Just finished the tree, and an interesting turning point

I have finally finished the whole Swedish tree, after having to take a break for a while and then coming back. I've got about the first third at level four in crowns, and then it tapers off from there. So, plenty to go back and practice, of course.

Any tips on what to do next? Resources, books, websites, cultural immersion ideas? I was lucky enough to travel to Sweden last year, but I wasn't far enough along to do more than speak to the train conductor, and translate signs, menus, and train announcements at the station for my family... Hoping I'll be able to get back.

I have been listening to as much swedish-language music as I can (even found some I like). I'd love to watch some shows or movies, but am at the point now where I'd like swedish subtitles, at least to start. I've found a little, but not much. (I'm in the US and I can't do region-blocked videos because I'm already on a vpn for work.)

I did have an interesting experience the other day. I discovered that with music or duolingo sentences (where vocab is simpler and speed is far reduced versus swedes having a conversation), I could understand better if I stopped trying to translate. If I listened for words, I got behind. But if I just stopped and let the sentence happen, by the end, I had understood what was being said. It was very weird. I know/understand a fair amount of spanish (despite what spanish level I'm on here), but I've never experienced that before with any other language. Not sure what it means, but it feels like a good thing. Hoping it'll keep happening, the more I try to immerse myself in it.

November 15, 2018


I decided to pick another language after finishing my Swedish tree. That was because I had planned that longer time. Now I think it was a mistake since I got back doing Swedish. It is much harder having two languages at your main focus. Usually I end up focusing more to one language. You need much more dedication to make success in two languages simultaneously.

November 15, 2018

Det nästa steget är att tvinga själv för att använda bara svenska för varje tillfället. Ingen engelska!

November 16, 2018

Det kan vara onödigt disciplinerat

November 16, 2018

Nej. Jag gör det här hela tiden när jag pratar med mina svensktalande vänner och på alla svensklärning sidor också. Att vägra använder engelska är mycket hjälpsam för att tänka på svenska och räkna ut hur att säger många saker. Hur kan man blir bättre om man använder inte språket alls?

November 16, 2018

Not translating anymore is good! It is a sign that you are really getting a feel for that language.

More immersion helps to strengthen that. Region-blocked videos are a nuisance. Have you tried podcasts? I have found some Swedish podcasts about subjects I'm interested in and try to listen to them as much as possible. Some are still too difficult because they speak too fast, but some are okay.

November 21, 2018

I haven't tried podcasts, but that's a great idea. Any recommendations?

December 7, 2018

All the Swedes will tell you they believe Swedish is one of the hardest languages to learn.....well.....I have my doubts. But what I will say is that it is very hard to listen to as the Swedish folks - bless them, they are the sweetest, nicest people - swallow their words and they sound everything somehow inside the back of their mouths. So it's really hard to hear. They also run words together and of course they have kind of 'windy sounds' for letter combinations like 'sj', and 'tion' words. So if you are understanding Swedish by just listening you are doing very well indeed, I would say. Well done!!

November 15, 2018

Your doubts are well-founded. :P
If your native language is English or German, then Swedish is actually one of the easiest natural languages you will be able to find. The only real difficulty is if you want to be able to speak it without a strong accent.

November 16, 2018

Hmmm.... I am trying to listen very very carefully to how these various sounds are made and where in the mouth the sound emanates from. Quite hard to learn as an adult. I guess a child picks this up quite naturally.

I am hearing that DL sounds the 'kj' in kjol ; the 'skj' in skjorta ; the 'sk' in sked and 'sj'in sjö ; the 'tion' in imitation distinctly differently.

However, they all sound very similar to my untrained ear.

Any advice on how to differentiate these sounds when pronouncing them and how to recognise them when listening to Swedish?

The variances remind me of how the African Xhosa language make the clicks on their tongues. Miriam Makeba is a world renowned artiste who died sadly 10 years ago in 2008. The "Click Song"

And some help in doing them (for the sheer fun of it)

Also why does DL sometimes vary the way they pronounce the identical word? Sometimes they pronounce 'handske' in Swedish with a windy 'hshwe' sound and sometimes a flat 'ske' sound. So that's confusing.....

Thanks for any help

November 22, 2018

Thanks to all for the comments and suggestions.

For anyone in the US, I found two shows on Netflix that are in Swedish and let me watch with Swedish subtitles: Fallet and Bonus Family/Bonusfamilj. I haven't tried Fallet yet, but watching about about 15 minutes of the first episode of Bonusfamilj has already taught me more about conversational Swedish than anything else I've watched, listened to, or read. And with the Swedish captions, I find while I'm not able to understand every single word, I can easily follow.

Also, if you switch your netflix language to Swedish, you can search for shows with swedish audio available ( I'm assuming this is dubbed; haven't watched any of it yet. It looked like mostly kids' shows (which might be even more useful for some). [Credit to this post for the tip:]

A couple other things:

  1. The easy swedish news on youtube (nyheter på lätt svenska). I think this one is well-known. It also has swedish captions. It's a little unrealistic seeming, but good for practice. It's on this channel:

  2. Nyhetsmorgon (the morning news program on tv4) has a series of interviews with a couple language experts/authors/teachers. No captions, but I found I was able to understand the first one I picked. Not word for word again, but enough not be lost in what's happening. Here's an example:

Sorry for all the long links; I just know embedded links don't work for folks on mobile.

December 7, 2018
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