Hej, tack, varsågod … These are words that you will quickly pick up if you are travelling in Sweden. But those who want more, those who are really interested in the Swedish language, can learn basic Swedish in just three months.
Learning Swedish in 3 months – action plan
Warning, learning Swedish in 3 months is an intensive program but if you are really motivated, you will be amazed by the result!
If you want to learn a new language quickly, you need to practice every day. The language app Duolingo is a perfect tool for learning Swedish in 3 months. You can specify how many “points” you want to get every day (hint: the higher your daily score, the faster you will learn – go for at least 50 points/day if you want to learn Swedish in 3 months). If you get your target then Duolingo will reward you.
With Duolingo you are not only learning new words but you also exercise in grammar, spelling and pronunciation. And they make you repeat the words a lot so you don’t forget.
A nice addition to Duolingo are the Swedishpod101.com podcasts and YouTube videos to improve your listening skills. I found that reading and speaking were quite easy but listening can be more difficult, especially because there are so many different accents in Sweden.
To really master a language, you have to immerse yourself. The best way obviously, is a longer stay in Sweden but also at home you can take an immersion course.
Put your radio on a Swedish channel (I listen often to P3, P4 and P3 Star), watch Swedish TV (via SVT Play you can see a lot of Swedish TV programs, even with “undertext”, if you click on the ‘T’-button) and read the Swedish newspaper (tabloids Expressen and Aftonbladet offer “lighter” articles. And if you have Netflix you can watch some Nordic Noir series like ‘The Bridge’.
Listening and singing along with Swedish songs is a great way to practice your pronunciation. You pick up a lot unconsciously, simply from listening to the songs. I made a Spotify list with Swedish songs I listen to regularly. You may also write down the lyrics and translate them.
Tip: Watch Allsång på Skansen and sing along!
Hang a post-it note with the word in Swedish on all the objects in your house. Use a different colour for ETT and EN words, so you can remember it easier. Eg yellow post-its for EN-words, and green ones for ETT words.
Private lessons via Skype
Duolingo and all other tips above are great if you want to learn Swedish in 3 months but you need to have real conversations as well. That’s why I took some Swedish conversation lessons with a private teacher via Skype.
The teacher gave me tips on useful websites and gave occasional grammatical explanation. So taking some conversation classes is highly recommended if you’re thinking of learning Swedish in 3 months!
The real thing!
After 3 month give yourself a gift: a trip to Sweden! On this website you will definitely find inspiration for destinations! The most important thing to learn a language is ‘to dare to speak’. So oblige yourself to only speak Swedish while you’re there and don’t choose the easy solution to switch to English.
Tip! Learn a few phrases by heart. Ask them to repeat what they said but slower. Explain that you learn the language and would like to speak Swedish with them instead of switching to English. Practice these phrases often so you do not hesitate when saying them.
- Vad sa du?
- Ursäkta, skulle du kunna upprepa det?
If I can do it, so can you!
After only 3 months I managed to have long conversations in Swedish, understand the Swedish radio news and I was able to read a Swedish newspaper. I still continue to improve my language skills, on an almost daily basis. After not even a year I could read my first Swedish book and I am sending business mails in Swedish (probably not without mistakes but that’s ok). Being able to speak Swedish surely added a whole new dimension to my trips to Scandinavia!