1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Swedish
  4. >
  5. New speakers of Swedish


New speakers of Swedish

For those of you who didn't know any Swedish before starting the Duolingo course, how have you found the first 2 weeks of trying it?

I didn't know any Swedish before starting Duolingo and I'm finding it the least intuitive language I've studied to my native English tongue besides Japanese although simultaneously I'm finding Swedish really fun and perhaps refreshingly different from other languages I've tried. Even though there are a few confusing cognates (mannen=men in Dutch; the man in Swedish)

So I'm finding perhaps the slowest learning speed I've had with a European language but the uniqueness of Swedish juxtaposed with the game-like structure Duolingo implements to keep me motivated is making Swedish really enjoyable to learn and I hope I keep that motivation to eventually finish the tree!

Also for new speakers, to which skill have you currently attained? I feel as though I'm moving a little slowly but I really like to grind the basics before moving on further

December 2, 2014



That's funny, I experience it completely different. I think Swedish is the easiest language I have encountered so far. It makes sense, it's a very efficient language. I started Danish before Swedish, I thought the exact same thing about Danish (except for the pronunciation, which is impossible and I still can't grasp it), so in that aspect Swedish is easier than Danish. They're quite similar and I sometimes confuse the two. They are such fun languages. I do fear that it will become a lot harder down the line.


I agree totally. Swedish is such a piece of cake (as for now at least!) compared to german, czech or finnish. Anyway the most "horrible" language I've ever learnt is french, while a lot of people can actually speak it very well. I will be stuck forever with "j'ai 25 ans"...


I believe Swedish is the easiest language grammar wise, but German is the easiest language vocab/speaking wise.


I definitely agree on the efficiency aspect and I think I tried a lesson or 2 of Danish before I conceded defeat to the confusing correspondence between written and verbal! I guess since I've only ever formally studied Romance languages, Swedish is different to English in different ways than Romance languages and so new things in Swedish that are alien to English/Spanish/French are completely alien to me! I guess in particular I find pojken for "the boy" to be really hard to get to grips with - adding an article via suffixing is really unintuitive to me but then I guess everyone is different! The lack of verb conjugations is so fantastic though, I love it

Also, I suppose I've only tried to learn Romance languages and never attempted German, Czech or Finnish (Though Finnish does rather interest me) so presumably they are harder, I just haven't found out yet haha..


I actually love the whole making definite endings by just tacking en/ett onto the end! It is taking me a lot longer to come to grips with making words plural... You need to get its identity as en/ett correct, then figure out what kind of noun it is (so what rule you need to follow to make it plural) or if it is irregular and then if you want to make plural definite add na (usually) to the end.... It's still such a long process in my brain, I think it definitely slows down my speaking a great deal


with a bit of practice in spoken Swedish you can master the noncommitted plural sound between -er and -ar, so it isn't quite clear which one you said so it must have been the right one :)


It's certainly a succinct, neat way of doing it. It's just that it's taking forever for my mind to adjust to the style but once it does I'm sure I'll love it! Ah yes the pluralisation was even worse and I didn't envisage en/ett causing so many problems! I figured it'd be similar to Dutch but the de/het isn't anywhere near as confusing in my opinion! So yeah, efficient suffixation is hard for my brain to comprehend right now! I'm finding myself continuously looping those skills but it's not sticking as fast as I'd desire!

Although, I've only just unlocked questions and I've just turned level 9 so I presume I might be going through the skills at a snail's pace


Level 9 in two weeks isn't exactly a snail's pace me dunkt. My native tongue is Dutch and I think the ett/en construction is easier than het/de. En is a lot more common than ett. It's a question of learning by heart, the same goes for de/het, but even though it's my native tongue I still have discussions about whether a noun is preceded by 'de' or 'het'.


Ah I should have been more precise, I meant that for being level 9, isn't only being on the Questions skill moving a little slow? ie I'd think you'd perhaps expect a level 9 to be further down the skills tree on average? Idk

Damn, really? I remember from the Dutch course that de/het splits to about 75/25% of words, right?

Really interesting to hear you find the Swedish construction easier though! Maybe I just need more time to agree.


I'm at 8 and I'm on colors and verbs. I'm doing a lot of practice because I want to drill it solidly into my head. Things are starting to click though--I'm using my notes less and less, and doing much better on the listening questions.


I had a little bit of swedish before starting on duolingo but not too much to be helpful (I only tested to level 6). To me, on the surface swedish seems much more straight forward than other languages (verbs don't conjugate based on subject, etc) and I picked up the pronunciation relatively quickly. That said, I've been having a really tough time getting to the point where I can speak to other people or feel like I've obtained any sort of fluency. I've been learning on and off for months and feel like my forward progress is astronomically slow. So I feel you, I also find the language really interesting and fun but have been having extremely slow progress. But I'm also a perfectionist which is absolutely evil when learning languages because you cannot and will not be perfect and I think it really stalls the learning process. I also attribute this slowness to swedish being the first language I've really tried to learn on my own outside the classroom and also its being totally unrelated to the other two languages I have some proficiency with (spanish and french). I'll just stick with duolingo, babbel and the million other resources I'm using and hope to eventually make some real head way!


I knew some Swedish before so I can't say much about the specific quality of the Duolingo course, but coming from German Swedish was a quite fun and easy language, much easier than some other European languages (Czech, yes, I am looking at you). But this may be because it often was "this is like it is in German but simpler (e.g. two genders instead of three". If you are coming from English it is quite often the other way round, e.g. two instead of one gender (in practice). English in many regards has a boiled down grammar, with few exceptions (who needs a continuous form when you can express the same thing with temporal adverbs?). But then this must be true for any European language you learned, most are more "ornamental".


Interestingly, German is by far in the lead when it comes to other languages' influence on Swedish. Many of the words we consider good ol' Swedish words are in fact German in origin, most of them having to do with handicrafts or trade due to the Hansa. Although the bulk this influence was in medieval times, perhaps you as a german can see the similarities? I'd be interested to hear your opinion. :)


True, it is not only the grammar but a lot of the vocabulary that makes it easy. Sometimes you just have to drop some ornaments from the German word to get the Swedish one. I am from northern Germany and heard a lot of Plattdeutsch / Low German as child which was the language of the Hansa until it got out of fashion in the late medieval. While that probably didn't help much with specific vocabulary, Swedish just "sounds" right for me.

Germans are well aware of this influence (at least those that are interested in such things). It is too bad that this sometimes leads to a very annoying cultural chauvinism, especially regarding the Baltic countries. (No surprise that there the time of German (and Danish) rule was occupation whereas the Swedish reign is "The Good Ol' Swedish Time".)


Interesting! Thanks for your perspectives. :)


Are they German or Germanic? I thought I read that most Swedish words are of Old Norse origin.


Most words may well be norse in origin, but Swedish borrowed very very heavily from German in the middle ages due to the immense economic influence from the Hanseatic League. Even as of today, standard Swedish uses a 'light' L as opposed to a 'thick' L preserved in northern dialects. So one might say most of us still have a north German accent! ;)


For me, the similarities between Swedish and English sentence construction (at least there seem to be quite a few similarities based on what I've seen so far) are actually making it a bit challenging. Because I've been speaking Spanish for so long and have progressed nicely in Italian, my mind wants to automatically arrange Swedish sentences into a more Romance-like construction (like putting the adjective after the noun or leaving off the subject pronoun). I find that really strange/cool/annoying because one would think that, seeing as English is my first language, Swedish grammar would seem more effortless.

That being said I'm loving Swedish so far, in part because it is so different from the other foreign languages that I've learned (Spanish and Italian).


I echo this completely, I consistently attempt to parallel Swedish with an auxiliary Romance language where it'd be more beneficial to consider English. I actually sometimes expect verbs to conjugate when they don't.


I did know some Swedish before coming to Duolingo, but in comparison to what I've done before, I'd say that Duolingo is a bit slower.

But, on a related note, I'm happy to see a large community of people learning/interested in Swedish here. Most other sites I've used have smaller communities and fewer people to talk to about it :)


I am hoping that the learning will pick up after a bit. Having that strong foundation and stuff will come faster. That's what I'm hoping anyway.


I barely knew any Swedish before starting this course. Hej, Tack. The emergency cheat-sheet stuff.

I grew up in the North of Scotland, and I am finding an enormous number of dialect words from my youth turning up in Swedish. e.g. Kvinna => Quine.

I think I'm making decent progress. It'll be a long time until I finish my tree, but I was too hasty when I tried Spanish and that bit me later.


I've been at it around a week and I'm currently on adverbs. Really enjoying it so far.

I don't share your experience about Swedish being unintuitive. I find that, from an English point of view, things are often just as I'd expect, and the gender system is far more simple than a lot of other languages, which is a bonus for anyone coming from a language without grammatical genders. For me, Swedish has been very easy to pick up, but there are some tricky things. Adjectives trip me up at the moment, and there are some unusual definite plurals which get me every time, but overall, I'm finding Swedish relatively straight forward. Pronunciation is another matter entirely though, and I haven't quite got the hang of the unusual intonation and rhythm yet.


I did not know any Swedish. I had logged on to duolingo for the first time in a year to practice Spanish, which I receive formal instruction in at school, but I like to review the basics here, and the Swedish course had just been released. I started to get ideas for a conlang. It's been a really enjoyable experience, and I like it better than Spanish(maybe because it is new).


I really like it, I know somebody who's lived in Sweden their whole, life but prefers English. I can't understand why.

[deactivated user]

    Having studied German for about a little over a year now, and having become quite fed up with the three different noun genders [and their respective adjective/article endings], Swedish was a nice reprieve. I really appreciate its simple nature but also its sound.

    I started svenska the day it was released for English speakers, and since then, I have very much enjoyed studying it.


    I just completed "occupation", and since I'm a perfectionist I find it frustrating when I go to strengthen and I can't remember a word's meaning and I know I've learned it. Maybe it was because sometimes I would study late at night so I wouldn't be very concentrated since I was tired (unfortunately, I don't really have time during the day because med school). Also, I've studied German for 12 years since the 1st grade of primary school, so that also can be a problem in Swedish, although I've found some similar words easier to remember because of that.


    I've only had formal exposure to Spanish in the past, though I did try dinking around in Danish and Dutch before Swedish came out on Duo. I'm on colors now.

    I carefully have been recording notes on definitions, usage, and pronunciation, supplementing Duo with some videos and websites, primarily for the phonics. It has seemed fairly easy, at least easier than Swedish with all the conjugation.

    And then I hit the pluralizations. This is complex! I had to make a table to map it all out, and it's still something I'm struggling with. Though when I tried to find instructions to show a friend, Google Image Search gave me images about how complex English pluralization can be. So, touché Google, touché. That put Swedish in perspective.


    I think learning a language can give you a lot of insight to the grammatical syntax of your own language! ie I didn't realise how much English relies on to do as an auxiliary verb

    I'm curious to see this image, could you link it?


    Well, now googling "Swedish pluralization" is giving me useful images!

    It was basically stuff like this: lookitalltherules


    Japanese was much easier for me to learn from a pronunciation standpoint. However, I am having a lot of fun with Swedish. The more I learn, the more the language seems to make more sense than English in how it's pronounced. I have a friend who grew up in Sweden that is helping me here and there with the pronunciation even though it can be hilarious and embarrassing at times.


    I didn't know any Swedish also, but i like it very much. My english is not perfect and sometimes i lost hearts because of the mistakes I made in the english translations. 20 years ago i learned a bit german, swedish is somewhere between german and english, but the grammar is easier - luckily, because my native language is hungarian and our grammar is really very different from swedish :) This day I learn the "family" lesson, but the last 3 days I had very little time to learn, and i practiced a lot, I tried to practice the old lessons 3 or 4 times at least..


    Only on Basics 2 (3/4), but so far I am finding it easier than when I was starting Portuguese. Probably because there are more similarities between some English and Swedish words. Can't wait until I have learnt enough to watch some of my TV series in Svenska and buy Äkta Människor (Real Humans, it sounds really good). Although at the rate I learn it will probably be next December.


    You can do it Raekor!!!!!!!!!!!


    I am at adverbs 1, and I am level 10... is that slow?


    I'm currently on level 8 and I'm a little over half way done with 'Time'. ^^

    I did learn a little bit of Swedish before hand on a site called Babbel(well, I use their app more than the site). So the first few skills I went through were a breeze. Now I'm slowing down since I'm getting into things I've haven't learned. I didn't get very far with Babbel, or else I may have been farther down the tree. OTL

    I would like to believe that Swedish will be the first tree I'll complete on Duolingo after being a member for two years. But since I'm also learning on French(I'll be taking a French class in college starting January), I'm also working on the French tree...but I doubt I would finish the tree before classes start. xD

    Anyway, to me, Swedish is pretty easy. A part of me feels that way because I had a little knowledge of the language before hand, but another part of me feels that I just understand the rules and all that stuff better than the other languages I've tried for the last couple years. ^^


    I'm about a week in and I'm a level 8 - got to plurals which is killing me, but tested out of definites! :)

    I mainly use DuoLingo when I'm in transit, but finding it difficult to step away! It's so addictive!

    Like you, I didn't know a word of Svenska but am amazed at how easy some of it is - and how difficult the word "sköldpadda" is to try to say, even if it's one of my favourites!

    Good luck on your journey!


    swedish is pretty easy for me except for pronounciation which is very hard for me. det always sounds like de.

    Learn Swedish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.