How to not give up on learning Swedish


Written by Raeed

20 Mar 2018

My almost giving up story

It was June 2017, I just received a mail from Swedish Migration Agency that my visa has been approved. My excitement went through the roof and with abundant enthusiasm I downloaded all the apps and books available to learn Swedish. I was so determined to learn the language within two months which I later realized was a terrible mistake because I set an unrealistic goal. After coming to Sweden, I enrolled myself in the SFI course and I was observing that slowly my enthusiasm is fading away. To reflect on this behaviour of mine I did a bit of research (thanks to Swedish education system which taught me to do research yay!) to understand why people give up on their goals. Based on my research i found out these major reasons why people give up: 

list of reasons why people give up
Source: Raeed

The above-mentioned reasons helped me to understand what I was doing wrong. I incorporated below mentioned methods in my Swedish learning journey so that I don’t give up any time soon. Hope these methods will help you too.

Setting a realistic goal

I think this was my major mistake to set a goal which was not achievable or realistic. After learning from my mistake, currently I have set small achievable goals rather than one large unrealistic goal of learning the entire language within a short period of time. In business we have learned goal needs to be SMART that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. I have incorporated this theory in my learning process and going for specific goals like learning 10 common Swedish phrases in 14 days and applying them in every day life. 

Learning with a friend

Learning swedish with friends so that you do not give up
Source: Susanne Walström/

There is a reason why people try to find a gym buddy, so that they can motivate each other to go to the gym.  Same with learning a new language, it really helps to find a language buddy who will inspire you to learn one more lesson or go to SFI class when it’s cold and dark outside. Learning with someone also helps to increase self-belief since you can compare your progression of learning with someone else. One of the key things about learning language is practising it rather than learning it from just textbook. Have you ever wondered how can babies learn to speak a language without even reading any textbook? The secret is speaking without the fear of getting judged or being too self conscious and a language buddy can help you to practice the language in that same manner.

Make the learning process fun

When I started to learn Swedish, I focused more on the end result that I forgot to make the learning process fun and eventually I lost interest. The learning process becomes a chore when we fail to address the fun side of learning something new. Please do read these amazing posts by Angelina and Sania where they incorporated fun tactics to make the learning process fun. You can also try to learn some unconventional Swedish words from this post which will make your learning process less repetitive and you can surprise your Swedish friends by using words like Tja! instead of hello.

Reward yourself

Sometimes we are too harsh on ourselves when we fail to learn something quickly. It is extremely essential to be patient so that we don’t get demotivated. You can reward yourself with a kanelbullar after achieving small weekly goals which will motivate you to learn more. Rewarding yourself will also help to increase the self belief and self confidence which impacts the learning process positively. 


Be it losing weight or learning a new language, expecting fast results can only lead to frustration. As the proverb says, ‘slow and steady wins the race’, right now I am focusing on making small incremental improvements rather than achieving the goal within a short time period.  The journey of learning a new language can be difficult and frustrating but hopefully incorporating these methods will make your journey little bit smoother. Let me know in the comment section below about your language learning journey and which tricks worked for you.


Written by Raeed

20 Mar 2018