Swedish is not the easiest language to learn and to be honest I haven’t spent a lot of time studying the language over the past 11 months. Formula Student is coming to an end, meaning more time to do other stuff (no more sleepless nights or early morning shifts – YAY!). A new semester starts in less than a month *cries inside*, and new things are coming, so this time I enrolled to SFI (Svenska För Invandrare – or Swedish for immigrants) with the hope to improve my non-existent language skills, and recently I got a group assigned starting on the 17th!
But, apart from taking classes…what other ways are used to learn the language?
Look no further, here are a few life hacks to get yourself started into learning Swedish!
1. Watch your TV series/movies in Swedish.
A little background before I explain why this might be helpful. Upon my arrival, I started an intensive course, with the hopes to learn enough to have the casual fika conversation (I laugh at myself for being so naive), during those days my teacher suggested to watch TV in Swedish, but at that time I was living in a student dorm without access to any TV, and to be honest I had no time to look out for something online.
At the beginning of the summer, I moved into a different place where a TV was available. One morning, I found myself with my flatmate watching a TV series with Swedish subtitles, soon enough I got used to “read” the subtitles and unconsciously connect the words with their English version! Not much of an improvement but it helped me to pick up some new words and get some examples of grammar structure.
My point here is: First of all, one does get familiar with the language and practice it while watching TV (especially if the program is in Swedish), as you can connect words with their translation, get used to grammar structure, and familiarize with the pronunciation. Secondly, it is something that you can do in your free time and it literally takes no effort.
2. TV news.
As an international student, it’s rare to understand what is going on in the country you are living in, mainly because A) the newspaper is in Swedish naturally. B) most of the articles online are in Swedish as well.
In my attempt to read, I came across 8 SIDOR. A news portal that has an integrated “audio articles” (I don’t know how to say it in a better way) in all their posts. Although most of the times I don’t understand anything (this can be frustrating I know but just give it a try), I find it interesting to listen to the way words are supposed to be pronounced and how are they spelled.
Honestly, my knowledge in podcasts is limited. Before coming to Sweden the closest thing, I knew about podcasts was that there was an app on my phone, that was all. Today, after following Edite’s podcast for a while now, I started listening to a few of them on my way to Chalmers whenever Spotify’s weekly recommendation wasn’t so good. This is how I came across to a few podcasts in Swedish that I listen to even though I don’t understand them most of the times.
The ones that I like are about topics that I’m familiar with, this helps me understand a little bit more about the context of the podcasts itself and at the same time I get to listen the pronunciation and “melody” of the language. There are hundreds of podcasts available in here.
So, now you know a few other ways to get started. Let me know if you guys have any other non-traditional method to learn Swedish!