Have you ever been curious about the Swedish language? The Swedish of today began to evolve in the 13th century when Old East Norse, the language of the Viking Era, divided into Old Swedish and Old Danish. Now, Swedish is the official language of Sweden, spoken by 9 million residents of that country as well as 6 percent of the population of Finland. Though the geographical region of speakers is fairly small, there are over 100 local dialects still spoken. Swedish grammar is markedly different from English, though there are some similarities. Many visitors to Sweden, or those who would love to go, have a desire to learn Swedish because the language is as lovely and unique as the people who speak it. With Babbel, we make the process easy.
Swedish Word Order
Swedish is a Germanic language, which means the finite verb is always placed second in a sentence. Normally, this is the case with English as well, but English and the Romantic languages operate with a subject-verb-object word order. If you’ve never studied a Germanic language before, you’ll find that as long as the verb comes second, the order of the rest of the sentence can vary and still be grammatically correct. For instance, in English you would say, “The cats catch mice in the field at dawn.” But in a Germanic language, you can say, “Mice catch the cats in the field at dawn.” Or “In the field, catch the cats mice before dawn.” There’s a lot of leeway in expressing the same idea. It can seem confusing at first, but it can also help you learn Swedish even faster.
Swedish grammar is also famous for its vowels. There are nine of them, and you can pronounce them 17 different ways! There’s the normal a, e, i, o, u, and y, plus the three extra characters that make up the 29-letter Swedish alphabet: å, ä, and ö. While the language was once divided into male, female, and neuter gender distinctions, now both male and female nouns and adjectives are called common gender, and inanimate objects are deemed neuter. There are still some exceptions, but overall it’s much easier to remember the distinction between living beings and objects instead of remembering which words as masculine and which are feminine, like you do in French or Spanish. Also, the Swedish pronouns are very similar to English, while the definite article - the Swedish “the” - is “en or “ett”, and it’s commonly added to the ends of words.
Learn Swedish Online
Babbel is the great new way to learn Swedish on your computer or mobile device, and we can make understanding the complicated rules of language easy and fun. For remarkably low prices, you can engage in interactive exercises using proven educational methods and learn at your own pace. Babbel also offers its own social network, and our app is available in iPhone, Android, and Win8 devices. It used to be that if you wanted to tackle a subject like Swedish grammar, you’d be searching for private lessons that would be expensive or hard to find. Now, you can get comprehensive lessons in an ad-free, distraction-free environment. It’s amazing how technology can put education at your fingertips.
Sweden is a country with a rich culture and history, and learning Swedish can put you in a much better position to immerse yourself in it. So don’t be intimidated by nouns, verbs, and conjugations. Learning other languages can vastly improve the way you think and the way you see the world, and there’s no better time to begin.