I was wondering what would be the preferred dialect or accent to focus on. I have the feeling the most common ones can be quite different from the supposed 'neutral' Swedish? Also some examples of the different dialects/accents would be interesting to hear/see.
What you're taught on here is a sort of central standard Swedish close to the dialects of the area around lake Mälaren, on which Stockholm is situated in the eastern end of the lake. It's quite common. With a few notable examples, Swedish dialects don't differ that much from each other as compared to, for example, German ones.
Have you ever met a foreigner that didn't sound foreign? I've been trying to pronounce sju/tju for a long time, but my Swedish friend always tells me it doesn't sound exactly like it should. It's not the shu one obviously, it's the hwuu or whatever. But maybe my friend just can't explain it well. Do you have any idea on how would I go about mastering this sound? Any links? Anything that explains the positioning inside of the mouth? Or it's just too late for me since I'm 20 yo and my vocal cords can't adjust any longer...
I've tried recording myself pronouncing sju, if you care to listen :) http://vocaroo.com/i/s1dWifp0O4Mp
I'm afraid I don't know exactly how to instruct you about the sound over a written medium such as this, but I do think your recording sounds really really good!
I have met two people who learned Swedish as adults and spoke it near perfectly. They were both Dutch.
Wow, thanks man. That is encouraging. I will continue to strive to get better. Cheers!
Have you heard the tongue twister regarding Seven hundred seventy seven seasick seamen? The best I could do was whoo-hundra whootiwhoo whoowhook whoomen. I was told that many Swedes could not pronounce it either.
We lived in Stockholm in the mid-seventies and I am wondering how many usages are still current. for example when a person is asked "Har Ni barn?" The answer might be "Ja, tre styck."
If you want to hear a different accent you can also listen to the news from Southern Sweden, Scania: http://www.svtplay.se/video/10942741/svt-nyheter-skane/svt-nyheter-skane-4-nov-09-10?start=auto
Focus on standard Swedish like how they speak on the news (usually).
Swedish comedian is getting tested on the different Swedish dialects: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3mLGtOSPGE
He forgot Gotland: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SP1TRF386DI
And Stockholm: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNfzLHuwVuY
Finland Swedish: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0eZxZ_3VYOY