Is it hard to learn Swedish?
Well, it depends on whom you are asking. And since you are reading this article, which is written in English, it indicates that you belong to some particular group of people, namely, an English-speaking group. That’s why it makes sense to base our answer to this question from an English-speaking perspective. Of course, you do have much more advantage if you speak German, Dutch or Icelandic, not to mention Danish or Norwegian. But let’s assume that you speak only English from the “Germanic group” of languages.
If you speak English, then the Swedish language is not something completely different as it is with the Finnish language, for example. Both English and Swedish are Germanic languages, yet with different paths to become how they sound today and the vocabulary loans. Yet, in terms of base, they are similar. Is it hard to learn Swedish? No, if you speak English, then Swedish is not hard to learn. Of course, as most of our readers have English as a second or third language, you may ask. Which language is harder to learn, English or Swedish? For objective reasons, Swedish is more difficult than English.
If you would like to know more about the difference between Swedish and English languages, you can see this webinar from 10:30.
Yet, Swedish in comparison to all the other languages in Europe and in the rest of the world is the easiest. In one of the articles in “The Economist”, according to a chart used by the U.S. Department of State, The Swedish language, along with Danish, Dutch, French, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Romanian and Spanish, are the easiest languages and it takes 24-30 weeks to reach “General Professional Proficiency” for an English speaker. Yet, Swedish is not only the easiest in comparison to Romance languages mentioned above, like French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian, but Swedish is also the easiest among the Scandinavian languages, like Norwegian and Danish.
So, how long does it take to learn Swedish? Can you learn the Swedish language in two months? Yes, within 2 months, you can reach pre-intermediate level, A2 level (CEFR). Of course, you might ask, what is that level enough for? It is enough to work at a restaurant. How many hours do you need to reach the A2 level? On average, to become a firm A2 level, you need about 120 hours. Can you learn Swedish in three months? Yes, then you would reach an intermediate level, B1 level (CEFR), which also means that you will become an independent user.
You can read more about CEFR, SFI and YKI levels.
That is the reason why the YKI test in Finland requires an intermediate level which is B1 level according to CEFR, it is SFI D level, or as YKI has their own language level system, it is YKI level 3. So, B1 level (CEFR) is a serious achievement, and you can start a vocational education with that. You can work within a restaurant/hotel branch as well as in eldercare, childminder, or assistant nurse (undersköterska). You need about 180 hours to reach the B1 level (CEFR) if you start from scratch.
If you want to start learning Swedish, it is the right place, We offer online Swedish courses, both virtual lessons in real-time and recorded video lessons. We also provide real-time help once a week for our Swedish learners who take video courses.