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All the ways you can learn Swedish

The particularity of coming to Sweden to study is that it has its own language (spoken nowhere else), but you can still navigate every day life with English. Personally, I think language is a great way to fully integrate a new culture, especially if you will be here for a long time like one or two years. Since Sweden welcomes more immigrants than any Nordics, the government has developped good resources to help them learning Swedish, and most are available to students (or anyone interested)!

Learning Swedish

Learning Swedish is a Swedish-language course offered by the government on many different platforms: online, through a well-designed app, or through a learning document. It is very well adapted to new-comers, adapts well to daily life and most importantly, it’s free! I really recommend it as a first step.


Folkuniversitetet offer many Swedish classes of all levels, at the rhythm you need. Once a week, three time a week, level A1, B1, you can find something that corresponds to your expectations. Most classes have a fee associated to it, but there are many once-a-week classes that usually start at the beginning of the semester and are also free! Having an actual class to go to will integrate Swedish as part of your routine and you should learn very fast!


Tandem is an amazing concept! You a matched with another student which speaks the language you want to learn, and wants to learn your mothertongue. KTH offers the service of matching you with someone corresponding to the criteria and you can plan to meet once a week to discuss in both languages. It’s a great way to put what you’ve learned through apps in practice and get some feedback on pronunciation and expressions, by a real Swede!

*Tandem is also an app where you can meet people who want to share language skills, so you can also try it!

Netflix/HBO Nordic

You know how advertisers pass subliminal messages to the public all the time? Well I think the same strategy can be used to learn a language. By adding Swedish subtitles to everything I watch on Netflix, I see the same words again and again and actually learn without making much effort.

There are also many Swedish movies and shows which you can watch in Swedish and with Swedish subtitles on. It may take you one hour to watch a 30 min. episode by going back and forth to Google Translate, but you’ll learn so many new expressions and still feel productive while binge-watching shows!


I know your first reflex might be to download Duolingo and do it everyday, but I did exactly that and it turns out that I was able to say “The cat is on the table.” but not “Hello, my name is Élise.”, and some other words I was taught were just wrong… I think Duolingo is great for vocabulary, and it can be used as a complement to Learning Swedish, but I would definitely not recommend it as a primary learning app.

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