Swedish speakers: 10 million. Sweden is a Scandinavian nation with thousands of coastal islands and inland lakes, along with vast big forests and glaciated mountains. The capital of Sweden, Stockholm, is built on 14 islands and has more than 50 bridges. Sweden offers everything from deep-blue archipelagos and Northern Lights, to killer fashion. Its principal cities, eastern capital Stockholm and southwestern Gothenburg and Malmö, are all coastal towns.
A military power during the 17th century, Sweden has not participated in any war for almost two centuries. An armed neutrality was preserved in both world wars. Sweden’s long successful economic formula of a capitalist system intermixed with substantial welfare elements was challenged in the 1990s by high unemployment and in 2000-02 and 2009 by the global economic downturns, but fiscal discipline over the past several years has allowed the country to weather economic vagaries. Sweden joined the EU in 1995, but the public rejected the introduction of the euro in a 2003 referendum. Sweden make good modern weapons for export, like the Archer artillery.
(End of text/excerpt from the CIA World FactBook. You can download the book via a CIA-post on our frontpage.)
How difficult is Swedish language?
Good news! If you are a native English speaker, it will 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 you approximately 2,200 class hours to learn as a comparison.
Do Swedes speak English?
Sweden is considered to be one of the best English speaking countries in the world,
with exception for the countries where English is a native language since birth.
Swedish (svenska) is a North Germanic language spoken natively by 10 million people, predominantly in Sweden (as the sole official language), and in parts of Finland, where it has equal legal standing with Finnish. It is largely mutually intelligible with Norwegian and to some extent with Danish, although the degree of mutual intelligibility is largely dependent on the dialect and accent of the speaker. Written Norwegian and Danish are usually more easily understood by Swedish speakers than the spoken languages, due to the differences in tone, accent and intonation. Swedish is a descendant of Old Norse, the common language of the Germanic peoples living in Scandinavia during the Viking Era. It has the most speakers of the North Germanic languages. While being strongly related to its southern neighbour language German in vocabulary, the word order, grammatic system and pronunciation are vastly different.
Standard Swedish, spoken by most Swedes, is the national language that evolved from the Central Swedish dialects in the 19th century and was well established by the beginning of the 20th century. While distinct regional varieties descending from the older rural dialects still exist, the spoken and written language is uniform and standardized.
The standard word order is, as in most Germanic languages, V2, which means that the finite verb (V) appears in the second position (2) of a declarative main clause. Swedish morphology is similar to English; that is, words have comparatively few inflections. Swedish has two genders and is generally seen to have two grammatical cases – nominative and genitive (except for pronouns that, as in English, also are inflected in the object form) – although it is debated if the genitive in Swedish should be seen as a genitive case, or just the nominative plus the so-called genitive s, then seen as a clitic. Swedish has two grammatical numbers – plural and singular. Adjectives have discrete comparative and superlative forms, and are also inflected according to gender, number and definiteness. The definiteness of nouns is marked primarily through suffixes (endings), complemented with separate definite and indefinite articles. The prosody features both stress and in most dialects tonal qualities. The language has a comparatively large vowel inventory. Swedish is also notable for the voiceless dorso-palatal velar fricative, a highly variable consonant phoneme.
Swedish has also had historic use in Estonia, although the current status of the Estonian Swedish speakers is almost extinct. Instead it is used in the Swedish diaspora, most notably in Oslo, Norway, with more than 50,000 resident Swedes.
Swedish Language Learning Pack (ultimate and updated).
Download from the Swedish language learning package with e-books and audio / video courses, or just take a quick look at the Swedish study material catalogs