Listening to Swedish

Hi there, I'm quite new to the Swedish course and I've only completed about three fifths of the tree, however I have noticed a stark problem I am facing which contrasts to other languages I have been learning.

Though I struggle with some, I can listen to and write the 'write what you hear' sentences at full speed in one or two goes, however I have been listening to a few external sources of Swedish (namely my favorite Swedish youtuber who is NOT PewDiePie) who speaks naturally in Swedish quite often in his videos, and (yes, I know, Christmas was three months ago, so go ahead and call me weird) Julsånger. I find it very difficult to make out what is being said.

Though I'm not very good at Swedish itself, my reading, writing and speaking skills are far and beyond my listening skills, in contrast to Polish, where listening was relatively easy due to the phonetic nature of the language.

It might be a bit preemptive considering I've only been learning for about two weeks (quite intensively), but at this point it seems like a brick wall to me. I'm wondering if anyone else has faced the same or a similar challenge, and what they did to overcome it.

Om hjälpar du mig, ska jag älskar dig till evig!

March 1, 2016


Try listening to Radio Sweden på lätt svenska. It's a daily news broadcast in simplified Swedish spoken at a slightly slower pace - not too slow, but slow enough to be easily comprehensible. I've found it to be really helpful listening practice. And having spent months in Sweden listening to people speaking all around me at a normal speed, I've realised that you pick up more if you start off slowly than just plunging in head first - so don't be put off by the fact that it's "easy Swedish". Hoppas att det hjälper!

March 1, 2016

I didn't know Radio Sweden had på lätt svenska! Thank you, I have so much trouble understanding spoken swedish because it just all runs together for me. Hopefully this will help.

March 2, 2016

tack så mycket. det är hjälpbär

March 2, 2016

This happened to me w/ Russian (not on Duo). To finally make progress I used audio books and treated them as dictation exercises. I'd listen to a sentence in Russian, write down what I (thought I) heard, check it against the book's written text, and then listen to the sentence several times until I could hear and repeat what was being said--or, at first, until I couldn't stand repeating it one more time.

On Duo try listening to the audio without looking at any text first and writing down what you (think you) hear or at least trying to say it over in your head. Then check against the text (when there is some). Then repeat the audio several times.

Just keep going. You'll get there. For me this took a long while, but it worked.

March 1, 2016

I know what you're talking about. If you can find Swedish-language video with Swedish-language subtitles, that can be a good way to get past this.

March 1, 2016

Thanks for the advice :)

March 1, 2016

I found this on youtube: As a native Swedish speaker, it's pretty hard to know if this is easy for you to understand, but I thought the listening exercises seemed good since they make you listen to a "natural" conversation (pretty slow pace) and then answer a question about the topic of the conversation. Good luck in your language training!

[Btw, if I could be so rude as to correct your last sentence; "Om du hjälper mig, ska jag älska dig för evigt!" :) I got to say, you still seem to have come very far in your Swedish writing in such a short time!]

March 2, 2016

Thank you! This looks like really helpful stuff, I've still got a few vocabulary gaps, and I'm still getting used to the 'rhythm' of spoken Swedish, but at least I can comprehend some of these videos! Thanks for the correction as well, I think one of the harder things in terms of grammar for me has been prepositions!

March 4, 2016

I completely agree. Duolingo is so easy to understand, whereas many native swedes (particularly my partner!) are so difficult! I do find movies and TV with dramatic characters a little easier - they tend to speak more slowly, with a bit of dramatic emphasis (which swedish is great for), as conversational swedish leaves me just hearing word-blurs.

March 19, 2016

i've lived in stockholm for fifteen months and i struggle understanding people when they speak. can read and write a ton better. taking lessons with someone right now to help (but it's a nightmare!) my pronunciation is terrible and my ability to understand her is just as bad. but my vocabularly and reading skills: not too shabby.

8sidor does easy news you can read and listen to, too. am going to check out the radio sweden suggestion that i was unaware of. i've fallen behind on my fluency goals. according to duolingo, i'm "52% fluent" in swedish. not a chance!

November 27, 2017
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