Is Swedish worth it?
I’m assuming that this question has been asked a lot, and I apologise if it has been. The reason I’m asking is getting responses which are not based off of an outdated version of the course.
Anyways, I am very keen on studying a new language on Duolingo and am struggling between choosing either Swedish or Danish. From what I’ve read, Danish is much harder in terms of pronounciations, which often make no sense when compared to what is written, Swedish on the other hand has been described as melodic and easy to learn. I am visiting Malmö and Copenhagen in early August and would like your input as to whether or not learning Swedish would be more useful (putting into consideration the time and effort) than Danish.
Responses from all types of Swedish/Danish learners and native speakers would be highly appreciated! :)
I don't know about Danish, but I can tell you is that I've quite enjoyed learning Swedish, partly because the sentence structure is very similar to that of English.
As someone who has learnt Swedish for +10 years I would say it's the most sensible one of the major Scandinavian languages to learn - it's easier to pronounce than Danish, and learning Norwegian is a total language gymnastic exercise with Bokmål and Nynorsk. With Swedish you get a passing understanding of all these, even if it has some quirks. For example, I've learnt Swedish in school - Swedish is a mandatory class in Finland since it's a bilingual country - but I have difficulties understanding /Swedish/ Swedish, because we learn the Fennoswedish pronunciation and vocabulary. Still, I have traveled in both Sweden and Norway, and also held art classes in Swedish for children from these countries, and understood and been understood quite well.
I've also noticed that in face-to-face conversation I understand Norwegians better than Swedes - can't explain why, but Swedes tend to mumble more than Fennoswedes, so maybe Norwegians articulate better, or more in a way my ears are used to. Danish however - you'll understand most of what you are reading if you know Swedish, but you will never know what a Dane is saying.
Trust a Dane, feel the pain
it's a joke obviously, don't get triggered please
I've been learning Swedish for about two years now and I think it's definitely worth it. The moment you master the basics it's quite easy. You have around a month left to learn Swedish and I think that is enough to learn the basics. The nice thing is that Swedish is a bit like Dutch and you are already learning Dutch (but maybe it's just for me that the two languages are alike sincs I am Dutch). But I have to warn you, I can read Swedish things but when I try to listen to native Swedish speakers (for example by watching Swedish programs on youtube) I often don't understand I word from it, unless they talk slowly. So it might be usefull to learn the phrase "Can you please talk slower/slow" in order to be able to understand it when you are in Sweden.
As a native Swedish speaker, I'd recommend you to study both if you have the time to do so. I'm currently studying Danish myself.
While there are similarities between Swedish and Danish, there are also many differences between them. While I can understand written Danish to some extent (thanks to the similarities), I can't understand what they're saying at my current level because of the pronounciations.
Since the Scanian dialect (="skånska") has been mentioned earlier: This dialect spoken in Scania (Skåne) in Southern Sweden can be a bit of a challenge to understand even for me. But it's possible to follow when you're used to Swedish. I believe that if you at least have a B2-level of Swedish according to CEFR, Scanian won't be a problem for you. Still, I'd personally recommend you to reach the C1-level if you want to speak fluently with Scanians (="skåningar") when you visit Malmö.
And as the others have said before me: the Swedish spelling is indeed more logical and the language is easier to pronounce compared with Danish.
But please, don't let my opinion stop you from learning Danish.
"Lycka till!" "Held og lykke!"
As a native Danish speaker, I'd say you are correctly informed: Swedish spelling is much more logical, and Swedish is much more clearly articulated than Danish. Both features should make Swedish easier to learn.
If you like German, go with Swedish. They have the same fascination with rules and words with plenty of letters. If you prefer Dutch, go with Norwegian. They spell in the same laid-back. logical fashion and have endless dialects. Danish is probably the hardest to get into, because the phonetics are bizarre, the pronounciation not very clear, and spoken and written Danish are almost as far from each other as spoken and writen English.
Swedish is probably the easier language just because Danish pronounciations are so difficult. None of the Scandinavian languages are really very "useful" unless you're going to live in Scandinavia, since pretty much everyone in Scandinavia speaks nearly perfect english, so just go with the one you like the most.