Category Archives: Tips for learning Swedish

Practice your Swedish pronunciation

Those Swedish vowels and consonants … They can be hard to nail on your own unless you’ve studied phonetics and know exactly what palatal alveolar fricative or labio dental mean. On Weebly you can practice on your own with the help of informative videos. You can also record your own speech/sounds to compare.

Watch the video via the link below and/or click the vowel of your choice. In the drop down menu to the right you find more choices. 

Take me to Weebly – I want to practice pronunciation

Audio books in Swedish

Reading in another language is often easier than listening. You read in your own pace, in your own “dialect” and you might recognize international words. Actually hearing what someone says might be a different story. But practice makes if not perfect at least … excellent practice! My advice to you is to mix your listening habits for a varied vocabulary, speed and dialects; for instance news, radio shows from casual to documentary and varied genres of literature. Start with children’s books! Did you know you can listen to children’s books via Spotify? Astrid Lindgren, other Swedish classics aswell as Barbapapa. Below you find a link to Alfons Åberg (Alfie Atkins in English, Willie Wiberg auf Deutsch). If you can’t see the link properly (since it has decided to function randomly) go to Spotify and search “ljudböcker”. 
“Raska på Alfons Åberg” 7 min

Expressions in Swedish using the word “grön” (green)

grönt

Spring has arrived and the nature is practically exploding around us! Every possible shade and shape of green is offering its beauty. Rest your eyes and mind on dancing foliage; use your senses and memorize a new expression; expressions in Swedish using the word “grön” (green). Some of the phrases and idioms are used in several languages.

First I’ll give you two expressions that are often used in reference to nature, garden and outdoor life as well as healthy food:

grönt och skönt
grönt är skönt

grönt – here referencing the color green, vegetables or greenery

skön = nice, comfortable, fine, beautiful

 

Phrases and idioms:

Att komma på grön kvist = to end up in a financially good position. “De har minsann kommit på grön kvist.”

Att ge grönt ljus till någon = to give someone the green light (permission) “Jag gav honom grönt ljus”.

Att få grönt ljus = to receive a permission, “good to go”, to get a green light. “De fick båda grönt ljus av chefen.”

Att vara grön av avund = to be jealous. “Han blev grön av avund!”

gröna vågen = “green wave”;  the trend in the 70’s seeing young families leaving the cities moving out to the countryside in Sweden

att ha gröna fingrar = to be good at keeping plants and garden; to have green fingers; to have a green thumb. “Hon har verkligen gröna fingrar!”

Gräset är alltid grönare på andra sidan. = The grass is always greener … Other circumstances might appear more desirable than one’s own but in reality they are not.

 

Idas sommarvisa

“Idas sommarvisa”, or “Du ska inte tro det blir sommar” is a popular spring/summer song among school children in Sweden.  It is often seen as a non-religious alternative to hymns (even though there is a reference to “someone to take action” in the lyrics – which of course is free to interpretation). The song is widely used during the ceremony of the last day of school (skolavslutningen) before the summer break.

“Idas sommarvisa” was featured in the Emil movie from 1973.

Lyrics by Astrid Lindgren.

Learning about this tune and perhaps part of the song/a few new words is good practice not only for learning the Swedish language but also a for getting to know Swedish culture.

Listen via Youtube:

Listen via Spotify. Use the lyrics function in Spotify to see the words.

Glad påsk! Happy Easter! Free print in Swedish

A Happy Easter to all my customers, followers and friends! Let there be sunshine, food, company, love and lots of chocolate!

And a Happy weekend if you do not celebrate Easter.

As usual you can print this mini poster – put it in a small frame on the counter, or put it up on the refrigerator door to learn or keep Swedish vocabulary alive! Just right click on the picture. Share or leave a comment if the print made you happy!

Charlotta

miniposter Swedish vocabulary related to Easter
Glad påsk!

“Detta med de och dem”

Most of my Swedish language students know the theoretical difference between “de” (=they) and “dem” (=them). It is when we go into sounding like a Swede that it gets a bit more complicated :).

Why?

Most Swedes pronounce the two different words the same way – “dom” – which sometimes lead to confusion and mistakes by Swedes when writing.

Here is an excellent video explaining the difference between “de” and “dem”. Detta med de och dem; Video by Maia Andréasson.

Swedish Dictionary App – svensk ordlista

If you are learning Swedish a Swedish dictionary app comes in handy.  I  suggest downloading the app  SAOL (svenska akademiens ordlista) to your device. The app is far more lighter to carry around in your pocket than the heavy IRL book. Promise.

SAOL will not always give you synonyms or explanations but spelling, inflection and declension, and the ever so important EN or ETT!

The good news – the app is a  free one. Gratis! (means “free”) Grattis! (means “congratulations”). Links at bottom of post.

If you know Swedish already you need SAOL too :). We can always learn more!

Svenska Akademiens Ordlista iTunes
Svenska Akademiens Ordlista Google Play

There is also the SO app (svenska akademiens ordbok). This is a thesaurus, providing meaning of a word, pronunciation by listening etc. Read more about it here.

 

Music in the Swedish language – the perfect video to practice Swedish

My pick of music in the Swedish language this month! To learn pop culture, or for you to practice pronunciation, intonation and to acquire new vocabulary. Best of all – the artist himself provides the text in writing! A must see video – I love it!

Vocabulary list at the bottom of this post.

If you want to listen via Spotify:

Josef Johansson – Tysta leken

tysta leken = the quiet game (the one who makes a noise is eliminated)

åka ut = to be eliminated (in a game), to be sent out of a room

att bry sig om = to care about/for

nån’ting – slang for “någonting” = something, anything

en Håkan sång = a song by Håkan Hellström (link to one of Håkan’s songs)

What do you call a person from ___ (fill in the blank) in Swedish?

Nationalities in Swedish

Today I present a link to a list of countries and nationalities in Swedish. It can be found at TT Nyhetsbyrån’s website as a tool for journalists, or anyone who writes. Let’s include everyone who talks to!

Here is the link.

The list is useful not only if you are learning Swedish but also to Swedes. There are quite a few countries around our globe and I am sure even as a Swede you will find a few nationalities on the list that you have never used before!