Are you looking to learn Swedish? You’re not alone, hundreds of thousands of people speak Swedish across the world, and it’s a beautiful – if not grammatically-complex – language to learn. So, what books are there to help you learn Swedish? Let’s dive in and find out more!
3 Books to Learn Swedish For Beginners
Want to start learning but don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you.
As Swedish is a technical language to learn, apps, like Duolingo, might not be the best way to master Swedish. So, why not go old school and hit the books? With so many different niches of language learning books, you’re bound to find one that works for you.
Beginner Swedish language learning books are a great way to get you started and serve as a really handy reference tool later on in your language learning journey – you can always refer back to it at any time!
If you’re looking to learn basic structure and grammar for Swedish, this book is a great place to start. It really breaks everything down and helps you understand how to learn Swedish.
Although it doesn’t help you actively learn the language, it shows you basic vocabulary and grammar and gives you the stepping stones to start off the right way. If you’ve never learned a language before, you’ll want to read this first!
Love a workbook rather than gamification or repetitive practices? From English to Swedish 1 is going to be right up your street. Filled with useful gap-filling and beginner-friendly exercises, you can build up your Swedish level quickly and efficiently.
It’s also got a lot of cultural insights and references in it that’ll bring your Swedish language learning experience to life. After all, context clues can be really important when you’re learning a language, so knowing more about Swedish culture is going to be a big bonus here.
Okay so if you need a beginner bible when it comes to learning Swedish, this is the book you need to get. It even comes with audio disks to help you practice your listening skills and get a handle on pronunciation!
Starting from the beginning with vocabulary and grammar, Teach Yourself Complete Swedish works methodically to build up your language level without overwhelming you. It covers all the basics, giving you the fundamental skills and knowledge to progress to more intermediate-level books and resources.
3 Books to Learn Swedish Grammar
Grammar plays a big role in the Swedish language, and the ideal way to learn about it in more detail is by getting a dedicated Swedish grammar book.
Here, you can really understand the rules and regulations of the language so you can master it like a native!
When you start buying individual grammar and vocabulary books, they can start to add up. Suddenly your backpack gets very heavy! So, Swedish Tutor: Grammar and Vocabulary Workbook combines the two and features practical worksheets to help you test yourself.
It’s an all-in-one solution that has become super popular among beginners and Swedish tutors alike.
One of the best things about this book is that it slowly gets into intermediate territory. As you progress through the book and learn more fundamentals, you’ll find yourself acquiring new pieces of Swedish vocabulary quicker and quicker.
That’s when the intermediate grammar and structures come in to support you! It’s a great all-rounder book that’s cost and time-effective. No more buying multiple books to learn Swedish!
If you love learning by repetition, grammar workbooks are going to be your thing. This straightforward Basic Swedish book gives you a clear way to understand and learn Swedish grammar.
It’s super easy to use and it lays everything out in a basic, no-frills kind of way – perfect for grasping foreign grammar!
There are a ton of examples throughout the book and it guides you step-by-step through the grammar learning process. It’s an essential Swedish language-learning tool, and definitely, one that you should utilize in your language-learning journey.
Following on from our last grammar workbook, we have the next level up. Once you’ve completed the basic Swedish grammar in the first book, intermediate grammar awaits.
Following the same clear and concise structure, this edition gives you the tools to become more conversational and deepen your understanding of the beautiful Swedish language.
It’s definitely one of the trickier books on this list, but hey, if you need this book you’re not a beginner anymore, and you need to know these intermediate Swedish grammar rules to keep progressing and thriving!
2 Textbooks to Learn Swedish
Prefer more of a worksheet and school-style approach to learning languages? Well, you’re in luck.
There are plenty of Swedish textbooks that you can dive into and teach you in logical, easy-to-follow steps. Teach yourself, test yourself, and ultimately go out and use your newly minted Swedish skills out in the world!
Despite its name, this book is slightly more suited to intermediate learners, or people who already know another Germanic language.
It’s a fast-paced book that gives you all the ins and outs of Swedish vocabulary and grammar, but it doesn’t really give you a whole lot of time and space to practice – hence the need to have more than a basic grasp of Swedish or Germanic languages.
The main benefit of this fairly intense Swedish textbook is that it’s a travel-size book so you can learn on the go with ease. It also helps as a reference tool once you’re actually in Sweden!
If you’re looking to learn practical Swedish, get your hands on this easy-to-use workbook. Focusing on colloquial and everyday Swedish that natives actually use, you can begin to build your language skills ready to use them in real life.
So often, language learning resources teach us odd words and phrases that we’re unlikely to use in a real conversation, so this is really refreshing!
Work through the activities in the book one by one and take advantage of their amazing pronunciation guide. It’s rare for language books to be genuinely good at teaching pronunciation, but Colloquial Swedish absolutely nails it!
2 Great Audiobooks for Learning Swedish
If you’re more into a hands-free way of learning, consider checking out a language-learning audiobook. Like the old-school tapes that you used to get, listening to the Swedish language learning process gives you a real feel for the flow, pronunciation, and quirks of the language.
Have you read one of the basic Swedish books and want to take the next step? This crash course in speaking and listening to Swedish is going to give you a well-rounded set of language skills.
Created using authentic conversations with native speakers, Keep Talking Swedish tries to prepare you for speaking Swedish with natives.
Speaking another language can be daunting, so this audiobook also helps you build up your confidence.
It’s more of an intermediate resource because you do need to know some basic grammar and vocabulary to understand the phrases, rather than just parroting them back, but it is accessible and well worth buying!
2. Pimsleur Swedish
Want to learn Swedish in 30-minute chunks that focus on authentic, conversational Swedish? Pimsleur is a fantastic platform that uses scientifically proven methods and strategies to help make your newly discovered language skills stick.
Although it’s primarily audio-based lessons, you can also test your knowledge with games like flashcards, quizzes, and gap-filling exercises. It tides you over in between lessons and helps with your reading and writing skills, rather than just focusing on speaking and listening, which is a common downfall of language learning audiobooks.
4 More Books for Learning Swedish
There are a ton of other book-based resources that can help further your Swedish learning journey. From dictionaries to novels and short stories to word games, the world is your oyster.
These are more fun and less structured ways to learn Swedish, so it might be a good idea to use these alongside some more traditional books or language learning methods.
Now, if you’re a beginner learning Swedish, then the chances are that you’re going to really struggle to read a full novel in your target language. Reading short stories in Swedish is a really good idea if you’re looking for a less structured and more creative way to improve your writing and translation skills.
In this Short Stories book, you’ll find summaries for each story to help you with general context and guidance. There’s also a glossary at the back so you can improve your vocabulary skills. It’s super useful for reference purposes as well!
2. Berlitz Phrase Book & Dictionary Swedish (Bilingual dictionary)
When you’re learning a new language, you’re going to want to invest in a bilingual dictionary. Whether it’s a physical dictionary that you can carry around with you or a dictionary app, it’s an essential tool to have on hand.
Berlitz is famous for its amazing phrasebooks and dictionaries, and the Swedish one is no exception.
From one-off words to useful phrases and even complicated verb tables, this handy guide has them all! If you’re traveling around Sweden, this needs to be in your pocket or backpack.
UPDATE: This book is currently out of stock. Try this Swedish Frequency Dictionary instead!
Love language learning worksheets and puzzles, but want something a little more tactile and hands-on? Buy yourself Swedish Magnetic Poetry and take your Swedish phrase game to the next level.
With verb conjugations, word endings, and different levels of difficulty, you can learn Swedish in an interactive way on your fridge while you’re waiting for a kettle to boil or your food to cook.
Obviously, this tool on its own isn’t going to help you learn Swedish, but it’s a good technique to keep your repetitive learning up and get those all-important verb conjugations solidified in your head!
Let’s be honest, numbers are one of the first things that you learn in any language, so if you’re a Swedish beginner, you’re going to need to know them. This Counting Sweden book is targeted at young children who are learning Swedish.
It’s full of beautiful illustrations that also help to give an insight into Swedish culture. Of course, it also helps you to learn numbers in Swedish.
As with magnetic poetry, this book on its own isn’t really going to help you learn Swedish in a useful way. That being said, it is a good supplementary resource, or if you’re introducing Swedish to a child and want an engaging and well-designed language learning tool.
What’s the Best Way to Learn Swedish?
As with any language, the best way to learn Swedish is through immersion. That means being surrounded by Swedish speakers and making learning the language a necessity. That’s why we learn a language quicker when we’re in that country – we have to speak it to get through the day!
Of course, dropping everything and jumping on a flight to Sweden isn’t super realistic for the majority of us. Instead, consider some one-to-one tutoring with a Swedish native speaker.
There are plenty of apps and sites that connect teachers and students from around the world, including iTalki, so you can get this bespoke learning experience, no matter where you are – as long as you have a steady WiFi connection!
What are the Different Ways to Learn Swedish?
You can learn Swedish in a lot of different ways. After all, people learn using completely different methods to learn languages.
From podcasts and audiobooks to apps and games, to in-person intensive learning, if you want to learn Swedish then there’s a whole menu of options for you to experiment with. It might be that a combination of language-learning methods works well for you, so have a play around and see what sticks.
Is Swedish Hard to Learn?
Despite being a technical and grammar-heavy language, Swedish is actually pretty easy for English speakers to learn. That’s because a lot of the grammatical rules and structures are the same and are easily understandable and transferable.
Although the rhythm can be tricky to get a handle on at first, if you listen to Swedish recordings and speakers, or watch videos in Swedish, you’ll soon be able to find your way!
Grab a Book & Start Learning Swedish!
So, if you’re thinking about learning Swedish, there are so many amazing resources out there that you can take advantage of. Of course, we love language learning books as they’re tactile, portable, and well-structured to actually help you learn a language in a practical way.
Many of these books have crossovers with one another, and some of them are more of a supplementary resource. Try a couple alongside each other and see what combination works best for you – after all, language learning is not one size fits all, what works for you might not work for your friend and vice versa!
Especially if you already speak English or another Germanic language, Swedish is fairly straightforward to learn, and it’s a beautiful and ancient language that more people should learn! So, check out some of these books and embrace learning Swedish!
Dayna Brockbank is a travel and language-learning blogger who has lived around the world but has now settled in Nice, France. She speaks 3 languages at varying levels of fluency: Spanish, Italian, and French, and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Spanish Education. She and her husband focus on making travel part of life by living cheaply and traveling on a budget.