How I Learned (Some) Swedish In Less Than Two Weeks

The Swedish Flag is Blue and Yellow

The Swedish Flag is Blue and Yellow

I learned a bit from Duolingo.


Just a bit…

Learning a language is an immensely useful skill. When it comes to traveling, learning, or communicating, being able to speak another language can serve as a bridge between you and an entirely other realm of understanding. Over the past two weeks, I have worked to learn a new language so that I could share with you my tips, tricks, and experiences when it comes to acquisition. Without further ado, here’s what we’ve got:

Language: Swedish – It’s pretty similar to English as they both share Germanic roots, and I may or may not have had a resident Swedish Speaker to assist…

Learning Platform(s): Duolingo, Drop, and Bab.la – You are probably familiar with Duolingo, a free app/website that teaches words and phrases through simple activities. It easily teaches you the very basics of a language, however, it tends to gloss over the grammar and nuances of a language. According to Duolingo, I am 20% fluent in Swedish, however according to my actual language skills, I’d guess I’m more like 10%. Meanwhile, Drop is a fun and easy vocab builder. It also glosses over grammar but makes up for it with a flashy and entertaining platform based on pictures. I used the free service, which allowed for 5 minutes of learning every 10 hours, however, I assume that spending the extra money would yield extra results. Finally, there was Bab.la, a website that I was introduced to that does a great job of teaching a language. It doesn’t speak the words to you like Duolingo and Drop, and nor does it have fun activities in it, but it is chock-full of information. In fact, it kind of reminds me of a textbook, full of vocab, grammar, and the like. I believe that the amalgamation of these platforms works perfectly to balance an understanding of the target language. 

Drop is very user-friendly.

And very easy to learn from.

Results: While I can’t say that I learned Swedish entirely in these two weeks, I would say that I’m off to a start. I can probably decode a simple paragraph or two, and maybe have a very simple conversation, but not much more. I don’t blame the language learning programs though, I think, had I devoted enough time and energy towards it, my results would have been drastically different. I think that a short amount of time, like two weeks, requires more than 10 minutes a day of learning, and had I focused on it more absolutely, such as during winter break, instead of during school, I would be more successful.

For anyone interested in learning a new language in a short amount of time, I wish you luck. It can be hard, but if you really devote yourself to it, it’ll all work out. Some people are slow to catch and others can learn languages seemingly overnight, but as long as you don’t overwhelm yourself, you’ll get it. Good luck, and happy learning!