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Swedish Learning Resource Round-up Posted by on Mar 25, 2022 in Grammar, Swedish Language, Vocabulary

Photo by Trent Erwin on Unsplash

Are you looking for Swedish learning resources outside of your regular textbook? Or just looking for a refresh of resources you already use? This blog will highlight several great resources for Swedish learners broken out  by language level. 

A Resource for Beginning Learners 

After covering the basics of Swedish, a great way to increase your vocabulary is through reading. 8sidor is a fantasisk resource for learners as it presents Swedish and world news in a lättläst (easy to read) format. Readers can also listen to each article. There are topics to interest anyone with the sections Sverige (Sweden), Världen (the world), Sport (sports), Kultur, (culture), Vardags (everyday life), Krönika (opinion), and Alla väljare (all voters, summarizes important societal issues). 

8sidor is a great way to get a quick rundown of the most important news from Sweden, på svenska. Another way to use the site is to read world news which you may already be familiar with in English in order to build your Swedish vocabulary around important current events. Recently, the site also started featuring Åtta frågor (eight questions) which is a trivia quiz about the past week’s news. It’s a fun way to test yourself on both current events AND your Swedish vocabulary, win-win!

I use the site regularly with my Swedish students, and recently featured an 8sidor article in this blog post about Sweden’s response to the war in Ukraine.

A Resource for Intermediate Learners 

To continue building your listening skills as an intermediate learner, it’s important to….listen! Nyheter på lätt svenska (News in easy Swedish) is a great resource. In just five minutes, the program recaps the most important news stories every weekday – a perfect bite-size language exercise to build your Swedish learning habit. There are also subtitles so you can read along for some extra support while listening. 

To test yourself, try watching without subtitles first and see how much you can follow along with. Then, turn on the Swedish subtitles while listening and see how much more you can understand. Working on learning how to talk about the weather? Each episode ends with the väderrapport (weather report) – perfect for practicing weather-related vocab! 

Advanced

Here comes another plug for reading as a great way to keep growing your vocabulary, especially after reaching an advanced level of Swedish. Reading from diverse genres and authors will expose you to lots of new categories of vocabulary. For example, reading  deckare (detective novels) will present you with lots of words related to crime and investigations while reading a nonfiction book about eels will expose you to lots of vocabulary related to the ocean, science, and well, eels.  

If you’re still gaining confidence in your Swedish reading, you can try a lättläst (easy to read/abridged) book. Here’s a list of titles available from LL-förlaget

If you’re a seasoned Swedish reader looking for boktips (book tips), I recommend checking out the SVT program Babel, one of my all-time favorite shows. The show explores all things literary with host Jessica Gedin interviewing a handful of Swedish and international authors each week. Each episode also includes a discussion by the författarpanel (author panel) of a different literary topic as well as a visiting musical guest or poet who performs their work at the end. Babel is a fantastic way to keep up with what’s going on in the literary world of Sweden, and increase your vocabulary, perfect for all book and language nerds!

Tips! If you live in the US, it’s impossible to have books shipped here from any of the big book companies in Sweden. If you don’t have a kind Swedish friend to send you books, you can purchase e-böcker (e-books) widely such as at the website Bokon.

Grammatik / Uttal

If you’re looking to expand your knowledge of svensk grammatik (Swedish grammar) or perhaps work on your uttal (pronunciation), there are a ton of great resources on YouTube. Many Svenska för invandrare (Sfi) (Swedish for immigrants) teachers in Sweden have created videos explaining grammatical concepts and pronunciation features of Swedish. Simply search for Sfi plus any grammar or pronunciation topic and you’ll find lots of videos.

One example is Peter SFI who has covered a wealth of topics on his channel. A couple of recent videos include Stavning och uttal (uttalsproblem) (Spelling and pronunciation (pronunciation problems) and Tänker, funderar, undrar (Think, ponder, wonder). 

What are your favorite Swedish learning resources? Let us know in the comments! 

Lycka till (good luck)! 

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About the Author: Liz S

Liz is a Swedish language instructor living in Minnesota, USA. She has degrees in Scandinavian Studies (B.A.) and Second Language Education (M.A.) from the University of Minnesota and has taught English and Swedish to students of all ages in the US and abroad. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hiking, learning Polish and finding ways to make the Minnesota winter more mysig (cozy)!


Comments:

  1. Jane Hunt:

    I have long wondered why books from Sweden may not be shipped by companies to the US and why so many Swedish TV shows on SVTplay may not be seen in the US. Do you know the reasoning behind these prohibitions? Thank you!

  2. Liz S:

    Hej Jane! Thanks for reading the blog. For the books, unfortunately it has to do with US customs. I don’t know all the in’s and out’s, but the restrictions make it not feasible/profitable for them to ship here. If you want physical books, your best bet is to find a local company/organization that imports them. The American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis has some titles for sale in their online shop. There is also the Papercut Shop in Stockholm which has a decent selection of new titles and classics which (as of now) ships to the US. Sometimes you might also have luck contacting the publishing company directly to see if they are willing to ship to you.

    As for SVT Play shows, I’m not an expert, but I think it has to do with rights issues. Most TV shows that are actually produced by SVT are available to see around the world on SVT Play. However, shows/films that are made by other companies but shown on SVT for a short time usually are not. Sometimes, even if a show is produced by SVT, it’s still not available in the US. My best guess about that is that it probably has to do with rights to music/copyrighted material. SVT likely purchases the rights to play certain music in just the Swedish market. And/or SVT may also sell rights to its own programs to US streaming services – such as the show Vår tid är nu which can be seen on Amazon Prime now, I believe.

    Anyway, a lot of speculation on my part, and probably more than you needed to know, but I hope it helps answer your question!


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