Tag Archives: swedish for expats

SVT Språkplay to help with Swedish

Watching TV or movies is a good way of learning a language. You

  • practice listening skills
  • you can read the subtitles to practice …
  • … and see spelling to  understand how to connect sounds and writing.
  • You also learn about the culture (that is if you are watching a program made in the country of your target language), which is a significant part of learning a language.

You probably know that SVT, the Swedish Public Television, has an app and a website called SVT Play, where you can find and watch programs in every possible category. Not all are eligible though to be broadcasted outside of Sweden due to legal rights.

However this post is about SVT Språkplay. It is an app initiated by SVT, aimed at learners of the Swedish language, predominantly newly arrived, immigrants and refugees. Språkplay is only available in Sweden.

Using SVT Språkplay you get suggestions regarding what to watch as a learner. There are captions in which you can click, look up and save words according to your current level (A1-C2) of Swedish. The words are color coded; green means you know the word already, yellow is for learning right now and will also include the word in a test you can take, and red is for learning later. You can change the color of the words yourself.

The app contains 18 of the most common immigrant languages in Sweden.

App store:

SVT Språkplay 

Pictures from the app:

False friends

I wish you’d never suffer from false friends. Now, I can’t help you with all of the varieties, but here is an explanation of the linguistic ones.

I am fascinated by words, especially the written word, and languages. The more languages I learn the easier it gets. It’s captivating to recognize similarities between languages, and to explore possible roots in common. Could it be a cognate or a false friend? Now if that doesn’t sound intriguing … 😉

I´ll explain it to you.

Cognates are words in different languages that have a common linguistic heritage. Examples are night natt nuit notte Nacht. Loanwords does not count.

Cognates within a language are known as doublets. Doublets are words that look similar, existing within the same language. Meaning of the words is irrelevant – they don´t have to mean the same thing, but could of course. An example is shirt and skirt in English.

False cognates are words that to the eye and ear appear to have the same origin but don´t. The meaning of the words is irrelevant here – it doesn’t matter if they are false friends or have the same meaning. An example hereof; mamma and pappa in Swedish – not related to similar words in other languages, merely stemming from baby language! (Svensk etymologisk ordbok – the Swedish etymological thesaurus, digitalized at http://runeberg.org/svetym/)

False friends are words in different languages that appear to have the same meaning but don´t.


actual (Eng. real, authentic ) meaning “faktisk” in Swedish

aktuell (Swedish) meaning present, current

You can find a list containing Swedish and English false friends here.

Primary sources



My brain. 🙂

Want to know more on Swedish language training with me? Head over here!