Jag pratar lite svenska! – or in English: I speak a little Swedish!
One of the most common question on Google Autofill when I type “Is Swedish…” is “Is Swedish hard to learn?”
I have been asked by interested applicants who want to study at Chalmers is if they need to know Swedish to study at Chalmers. Well, if you are going for a master’s programme, it is NOT mandatory to have Swedish language skills because all Master's Programmes at Chalmers are conducted in English. However, I do admit that learning Swedish is very beneficial when you live here. You get to be more socially active, understand the news, and be aware of more discounts (I know you so well).
Going back to the main question: Is Swedish hard or easy to learn? On the top of this page, you can see the result of a quick poll with 14 international people in Gothenburg.
One person says that the grammar is easy, but since it is a new language, to memorize lots of new vocabularies is hard. One person who thinks Swedish is hard says that maybe it is not hard if one put effort into learning it.
Personally, I agree with most respondents. Swedish is not the hardest language in the world. In fact, the grammar is similar to English in many ways.
Swedish doesn’t use too many specific characters (only three special characters which are different than the common Latin alphabet! They are: ä,ö,å). It also doesn’t use conjugations and genders like French or Spanish. One thing that sometimes confuses me is only that there is the extra-super-duper-uber-long word.
FUN FACT! Based on the Guinness World Records, the longest word in Swedish is: Nordvästersjökustartilleriflygspaningssimulatoranläggnings-materielunderhållsuppföljningssystemdiskussionsinläggsförberedelsearbeten
Yeah, try to say that five times.
Second FUN FACT! Lots of Swedish words are easy and similar to English (and/or other languages - Dutch, German, even Indonesian), so it is not so hard to guess!
There are many ways to learn a new language. Based on my experience, I use mobile apps like Duolingo and Babbel and online course on Learning Swedish website
to learn Swedish while also taking a class in SFI (Swedish For Immigrants). If you live in Sweden and you have a Swedish personal number and an ID Kort, you can apply for the Swedish class at SFI for free. Some websites give you free exercises, too. Or if you want to take the fun route, listen to the Swedish version of ABBA songs, watch Swedish television shows, go to language café, or join conversation groups in the city library!
Author: Titis Rum Kuntari
Watch my fellow ambassadors and I answer the web’s most popular questions in our