One of the things we’re pretty enthusiastic about at Babbel is the importance of cultural immersion. Naturally, you need lessons and practice as a beginner language student, but one of the best things you can do is supplement your learning with foreign-language podcasts, books, movies and music.
If you’re on the prowl for some engaging and instructive Swedish-language podcasts, say no more. We’ve selected five of the most popular podcasts in svenska, ranging from daily news broadcasts aimed at immigrants to cultural gabfests from the heart of modern Swedish culture. And if these options underwhelm you, Bra Podcast is an excellent resource for Sweden’s most popular podcasts.
1. Radio Sweden på lätt svenska
Sveriges Radio is basically the NPR of Sweden, and you can keep up with the news in Swedish either online or via the Android or iOS app. Of particular interest to Swedish beginners is Radio Sweden på lätt svenska, or “Radio Sweden in easy Swedish.” The podcast is aimed specifically at immigrants and newcomers to Sweden, and it offers a daily news broadcast that’s both informative and easy to follow. Many of the stories are also directly relevant to Sweden’s immigrant communities, like the lengthy application process for Syrians moving to Sweden.
2. Alex och Sigges
Alex and Sigges (of the Alex och Sigges podcast) get a lot of eartime in Sweden. The two hosts will entertain a mixture of silly and serious topics, discussing nothing — but also everything — at the same time. It’s probably worth motivating yourself to learn Swedish so you can laugh along and understand the humor. For Swedes, Alex & Sigges is what you put on when you’re home after work cracking a beer on a Friday night. In 2016, it was the second most-listened-to podcast in Sweden, with about 200,000 listeners each month.
If you like to keep things morbid and educational at the same time, check out Mordpodden, a podcast about Swedish murder cases. While we can’t vouch for how quickly it’ll take the place of Law & Order: SVU in your life (or any broadcast spawned during the recent U.S. murder podcast craze), journalism grads Linnéa Bohlin and Amanda Karlsson had a mission to convey the true crime genre in a narrative-rich, easily accessible manner that’s engaging and relatively easy to grasp for language learners. Was it a mafia casualty, or a crime of passion? Listen and find out.
If you like heady, intellectual topics, Geniförklarat (which roughly translates to “Genius, Explained”) features esteemed thinkers discussing things like science, society, nudity, shame and the meaning of life (among other topics). In one recent episode segment titled “death and good sex,” two of Sweden’s most world-weary podcasters appeared as people who are “tired of life” and willing to talk about everything they think is “disgusting.” The podcast is hosted by journalist and comedian Messiah Hallberg.
5. Frågar Åt En Kompis
In Frågar Åt En Kompis, which roughly translates to “Asking For A Friend,” the two hosts, Keyyo and Hampus, discuss all of the bizarre scenarios that people often qualify with the phrase “asking for a friend.” For instance: Is breast milk vegan? When is it okay to lie about your age? What kind of snacks are acceptable to bring with you into the bathroom? Find out for a friend — or to better your language and culture IQ.