How to Start Learning Swedish

We All Have to Start Somewhere

If you have a Swedish significant other and aren’t Swedish yourself, you’ll undoubtedly experience the following :

Likewise, you’ll inevitably feel inspired or obligated to learn Swedish. Everybody has to start somewhere, but don’t start here:

Start Here:

1. Have Simple Conversations

Listen to Pimsleur lessons (30 min each) on your commute. At the beginning of each lesson, you’ll listen to a brief Swedish conversation. You won’t understand most of it; you’re not expected to. By the end of the lesson, you’ll not only understand the conversation, but you’ll be able to participate in it yourself. And your pronunciation will be pretty impressive! You can find a copy of the lessons at your local library.

2. Build Your Vocabulary

Review Memrise flashcards whenever you have a few minutes to spare. Memrise uses memes and spaced repetition to help you remember what you’ve learned. Its user friendly app keeps you engaged and removes the tedium that often comes with flipping through flashcards. You can create your own flashcard decks or you can review community decks.  A wonderful person shared a deck of the 8000+ most common Swedish words, and this is my favorite resource! Even knowing just the first 150 words greatly improves your reading and listening comprehension. The official Memrise Swedish deck is amazing for learning everyday words and phrases.

3. Keep up With Current Events

Readwatch, and/or listen to news in simple Swedish. It will be difficult and time-consuming at first, but stay with it! This is great way to stay informed about what’s happening in Sweden, to learn relevant contextual vocabulary, and to practice and improve your comprehension.

4. Have Fun!

Seriously, have fun! Make Swedish a part of what you like to do. Enjoy cooking? Try out some traditional Swedish recipes. Love listening to music? Find Swedish artists on Spotify or Youtube. Interested in research and innovation? Follow Swedish companies and universities to learn about their latest projects. This will help you stay motivated to learn Swedish, especially when studying starts to feel like a chore.

Studying with fika helps me get through boring grammar drills.

Fika with Lars Magnus


Featured image by Anjeli Lundblad on Unsplash.

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