How Do YOU Learn Swedish? Posted by Transparent Language on Apr 17, 2009 in Swedish Language
I’ve been asked recently whether I prefer language courses or self-study, and which of those two is more effective when it comes to learning Swedish. My answer: neither. The most effective is moving to Sweden and using the language in every day life.
However, that option was not feasible for the person asking the question, and we ended up having a very interesting discussion about pros and cons of learning Swedish abroad.
I must say, right off the bat, that I am a firm believer in language courses with a live, if possible – native speaking instructor. Self-study is just not for me. Why? I’m a feeble person with a frightening lack of self-discipline required to be successful when studying a foreign language alone.
Having said that, Swedish is a surprisingly easy language (when compared for example to Spanish or Russian or Finnish) to learn using the teach-yourself system. It’s fairly straightforward as far as the grammar issues go, it’s rather similar to English (though I understand that some English speakers might disagree here, still, it’s closer to English than let’s say Hungarian), and the only major obstacle could be the funky pronunciation. That problem can be easily solved with a proper application of CDs and other listening materials.
So, even if you are like me and would much rather sit in front of the computer and watch cats playing on youtube, it’s not impossible to learn at least the basics of Swedish on your own. But to move on to a more advanced level, I think that a structured language course is helpful. Or even more than helpful – it’s indispensable.
So, how do you learn Swedish? Do you study alone? If you are not in Sweden, how difficult is it to learn Swedish where you live? Do you attend a language course? Are there any Swedish classes you would like to recommend? I am directing the question about language classes mostly to people outside of Sweden, because I can imagine that apart from big cities in big countries finding a Swedish class can be a challenge. For those in Sweden, I’m sure you’re all familiar with SFI and FU (no, this is nothing nasty – this is the somewhat unfortunate abbreviation of Folkuniversitetet).
So share with us – how do YOU learn Swedish? Tell us what works for you and what doesn’t. Your experiences and recommendations could be invaluable to another person in the same situation half way across the world.