Is there another way to learn Swedish more fluently in a few months?
Im going to sweden as an exchange student in August 2017, and im doing what i can here on Duolingo, but i know online learning languages isnt 100% helpful. Im also learning spanish because im in highschool and swedish was not a language option. If anyone has any ideas please comment and reply.
I went through Duo's tree in three weeks while reinforcing the vocabulary on Memrise. I then immediately started talking to a very patient Swedish coworker. It was slow going at first, but basic conversations were easy enough and as the weeks passed the conversations grew more complex.
I understand that you may not have access to a willing Swede for several hours every day, so the best thing I can recommend- if you have the stamina and are willing to embarrass yourself a few times -is to power through the tree with the assistance of vocab flashcards and a language partner on the internet on a site such as Italki and speak to them as often as possible. It'll cost a little money, but it's your best solution unless you have some Swedes in your immediate vicinity.
Two months is not long, but I think it's possible to get to a basic conversational level in a language like Swedish in that time. Speaking to natives as much as possible is absolutely critical, though. You'll get better once you're there. Best of luck!
Edit: if you use this method, you will probably get headaches for a while. I did. :)
The 'Duolingo Swedish' course is a good start.
You'll find it here:
I was using it to learn the vocab for groups of lessons before actually doing said lessons, and I found that having the words reinforced in context like this was actually a lot more helpful than going in blind. I'd review the words when prompted on Memrise.
As I had a native in arm's reach most of the time it was quite an effective method, although very time-consuming in the short term. I also feel compelled to mention the headaches again. If you're going to try this, I wasn't kidding. Buy aspirin!
Thanks very much for that link. I'll definitely give the Memrise course a try as a change of pace/supplement/prep for Duo lessons when I start Swedish here. And I'll remember your caution about headaches. I have not taken an aspirin or the like in decades, so if the process gets to me I'll probably know.
I'm getting way ahead of myself, as I have not yet started on Swedish, but do you happen to know of a good source online for purchasing books in Swedish? Bokus, the only such online store I know of, except for this site, states that it will not ship to the U.S. Fiction interests me most, starting w/ simple books for children, through "tween" and teenage reading, on to adult material.
Try here for books in the US: http://www.swedishbookshop.us
They carry books for adults, kid's books and lättlast books, which are books for adults written in simplified Swedish.
For further simple listening and reading practice, I can highly recommend Radio Sweden på Lätt Svenska, which is designed specifically for new immigrants to Sweden.
I'd like to ask if you know of any similar sites in Russian, as I'll be starting on that tomorrow!
Thank you very much for that bookstore link. I wish I were starting today!
The following sites in the U.S. have been satisfactory for ordering Russian materials (note that audio and computer programs nowadays usually cannot be exported directly from Russia):
- St-Petersburg Books - I always had good success with them, and if you do not speak Russian you can still order in English by telephone (using their catalog numbers), as my wife has done when ordering gifts; they usually pack books well
- setbook.us - subsidiary of a Russian site, but I order from the U.S. site; good prices; sometimes their packing of books is not so good
- vasha-kniga - were quite satisfactory but w/ a smaller selection and a bit higher priced
- kniga.com - ditto
The following Russian sites have been fine:
- ozon.ru - where I usually order books, as they have a very good selection, prices are pretty good, and ordering is easy
- bolero.ru - they were quite satisfactory when I ordered from them in the past
- labirint.ru - a good selection, but lately their payment methods have not worked for me
If you are beginning today w/ Russian, then it may be easiest to order by telephone from the 1st site, or online from the 3rd or 4th. The 2rd site does have an English web interface, but when I tried it (quite a while ago), it kept flipping back to Russian when changing pages, which is annoying - and would not have worked for my wife (to buy me gifts ;); maybe it has improved.
Books ordered from Russia have a smaller per-book cost but shipping and handling costs more. Lately the best prices (all in all) have been when ordering several books from ozon.ru or setbook.us; St-Petersburg books can also be good if you shop the sales.
There are plenty of used books offered on ebay.com, and there are used book sites in Russia and the U.S., but I've only ordered from ebay, which is just fine.
Hope you find what you like! I'd be glad to help with ordering, if you need any advice starting out.
To add to the pages Eva33964 mentoned, there are these links to video in Swedish from Finnish Radio. Those on the left are for, it looks like, pre-schoolers and those on the right are for school age kids. I do not know Swedish, so it could be that the accent is "regional," etc., etc., but maybe they are worth a look for you, especially those for the younger kids, as (IMHO) it's always best to start out w/ simple material that you can comprehend, rather than struggle w/ the more advanced things--you'll make better progress in the time you have.
How great to be going to Sweden for a whole school year! It really sounds like fun.
Yes watch the news in easy Swedish on the Swedish television's website, it's subtitled in Swedish/English/Arabic. I watch a lot on two other sites of the Swedish television, "öppet arkiv" and "UR Play" (educational...) but am not sure about how they can be accessed from out of the country. There's also Swedish radio at "Sveriges Radio". You might also want to get a book and an audiobook of the same book, and listen/read simultaneously. Check out easy reader options at "LL förlaget" publisher. There's a newspaper called "8 sidor", very easy Swedish. Get a penpal at "Brevvänsförmedlingen".
If your Swedish is really, really basic maybe go for children's stories like "Tripp, Trapp, Träd" at "UR Play" about the animated three little acorns learning about how to make dinner, eat lunch, go to kindergarten etc. It's aimed at children age 3-5 years old. The short stories are subtitled in Swedish.
Tinycards has a number of flashcard decks for Swedish, including a few official ones for the Duolingo course (scroll down): https://tinycards.duolingo.com/search?query=swedish