Aussies in Sweden

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Swedish Language

A study of Swedish is essential if you want to feel less isolated in the country. Yes, it is true that English is widely spoken and understood here, but life becomes a great deal easier if you don't have to begin every encounter with "Do you speak English?" And people soon tire of making the effort to speak to you in English all of the time.

I cannot emphasise how important it is to have a good basic grip on the language. It improves your chances of getting a job and the ever important adjustment into Swedish life. If you speak only English with Swedes, you will never be completely accepted into the culture, and it is hard to make a long term home in a country where you do not know the language.


One thing to note: you will often not find words in the dictionaries, simply because they are in forms other then the core form. This is especially true with verbs, so for help with verbs, I'd recommend

Online Dictionary Babla - Online Dictionary. is free to use and ideal for those learning Swedish as we not only have the dictionary but also fun quizzes to practice your Swedish grammar and vocabulary. We also have context sentences, idioms and useful phrases and a forum should you have any questions regarding learning Swedish.

Swedish English Online Dictionary Skoldatätet Lexicon. The best known and "official" dictionary, which has been issued by the Swedish National Agency for Education. It is very easy to use and has been specifically produced to meet the need of immigrant education. One really great feature, especially for beginners is the picture dictionary.

Verb Conjugations and Grammar is a wonderful resource especially for the verbs, which are the bane of a foreigner's life and you can never find them in the dictionaries! And for an explanation of the various tenses of verbs and how phrases are constructed see this page. (E)

180 Starka Verb This site from ResursCentrum is helpful as it conjugates 180 of the most common verbs in Swedish (divided alphabetically and with the English translation). (E) (S)

Free On-line Dictionary Freedict is a downloadable dictionary. It has a flash card function, so that you can adjust the speed and add/delete words as you go. It's a great tool. And it's free! I would encourage anyone who needs help in Swedish to try this out.
Tavlang's Dictionary - is geared mainly to travellers. This is English-Swedish. The Swedish-English version is here.
Freelang's is similar to the one above, except that you can do English to Swedish or vice versa on the same page. Also Kaj's has English-Swedish dictionary and a list of acronyms.

Svenska Akademiens Ordbok is the official Swedish Dictionary. It is only in Swedish, but is useful once you actually know some of the language and are interested in seeing exactly what a word means. A great resource for more advanced study.

Enchanted Learning This is another of the picture dictionaries that is useful to learn words, colours etc. It also has a quiz feature. While designed for children, it is still a good beginner resource. (E) (S)


Project Runeberg is a resource for Nordic literature on the net. There is a lot of information in English, and a really great list of 2,000 of the most common Swedish words. Great for learning vocab .

Swedish Vocabulary with pictures The page called Bildteman is a collection of illustrations for learning Swedish. Click on a topic in the table of contents, and an illustrated vocabulary for that theme appears. You can use mouse clicks to adjust the picture size. Pretty neat!

Numbers in Swedish This downloadable program lets you hear the pronunciation of numbers and has a test function and also helps you understand how to say fractions or maths problems

Swengelsk's This site has dictionaries and glossaries covering computing, food, logistics and cars. Also, very comprehensive section on grammar and food, including language related topics and exercises.


Well, as you would expect, none of them is even close to being perfect. The Inter-Tran one is pretty bad, but good for amusement value once you know a bit of the language.

Swedish English Online Translator Inter Tran "An easy to use free web translation service that can translate single words, phrases, sentences and entire web pages". Okay, that's the blurb...but the reality is that it is hilarious. When I tried even very basic phrases, it not only came up with the weirdest translation, it also failed to translate even some quite common words.

GRIM is very helpful for those learning Swedish as a second language. It is a learning program plus it allows you to check the grammar of your written Swedish check. It was developed at KTH. (E)

Interglot This simple website offers translations of words between six languages (including English and Swedish). Another very helpful feature is that it offers help with verb conjugation.

Translation Guide this page offers instant translations of words and whole texts into several languages, including Swedish. As with the other sites, take these translations with a grain of salt and don't trust them for anything really important.

Google And of course there'sv Google's translation pages.

Online Swedish Language Courses

Swedish Classes Online - Learn Swedish online. Live lessons 7 days a week with top quality teachers. Contact us for a free trial lesson.

On Line Teacher

"We are a new business offering flexible, private lessons, mainly in languages. We offer excellent Swedish tuition; webbased, live, one-to-one, or group-based. The teaching can be adjusted to suit all levels and will focus on exactly what the client needs."

School of Economics Introduction to Swedish. This is a Swedish course from the Stockholm School of Economics, which can be downloaded as a Word document.

Kom loss på svenska is a beginner's course in Swedish designed for exchange students at the University of Stockholm . It's fairly new, but looks quite good .( S) (E)

Svenska Stugan Eva Johnsdotter's On-line Swedish Course. I used this and liked her approach. It is designed for English speakers and she gives feedback. Just send an email and Eva Johnsdotter will send you the password to the site. (S) (E)

Loecsen This site allows you to listen to the pronunciation of very basic Swedish phrases.

Rosetta Stone This method offers a CD as well as online course work - for a fee. The main site is at Rosetta Stone and the Swedish version is distributed through Academica where you can also download and try out their free demo model.

STP-CALL Swedish Lessons is a collection of Computer Aided Language Learning (CALL) material developed by students from the Language Engineering program at Uppsala University . This course assumes some knowledge of Swedish.

Selingua is a downloadable course. Selingua is a vocabulary training program with six different exercises for practising vocabulary and verb inflections, including a crossword exercise. Users can also add their own words to the dictionaries. Selingua is freeware.

Björn Engdahl's Swedish online language course. Comes highly recommended.

Grammar Language and Linguistics This grammar course was written at Linköping University . There are others, too, but they are entirely in Swedish. Still it is useful once you have a basic grasp of the vocabulary. Try ones from Stockholms universitet , Göteborgs universitet Elia s Bondpä

Tourist Swedish Travlang's on-line Swedish for travellers. It only deals with the real basics - numbers, shopping, directions, places, times, dates.

Pronounciation Swedish Alphabet a great site, where you can hear how the letters are pronounced.

Pronunciation Software Click here You can hear correct pronunciation of over 2,300 Swedish words.

Pronunciation (kids) Say Hello in the Swedish Language is aimed at kids, but the pronunciation is still useful for adults just learning the language.

Paid Course ISU Program This distance learning course is run through Folkuniversitetet , . It costs 3,600kr per course, plus 900kr for materials.

Practice Prepositions This is an interactive site where you can practice those pesky prepositions that are the bane of a foreigner's life in any language. It contains 36 preposition questions. (S)

Practice Verbs This site was developed at Uppsala University and has 60 verb exercises about the strong and irregular verbs. (S)

Unforgettable Languages This course works on the idea of retaining vocabulary by associating the word with a humorous phrase. For example "The Swedish for SUGAR is SOCKER (SOCCER) Imagine a game of soccer on a field of sugar." The site at Survival Swedish allows you to buy the downloadable word document that has the course, quizzes etc.


Skolverket This is the official site that sets the national tests taken for SFI, SAS, Svenska A etc. On this site you will find many past papers which will give you a guide to what to expect in those exams.

Arbetsförmedlingen you can test your "employability" in Swedish at Arbets förmedlingen

Dialang is a multilingual site with a downloadable program which allows you to test your competence, strengths and weaknesses in other languages (including Swedish). It covers testing in reading, writing, listening, grammar and vocabulary. Want to test your Swedish proficiency? You can take the test at

Studentlitteratur There are self tests in Swedish grammar here based on those in adult education or high school equivalents in Australia.

Placement Tests You can also test what level your Swedish is at by taking the Folkuniversitetet placement test.

Swedish-English TestsThere are over 100 tests at this site (E) (S)

TISUS tests If your Swedish is already good when you come to Sweden , you can skip the SFI, SAS courses and get entrance directly to university doing a test with TISUS. There are practice tests here you can try to assess your eligibility .( S)


The Australian Embassy in Stockholm can give you the number of an approved translation service if you need an official document translated for say your passport application. There are translation sites on the net but they are limited. These may help.

International Communications Group is co-run by fellow Aussie John Ellard . ICG offers services geared to Scandinavian business wanting improved skills in English . They are based in the Mälardalen area and are always looking for people with good English skills


As well as the on-line courses outlined above you can learn Swedish at courses. I'm still researching this topic, so watch for updates.

Svenska Utlandsskolors Förening Check out the SUF site for the location of Swedish learning centres overseas. It is in Swedish, but has some good practical information and links as well as a list of schools under the heading "Svensk undervisning iutlandet" (S)

Distance Learning There is a page of useful links for distance learning of Swedish in the site. (E)

Swedish in Australia Yep! Check the list at Skolverket to see the locations of Swedish language courses in Australia . Seems like there are courses in Brisbane, Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney.

Vi studerar svenska This is a moderated yahoo group which offers help, tips and problem solving for those learning Swedish as a second language.

Swedish Language Links There is a list of helpful Swedish language links at the Geos -Oceania site. (E)

Swedish Language Materials There is a good list of tapes and books to learn the very basics of Swedish here (E)

8-sidor This is an easy to read Swedish newspaper with current news in a format that is ideal for those wanting reading practice. Learning to recognise the language is ideal training for when you finally get here and seeing it used in an everyday format such as this makes it a valuable learning experience. (S)

Klartext This is part of the Radio Sweden site and each day it prints a news story that you can read and also listen to. The pronunciation is always clear and at a rate that even a new beginner can understand. Great to hear exactly what the words sound like when spoken.

Radio Sweden Here you can both read stories in a variety of languages, you can also listen to the news programs each day in several languages. It is important to hear Swedish spoken to get a good grasp of the language and resources like this help a lot.

Svenska sagor This site has dozens of simple texts, many of them children's texts but still very useful for the new learner. (S)

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