Well, it depends, of course. It depends on what your native language is, and whether it is close to Swedish. So for example, if your native language is German, then Swedish will be quite easy to learn. It also depends on the complexity of the language. For an English speaker, Swedish is not that complex, compared to many other languages. Compared to English, the pronunciation may be a bit of a challenge.
Swedish pronunciation and grammar
Swedish has a lot of vowels, in fact 9: a, e, i, o, u, y, å, ä, and ö. If you want to practice the vowel sounds, check out our Sound Like a Swede series on Youtube.
Swedish also has some particular sounds that do not sound quite like they are spelled (for ex: sj-, stj-, skj-). If you are not used to grammatical genders, the idea of using ‘en’ and ‘ett’ in front of the nouns seem weird to start with. And when you learn more about the grammar, you will find out that the concept of en and ett can also be seen on other words in the language – they kind of ‘rub off’ on other words (adjectives and possessive pronouns, typically).
According to The Foreign Service Institute of the U.S. Department of State, Swedish is in fact on of the easier languages to learn. Good news! If you are a native English speaker, it should take you approximately 575-600 class hours to learn Swedish to a proficient level. This is relatively easy, compared to some of the hardest languages – for example Japanese, Arabic and Chinese will take approximately 2,200 class hours to learn!
This is a community study group for those you are studying Swedish with Swedish Made Easy, or those interested in studying with us. In this group, you can find some company, inspiration, help and motivation! I (Anneli) and Daniel are both there to help, and you can also connect with other people around the world who are also studying Swedish.
Studying via Skype/on your own can be a bit lonely sometimes, so in this group we can share recommendations, tips, tricks and ideas with each other.
Har du också tänkt sista gången och gjort samma miss om och om sen?
Har du också legat vaken hela nätter, massa press, pressa tänder?
Har du också lovar dig själv, att imorgon tar jag tag i mig själv?
Har du också provat deras norm? (Sen fattat att du inte är som dem)
Har du också satt i en bil, bara kört tills du inte har bensin?
Har du också tänkt ‘om jag flyr kommer allt bli bra inuti’?
Har du också fattat till slut att den enda som kan rädda dig är du?
Du behöver inte bära allt själv, för jag har känt allt precis som du känt!
[Refräng: Kristin Amparo] (2x)
Jag har sett hur den där skiten alltid tär på dig,
Jag kommer kriga för din skull och finnas där för dig.
När du stupar nästa gång så vill jag bära dig.
Låt mig vara din soldat!
Har du också kört huvudet i väggen, så hårt att det känns som du sprängt det?
Har du också svurit att aldrig, ge upp det du drömt och sett fram till?
Har du också stått på ditt jobb, sen känt att du är värd mer än så?
Har du också stressat ihjäl dig, för en lön som knappt ger dig skäl, nej?
Jag har också tappat ibland, för att snabbt försökt komma ikapp.
Jag har också sett när du faller, och försökt bygga nytt ifrån marken.
Jag har också varit nära min gräns, så jag fattar precis hur det känns.
Men jag lovar att allt kommer vända, om vi lovar att tro på oss själva!
[Refräng: Kristin Amparo] (2x)
För de pekar, blickar in oss, vinkar hitåt, måste bli nåt.
Skapa normer, väcka sorger, bygga luftslott utav ångest.
Informerar, propagerar. Ger oss manus för att leva.
Så vi blundar för det skeva men om vi vågar kan vi segla.
[Refräng: Kristin Amparo] (2x)
Låt mig vara din soldat! (3x)
Let me be your soldier, ey! (3x)
[Verse 1: Albin] Have you also been thinking for the last time and made the same mistake over and over? Have you also laid naked the whole night, panic, stress shaking your teeth? Have you also promised yourself, that tomorrow you’ll start your LIFE Have you also tried being normal? (And then realized you’re not like them) Have you also been in a car, just driving until there’s no gas? Have you also thought ‘if I run away will everything be okay inside of me’? Have you also understood that the only one who can save you is you? You don’t have to carry everything alone, for I have felt everything you feel.
[Chorus: Kristin Amparo] (2x) I have seen how all this shit has torn you apart, I will fight for you and be there for you. When you fall the next time, I want to carry you. Let me be your soldier!
[Verse 2: Albin] Have you also banged your head in a wall, so hard it feels like it’s exploding? Have you also promised to never give up on something you’ve dreamed and looked forward to? Have you also been at work feeling I’m worth more than this? Have you been stressed to death for a pay-check you can’t survive on? I have also lost sometimes so I can try to catch up. I have seen when you fell, and had to build up everything again from the ground. I have also been close to the line, so I know exactly how it feels. But I promise everything will go your way, if we believe in ourselves!
[Chrous: Kristin Amparo] (2x) I have seen how all this shit has torn you apart, I will fight for you and be there for you. When you fall the next time, I want to carry you. Let me be your soldier!
They’re pointing, looking at us, waving this way, have to be something. Creating norms, awakening sorrows, building dreams of anxiety Informing, propagates. Give us scripts to live after. So we close our eyes for the skew, but if we dare to we can sail.
[Chorus: Kristin Amparo] (2x) I have seen how all this shit has hurt you, I will fight for you and be there for you. When you fall the next time, I want to carry you. Let me be your soldier!
Today, many Swedish schools will celebrate Lucia. Well-known as a a very typical tradition in Sweden, the day (which is actually the 13th of Dec) commemorates Saint Lucy – a Christian martyr who died during the Diocletianic Persecution. But as the date is also close to winter solstice it has become a festival of light.
However, lately the tradition has frequently become a matter of debate. Traditionally, lucia has always been a girl and only girls have been allowed to take part in the lucia election process, but in several Swedish schools in recent years this has been challenged. This year, several boys have been allowed to be lucia.
There has also been debates around the lucia election process itself. Lucias are chosen on school level, county level and national level. Traditionally, a lucia would be chosen through voting. In my old high school, each class would present two candidates and photos of all the girls would be put up in a communal school area for everyone to vote.
This often turned into a very fierce popularity contest, with very narrowly defined criteria for what lucia should look like. This also often meant that girls who were perceived as not fitting the “lucia stereotype” look were ridiculed. I remember girls who were chosen deliberately by their class because they did not fit the stereotype, and so became bullied and ridiculed when their photo was published. I also remember girls who did have the classic “lucia look” but were not particularly popular in class, and how upset they were not to be chosen as candidates.
Above is my first Lucia at nursery – yep, that’s shorty me to the right. At nursery, all girls were allowed to be lucia if they wanted. It was only later on (around the age of 12-13), that the voting element was introduced where I went to school.
More recently, several students and other activists have started to criticise the popularity element in the lucia election process, and have pointed out that it seems old fashioned. Perhaps the lucia tradition is falling out of fashion? A bit like the Miss Universe contests in recent years, something harking back to a different era where beauty contents for women were common.
Some schools have responded by changing the election to a draw, thereby trying to remove the element of popularity contest. There are also reports that some counties in Sweden struggle to even find candidates who are interested in participating.