Top 4 Reasons Why You Should Learn Swedish
By: Grigorios Georgakis
It may appear very easy to communicate everywhere you go in Sweden, once you have set foot into here as an international student. Since almost everyone speaks English, it feels like a huge relief to me. Having traveled to 20 different countries in Europe, I can definitely say that Sweden is a country where its inhabitants have a proficient level of the English language, even if it’s not the official language of the Scandinavian country. Despite this fact, is it sufficient to live and work in Sweden only with English, without even learning Swedish, at all?
Here are 4 reasons why I think it’s so important to learn Swedish:
1. To understand more about Swedish culture
Living in a country where you do not speak the official language at all alienates yourself and can make you feel bad sometimes, because you cannot even understand the simplest announcements from the trains. But, if you learn some basic Swedish, you will start to feel more socially-accepted and understand more of Swedish culture.
For one, it is easier to do grocery-shopping, read advertisements posted on the public trains and buses, and you will even have the ability to order food and drinks from restaurants with ease. The fun part of understanding Swedish is making Swedish friends, and finding out the local slang and the kind of humor that Swedes enjoy. Oh, and also being able to eavesdrop on daily conversations happening around me – you can really discover their culture and hobbies from doing that.
2. For future job prospects
Many international students want to stay in Stockholm or other parts of Sweden after their graduation to find work. But often, it is a bit difficult if they don’t speak Swedish. Its not impossible for sure, but it is not easy. In many cases, they either end up learning Swedish or are forced to leave Sweden.
Being a proficient user of the Swedish language gives you a multitude of opportunities in order to find a work position somewhere in the country since most of the jobs (except IT & engineering positions) require Swedish proficiency in different sectors of the everyday life such as the media industry, education, administration e.t.c. In short, to find job in Sweden quickly – be fluent in Swedish.
3. The most useful Scandinavian language
For what it is worth, Swedish is the most useful Scandinavian language to learn. Knowing some Swedish can help you decipher written Norwegian and Danish to a great extent. Swedish is also commonly understood in Finland, and the main spoken language in many places in southern and western Finnish coasts.
Swedish, theoretically, is pretty easy for English speakers (“easy” relatively speaking). The FSI (language difficulty ranking system for foreign languages) put it in their Category 1 Languages with French and Spanish. It makes sense to me because both English and Swedish are Germanic. If you’re looking for a third language to learn, well then, it will make the process of learning Swedish much easier.
4. Moving to Sweden permanently
Okay, so this one is personal.
Free education and healthcare. Attractive salaries. Beautiful lakes and forests. High quality of living. And being one of the world’s most democratic and progressive society.
It’s just some of the many reasons as to why people chose to make Sweden as their home. I am one of them, and I feel that Stockholm is a great place to study and live in, which is why learning Swedish is so important to me.
As a self-proclaimed linguist, I reckon the Swedish language is helpful when you decide to settle down in the capital of Sweden – Stockholm. Especially if you have made up your mind to get fully-acclimatised in the Swedish lifestyle by making Swedish friends and finding your other half, learning this joyfully-sounding language will seem like a no-brainer.
Helpful links to start learning Swedish
Courses to learn Swedish:
Some apps to learn Swedish:
- Babbel – Dictionary with 2000-3000 words per language. Contains illustrations and examples of spoken words by people in their native language.
- SVT Språkplay – You can watch SVT’s programs and get help to develop your Swedish language.
- En or Ett – . If you, like most people who learn Swedish, are finding it hard to remember whether Swedish nouns are “en” or “ett” words – this game is for you!