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Application of the language when actually in Sweden

How have people found this? I'm visiting Gothenburg in June and really want to try out speaking Swedish on the back of this Duolingo course. I'll be staying with family who are all bilingual anyway but when I'm out and about I really want to be able to make the effort.

Duolingo is the only resource I have to learn Swedish in any organised way, I can use other websites of course, but this is the best I've come across, I was just wondering if anyone could give me any idea of how far I'll be able to get based on this? I'm not expecting to be able to have massive political debates or anything (though I hope one day to be good enough to!) but being able to have a chat about music, or talk about stuff I've done, just conversational stuff really.

Sorry if this if waffley and not very clear!

Thanks :)

February 11, 2015



If you supplement the course with some added listening and speaking practice you should be able to get conversational at the level you're looking for. Watch some Youtube videos in Swedish, talk out loud to yourself, and, if possible, find a Swedish conversation partner.

Beware that we Scandinavians have a tendency to switch over to English very quickly in an attempt to be helpful, which is of course not helpful at all if you're looking to learn the local language. Make sure the people you're talking with know that you'd rather have them speak Swedish as much as possible - even when you struggle a bit. :)


That's the curse of being a native English speaker: most speakers of other languages want to practice their English.


Hehe, I suppose so! Though I suspect it's often more of a convenience thing with Scandinavians, as the majority speak decent English already.


It's not necessarily about wanting to practice English ourselves but since many of us speak reasonable English it is a kind of ingrained politeness reflex to switch languages, also taking some effort to resist :)

I know over here some people have made little "Speak Finnish to me" (well, "Puhu minulle suomea" of course) badges to wear to emphasize that no, they don't want that switch...I guess the same would be useful in other Nordic countries too. And you can take the badge off in the situations you actually want to be understood clearly :)


Thank you :) I've got a few CD's in Swedish language, but a lot of them are quite difficult to understand (a lot of harsh heavy metal stuff) but I do have a couple of more classic rock types, so I'll definitely use those, and I've got a bunch of DVDs that have an option to watch it with a Swedish dub, so maybe I'm better prepared than I thought!


The most important part, as far as I am concerned, is to practice your speaking/listening skills by listening to actual spoken Swedish somehow. Watch Swedish movies, listen to radio, get a language partner. Anything is good.


They'll love that you're making the effort! But ultimately, they'll end up speaking English to you. I've been living here for a few months and have only run into one elderly person who did not speak English. As far as trying to speak Swedish, this is definitely a great way to start. Also, if you type in "13.Rivstart A1+A2 Textbok" into Google and choose the first Google drive option, there is a textbook and a workbook at numbers 13 that we used in our beginners Swedish class that were pretty helpful. They're free pdfs you can download.

Good luck!

Most important word to know: fika! :)


Oh wow you're a star! I was looking at buying a couple of workbooks from ebay but these are perfect for me :)

I'm kind of hoping I'll find a bar or something where people don't really speak English, so that way we could at least have some sort of broken English/broken Swedish :)


Could always pretend you don't speak English and that would leave Swedish as the only option. :)


When you're here, check out Språkcaféet in the downtown area near Järntorget. They have language evenings where you can just drop in and chat -- Swedish on Thursdays. I haven't attended one myself, but I've heard from others who found it enjoyable and useful. http://www.sprakcafeet.com/english/sprakcafeet_language_evenings.html

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