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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Platospicantes

How much will I confuse Swedish and Norwegian?

I saw a lot of topics about learning multiple Scandinavian language, but none of them quite answered this. Hopefully I won't annoy everyone too much :)

I love both Swedish and Norwegian and decided to learn one before the other so I don't confuse myself too much. But how long should I wait before starting Norwegian? Should I be at a certain level, like B1 or B2? Or can I begin to passively learn it sooner than that? Obviously it's a while away, but I was wondering if anyone has done both and can give advice.

December 3, 2018

18 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MatthewKramer

From my perspective, if you know one the other is very easy. The tricky part is keep the different spellings straight as so many words are the same in both languages, only spelled differently. I keep wanting to spell Norwegian words as they are in Swedish as I have been exposed to Swedish outside Duolingo. Another thing is that sometimes the gender is different in the two languages.

Swedish and Norwegian are two different languages but they are so close that knowing one makes the other somewhat intelligible as well. From my experience, studying the two at once is a bit like an Italian learning American English and some dialect from the UK, like Geordie or Scouse at the same time. Similar enough to be easy, but it is also easy to mix them up and not always make a clear separation between them. There is such a thing as Svorsk, which is a bit of a compromise between them! Just my experience...

December 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Platospicantes

I've noticed how close Swedish and Norwegian are. When I watch Swedish or Norwegian tv, I can understand about the same (limited) amount.

December 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Emmeline856

Jag lär mig svenska och kan prata med norska folk nu. Jag förstår för ungefär 90% av allt de sa i samtalet. Jag skämtade med min norsktalande vän att norsk ser lite ut som dåliga stavat svenska! Det är i princip när man skriver, inte så mycket när man pratar.

(Jag tror att jag är ungefär B1 med läsförståelse och skrivande, lite osäker dock! Kanske kan modersmålare säga något annat?)

December 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Platospicantes

Tack! Jag förstår hälften and I used Google Translate for the rest ;)

December 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Emmeline856

Ingen fara. Det är en början!

December 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MathiasSmidev

Ja, det är ganska lätt att förstå norrmän!

December 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tovis225

Din svenska är väldigt bra! Visst är det kul att också kunna förstå norska och danska? :D

December 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IsakNygren1

If you learn Swedish then you can understand Norwegian and Danish. At least written. Swedish and Norwegian are very similar spoken. Written Norwegian is basically reformed Danish (when it comes to Bokmål). You can learn either Swedish or Norwegian and you will automatically understand almost everything in the other language.

December 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Skidbladner

I have found that it pays off paying attention to the false friends between the languages.
https://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lista_över_falska_vänner_mellan_svenska_och_övriga_nordiska_språk

Some relevant trivia:

When it comes to written Norwegian be aware that the country have two different official ways of writing. Bokmål taught by Duolingo is used by about 80% of the adult population, the rest use Nynorsk, which is based on Norwegian dialects and among other things uses three grammatical genders. Norwegian children learn both of them in school.

December 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IsakNygren1

Yes, there can be many funny moments because of the false friends.

December 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/penny_666

I also wondered the same thing, and decided to only do Swedish.

December 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AKicsiMacska

It really just depends on you! For me, it's easy not to confuse them, but I can see how it would be. If I were you, I'd try learning both, and see how you do, and if you struggle and mix them up, then put one down until you are proficient in the other.

December 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Platospicantes

Thank you! I guess I'll try that :). What do I have to lose ;)

December 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Prussia1525

I mostly don't. I find that when I get into a language, my brain tends to switch into "that" mode. I've become familiar with both. However, I've known persons who felt that these languages got very mixed up in their head, so i suppose it depends on the person.

I realize that this isn't helpful, but you'll just have to try to use both. If they end up confusing you, it might become necessary to drop one. Hopefully, this won't be the case. ;)

December 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/A.Igor

I would say it depends on how do you practice and use them. When you speak some close languages you always mix them in terms of grammar and lexicon but with practice it's easier to keep them separately. But if you use one of them more often it will influence the other. I learned Spanish before Italian and in the begginning I used a lot of spanish words in italian phrases, now as i use Italian more often if I have to speak Spanish I will use a lot of Italian words by mistake. Same with Norwegian and Swedish. If I try to speak Swedish I have a huge influence of Norwegian on it. But none of them really affects my English. To keep them on the same level you have to practice speaking on them, catch your mistakes and work on them hardly.

December 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Evelina321270

You will understand Norwegians and Danish without problem ;)

December 8, 2018
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