How long to learn Swedish

Many students ask how long it takes to learn Swedish. We have previously written a longer blog post about it, but we have now also worked out a little rough guideline to how many hours it usually takes to reach each language level. This is a very rough estimate, and can vary considerably between individuals, but it may at least give an idea of what to expect.

Let’s start by being honest and say that you will not be able to become fluent in Swedish in 1 or 2 weeks. Anyone claiming that it is possible, is simply lying. Language learning is a long process – a bit more like a marathon than a quick sprint. Be wary of claims that you can learn a language fluently in x days/months, there are no miracle methods. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.


How long it takes to learn Swedish will depend on a number of factors. Some of them are individual learning pace in general, previous knowledge of grammar (those with much knowledge tend to progress faster), how much homework the learner is able to do between lessons (faster if more homework), and also if the learner has any particular areas that they find challenging.

The calculation below is based our students and how long people in general spend to reach each level. It takes into account whether the student is a slow, medium or fast learner, and also on how much time the learner spend doing homework and other things outside of the lessons. The more hours you spend learning outside of the tuition hours, the faster you will progress (and it will be cheaper for you too!).

The calculation is also roughly correlated to the guided learning hours according to Deutsche Welle for German, Cambridge English Language Assessment for English, and Alliance Française for French.

Swedish tuition hours for each level

The ‘slow’ number is in our opinion longer than most people need. It is quite common to be somewhere between fast and medium. Our fastest student reached level A1 after only 17 hours tuition on Skype! But some students have needed at least double the time. 

Swedish Exam – Känner du till SWEDEX?

Swedish Exam (aka SWEDEX)

Do you know of SWEDEX? It is an internationally recognised Swedish language exam, and it relates to the Common European Framework of Reference For Languages. You can currently take the exam at 3 different levels: A2, B1 and B2. Swedex is approved by the government body the Swedish Institute and can be taken irrespective of how you have learnt Swedish. The exam tests knowledge that can be applied in practice within all kinds of language proficiency: speaking, reading, listening and writing. The test can be taken both in and outside Sweden, in 92 cities, in 32 countries.


It is usable proof if you for example want to work in Sweden, continue your studies in Swedish or follow education in Swedish that does not require more advanced language knowledge. Swedex B1 approximately corresponds to the level for Sfi, course D. However, an important difference is that the Sfi exam tests whether you have passed a specific course while this exam tests general knowledge of Swedish.

For those who work in healthcare settings and need to prove level C1 to Socialstyrelsen in order to get a medical license to practice, Folkuniversitetet also has a C1 test that is accepted by Socialstyrelsen.

You pay to take the test, but the cost varies depending on the examination centre. Here is a list of all examination centres, and you can contact them directly to find out how much they charge.

The test takes between 2 and 4 hours, depending on the level you are testing for. You have to manage at least 60% on both the written and the oral parts in order to pass. If you have failed a module, you have failed the exam in its entirety. This means you have to take the whole exam again next time.

Both Anneli and Daniel at Swedish Made Easy can help you to prepare for a SWEDEX test.

Have a look here to read more about the test, and you can also find mock exams here, so you can test your current level.


30 days until launch of Complete Swedish

In 30 days time, the brand new version of Teach Yourself Complete Swedish that I have been writing the past few years will finally be published (yay!).

Do you want to develop a solid understanding of Swedish and communicate confidently with others?
Through authentic conversations, vocabulary building, grammar explanations and extensive practice and review, Complete Swedish will equip you with the skills you need to use Swedish in a variety of settings and situations, developing your cultural awareness along the way. The book follows several characters through a storyline enabling learners to engage with Swedish culture and contextualise their learning.

What will I achieve by the end of the course?
By the end of Complete Swedish you will have a solid intermediate-level grounding in the four key skills – reading, writing, speaking and listening – and be able to communicate with confidence and accuracy. You will be able to engage with relevant and up-to-date topics, including politics, education, gender equality and popular entertainment in Sweden.

Is this course for me?
If you want to move confidently from beginner to intermediate level, this is the course for you. It’s perfect for the self-study learner, with a one-to-one tutor, or for the beginner classroom. It can be used as a refresher course as well as to support study for the ‘Swedex‘ Swedish proficiency test.

What do I get?
-20 learning units plus verb reference and word glossary 
-Discovery Method – figure out rules and patterns to make the language stick
-Teaches the key skills – reading, writing, listening, and speaking
-Learn to learn – tips and skills on how to be a better language learner
-Culture notes – learn about the people and places of Sweden
-Outcomes-based learning – focus your studies with clear aims
-Authentic listening activities – everyday conversations give you a flavour of real spoken Swedish
-Test Yourself – see and track your own progress

*Complete Swedish maps from A1 Beginner to B2 Upper Intermediate level of the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) guidelines and from Novice-Low to Advanced-Mid level of the ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) proficiency guidelines.

The audio for this course can be downloaded from the Teach Yourself Library app or streamed at


Happy 10th anniversary!

Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 09.12.07

10 years ago, I started teaching my very first student. This was before Skype had gone mainstream and was only in its infancy. I was studying for my PhD, and I took on another couple of students – the idea of teaching Swedish was so much more appealing than working extra in a pub.

Since then, I have taught over 210 students, for more than 9,000 hours. I set up a website, an online booking system, social media profiles. I have become a qualified SWEDEX examiner. I have got a teaching degree (oh, and my PhD too of course!).

Some of you have popped in for a lesson or two, whereas some have now been with me for over 5 years. Some of you have studied intensively, some less frequently. Some of you have stopped and then come back again. Some of you now live in Sweden. Some of you have now got children. Some of you have lived in Sweden and now moved somewhere else. Some of you became sambo or got married. Some of you are now divorced. I have talked to teenagers and pensioners, men and women. I have talked to doctors, nurses, midwives, authors, IT programmers, students, lecturers, managing directors, editors, archaeologists, solicitors, store managers, computer game designers, psychologists, priests, football coaches, sales people, HR people, marketing people, embassy workers, postmen, economists, bankers, musicians, film makers, translators, dancers, dog kennel owners, marine biologists, veterinary surgeons, post docs, PhD students, pharmacists, recruiters, entrepreneurs, unemployed and more. I have taught via Skype from the UK, from Sweden, from the US. You have Skyped in from all over the world, into my little computer, across time zones and space.

I have taught Swedish conversation, grammar, pronunciation, culture and quirks. You have shared your life stories with me, taught me your culture, shared your experiences. We have together seen the fruits of your labour (and sometimes it has been hard), and I have been so proud of your progress. Like the first time you asked a Swede something on the streets and got a Swedish reply back. Like when you first watched a Swedish movie without subtitles. Like when you read your first Swedish book. Or managed your job interview in Swedish. And got employed. Like when you started speaking Swedish more regularly with your partner. All those little moments that have been so rewarding for us both.

Language builds bridges. Language builds cultural understanding. Language is integration. Thank you everyone who’s been with me on this journey so far. I have loved every minute!

Here’s to the next 10 years!

Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 09.14.14

Swedish lessons and prices for 2013

It’s a new year and I have just updated my lesson offers, and even stuck in a discount offer – 20% off! – see below. Here is a guide to what I can offer:

Swedish beginner level A1-A2

• Introduction to Swedish for beginners
• Start speaking from first lesson
• Focus on speaking and listening
• Basic grammar with focus on sentence construction
• Material used: Rivstart A1+A2, Mål 1, Form i fokus A, online material, PP slides, audio clips, youtube videos

Swedish intermediate level B1-B2

• Widening of vocab
• Accent reduction, speaking confidence
• Intermediate grammar
• Material used: Rivstart B1+B2, Mål 2, Form i fokus B, online material, PP slides, audio clips, youtube videos

‘Speak like a Swede’

• Conversational practice
• Accent reduction
• Modern, everyday expressions (including slang)
• Material used: mainly conversational, music, videos, comic strips

Swedish at work

• Developing specialised, technical vocab
• Business etiquette (e-mail communication, phone calls, formal meetings etc)
• Presentation skills
• Accent reduction

Swedish at university

• Developing an ‘academic voice’
• Building a specialised vocab in your discipline
• Presentation skills
• Accent reduction

Holiday essentials

• 5 hours in total for £99 (British Pounds)
• Completely conversation-based
• Quick phrase-based learning of essential phrases for being out and about in Sweden:
– Greetings, 1 hour
– Travelling, 1 hour
– Shopping, 1 hour
– Eating, 1 hour
– Emergency, 1 hour


Day rate (7 pm – 6 pm UK time, Monday-Friday):
from £25 (GBP), appr: $40 (USD) / €32 (EUR) / 260 kr (SEK) per hour (for individual students. Groups start at £30 per hour.)

Evening rate (6 pm – 10 pm UK time, Monday-Wednesday):
from £30 (GBP), appr: $48 (USD) / €38 (EUR) / 315 kr (SEK) per hour (for individual students. Groups start at £35 per hour.)

10 lessons for £199 (British Pounds) – 20% discount

• Terms and conditions:
– Payment for all 10 in advance
– Valid for 14 weeks from the first booked lesson

SWEDEX examiner

New year, new adventures! I am going to do a course at Folkuniversitetet to become a SWEDEX examiner – which means receiving formal training in how to assess learners’ Swedish language levels.

Swedex is a unique, internationally viable Swedish language exam. Anyone whose mother tongue is not Swedish may take the exam, which relates to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, the European Council’s level scale for language learning. It is possible to take the exam at three levels: A2, B1 and B2. Swedex is approved by the government body the Swedish Institute and can be taken irrespective of how you have learnt Swedish.

You can read more about the SWEDEX exam here.