im Swedish. But only example of this is gott like you mentioned, another is the swedish choco bar plopp. Where the o sound is a bit shorter and sounds more like Å. Words like god for example have a longer o, it almost sound like gooooood, or the word mod, moooooood. There are probably exceptitions. To tell you the truth I don't even know the rules, im just guessing laugh.gif
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VikingHumpingWitch
post 24.Jan.2006, 06:27 PM
Post #15
Location: Gothenburg
Joined: 21.Dec.2005

I've been told by Swedes that o (no dots) should be pronounced as if someone has just punched you in the stomach (ooooooh!) - as in ost which is closer to "ooost" than "ost" as it would be pronounced in English. Obviously though there are exceptions since I've never heard a Swede say "goood" for god.

This is hard to do in writing!
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