You might wonder if there are any good reasons why to learn Swedish. It’s well known that many Scandinavian people - Swedes included - speak English at a top level. So why should you learn Swedish if you can already communicate with them?
If you want to go to Sweden to meet people and find a job, speaking only English might be enough. But if you want to make real friends and find a second home (maybe as an Au Pair) there is no way around learning Swedish and finally even enjoying it!
1. It’s easy for English speakers
If you already understand and speak English you will see that Swedish is not a big deal. The two languages share many elements when it comes to grammar or vocabulary. Also there are many cognates (words which sound the same and in fact mean the same in both languages).
For example: The ballerina and the cowboy are eating their cornflakes in a regional bank. See, all of the nouns are Swedish in fact! Isn’t that a nice basis to feel intelligent and a really smart system (yes, again Swedish, Swedish everywhere!). Now we really have to finish with the Swedish words (just kidding, this was Swedish again).
Swedish, Danish and Norwegian are so close that Swedes can easily understand what Danes or Norwegians are saying. Why not learning Danish or Norwegian then? Because with Swedish you can simply reach out to more people: 10,5 million exactly. Swedish is mostly spoken in Sweden and Finland but also on the borders to the other countries.
As you can see Swedish is a good language to start with if you want to expand your language knowledge in Northern Europe. In addition you will understand a bit of Icelandic eventhough the similarities are not too obvious. We think that this is a very nice language hack though!
3. Swedish people and culture
Entering Sweden you will notice that almost everyone speaks English very well. Of course it’s tempting to only speak English in this situation (the Swedes are always grateful to practice their English skills with foreigners). But what about you? If you really want to participate in the Swedish culture you should learn at least some basic Swedish.
This will help you to find good friends so that you don’t have to spend your Fika alone. Furthermore it’s just polite to know some basic sentences when you move to another country. Your Host Family will be happy, too.
It’s more likely to progress in a language when you find it truly interesting - and what is more interesting than crime stories? Good for you that the best crime stories come from Sweden, just think about Wallander, The Bridge or Arne Dahl. You can combine both of your hobbies - learning Swedish and binge watching on Netflix. ;-)
On top of that you’re going to enjoy the best of Swedish music. Did you know that Sweden is the third largest exporter of music right after the UK and the USA? It’s not only ABBA and Roxette. Most of you will know Avicii or the Swedish House Mafia who are famous for their electronic sounds. Mando Diao is for pop rock lovers and if you like your music loud The Refused, The Truckfighters or In Flames is the right choice for you.
Especially Heavy Metal fans will be more than pleased in Sweden: Candlemass, Passenger or Dark Funeral are famous bands from Sweden. Special tips: Check out Graveyard. No questions, just do it. You will be positively surprised.
Well, maybe most of these bands don’t sing in Swedish. But imagine how cool it would be if you meet one of the band members and talk to them in Swedish about how much you appreciate their work. Your seat in the VIP lounge at the next gig is safe!
5. You can travel to Sweden
Travel to Sweden and check out our reasons yourself! We have no doubt that you will even discover your own personal reasons why it’s a great choice to learn Swedish.
In addition with a good knowledge of Swedish you are more likely to be chosen by a Host Family. It really enhances your chances to fulfil your dream of living in Sweden. So give it a go and come close to your Au Pair experience in Sweden!
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