Feeling intimidated about learning Swedish? Don’t be—there are plenty of great courses to help you learn everything from the basics to advanced grammar and vocabulary skills.
Here, we’re breaking down which ones are fantastic resources versus the ones that are so-so, and even the ones you should totally avoid.
We’ll explain our top choices for learning Swedish (tier 1 picks), the runner-up choices (tier 2), the so-so options (third tier), and the ones that are not worth it (fourth tier choices).
Babbel, LearningSwedish.se, italki, SwedishPod101, Pimsleur
Duolingo, Memrise, Udemy, FSI
Mango Languages, Glossika, Michel Thomas
Rosetta Stone, Mondly, Transparent Language
Tier 1 – The best online Swedish courses
These are the cream of the crop when it comes to learning Swedish.
Starting from $7/month
A STRONG IF NOT UNIQUE START FOR SWEDISH
Babbel uses a similar style to other language learning courses and apps (a bit like Duolingo), but its pricing is on point and the content is solid. If you’re anywhere from a beginner to intermediate Swedish speaker, you’ll likely feel comfortable with Babbel.
For foundational Swedish, Babbel is an excellent resource. Once you become more advanced, though, you’ll find it less useful. At the same time, you’ll need some conversational support since there’s not much verbal practice here.
- Each lesson builds on the last so your learning is progressive.
- The variety of exercises provides a variety of ways to practice.
- Very affordadable.
- Not much for advanced Swedish speakers.
- You’ll still need conversational practice/supplements.
See our Super-Detailed Babbel Review
Free for the basic course, PLUS teacher-led courses start at $350
AN ALL-AROUND EXCELLENT INTRO TO SWEDISH
LearningSwedish.se is an all-around great resource for everything from verbal skills to reading and writing. It has exercises, videos, Quizlet flashcards, and level tests. There are three modules to work through, and there’s also a teacher-led session option (but it’s expensive).
One of the things we like about Learning Swedish is that it was created by the Swedish Institute and partners. So, you can expect good quality from this course.
- Completely free lesson options.
- There’s an app for both Android and iOS.
- Interactive flashcards for vocab study.
- The PLUS option is expensive (italki would be a cheaper option).
- For now, only the first module is available on the app.
TUTORING HELP NO MATTER YOUR ABILITY LEVEL
If you’re the kind of learner who prefers to work one-on-one with an instructor, italki will be right up your alley. You can choose from teachers or tutors, both of which are knowledgeable in different ways, and pick an hourly rate that works for your budget.
Most of the time, teachers have professional educational experience, while tutors tend to be native speakers or are very advanced in Swedish. You can choose someone to work on specific skills or just have conversations with to practice your pronunciation.
- It’s easy to schedule lessons and “attend” them.
- Trial lessons are available for most teachers at a lower price so you can see if you mesh with the instructor.
- There’s a language board where you can swap knowledge with other users.
- You need italki “credits” to pay, so pricing can get confusing.
- You might have to schedule in advance to book a slot with a more popular teacher.
See our Super-Detailed italki Review
AUDIO-CENTRIC LEARNING WITH SOME PERKS
For jump-starting your speaking and listening skills, SwedishPod101 is a great all-around resource. Hundreds of audio and video lessons make up the bulk of the materials, but there are vocabulary tools, flashcards, and lesson notes you can download.
You can take the content anywhere, which is helpful for learning on the go. And one significant highlight is that you can try it out for free—there’s a rotating selection of lessons you can access without paying a dime.
- The podcast format is a casual but effective way to start picking up Swedish.
- Even absolute beginners can start learning quickly.
- The free content is a highlight for brushing up your skills, even if you skip a paid plan.
- Pricing is kind of confusing, as you can get a free membership but with limitations.
- Not much written material—the focus is definitely on the audio/verbal aspect.
See our Super-Detailed SwedishPod101 Review
Subscriptions start at $14.95/mo
A SMART WAY TO START LEARNING SWEDISH
We love Pimsleur for learning many different languages, and it’s an excellent overall resource for speaking Swedish. You start with audio lessons that feature both female and male speakers, which gets you working on pronunciation and vocabulary immediately.
- Audio-based learning is a great way to start out.
- Speaking is the focus, which is what you want for fluency.
- The cultural info is a helpful addition.
- More reading and writing practice would be preferable (you can add a supplement).
- Lessons can get a bit repetitive.
See our Super-Detailed Pimsleur Review
Tier 2 – Pretty good options for studying Swedish
Our tier two picks cover the basics and then some for most Swedish learners.
A SMART STARTING POINT FOR SPEAKING SWEDISH
Duolingo is a more than adequate starting point for Swedish beginners. You’ll learn a lot of vocabulary through a variety of engaging exercises. From common phrases to basic sentence structure, Duolingo covers enough to help you communicate right away.
Of course, once you develop some higher-level skills, complementing your study with Memrise and some other more grammar-focused resources can round things out.
- Covers the basics, including essential vocabulary.
- Lessons get progressively more difficult, so you know you’re building skills.
- It’s totally free, so you can combine it with paid resources like italki for speaking practice and still stay under budget.
- It doesn’t cover the ins and outs of Swedish as well as other resources.
- Getting the pronunciation right can be a struggle because of Duolingo’s “robot” speaker.
See our Super-Detailed Duolingo Review
A SIMPLE INTRO TO SWEDISH FOR THE BUDGET-MINDED
Memrise is one of our favorite resources because it’s free and has tons of content. There’s a paid option, which gives access to more than just the user-generated lessons, but the free option can help expand your vocabulary and grammar understanding, too.
Pairing Memrise with lessons through italki or a robust textbook supplement can help you build your Swedish speaking skills pretty effectively.
- You can study specific vocab for different subjects.
- The user-created content is what’s free, and it’s always being added to.
- The flashcard-like format is simple to study with.
- The study decks sort of stand alone, so you can’t build your skills like you would with a more organized course.
- Not much advanced content for higher-level Swedish speakers.
See our Super-Detailed Memrise Review
A wide range of price points, but if you wait for a sale, courses average $10 each
A SWEDISH SOLUTION FOR EVERY ABILITY LEVEL
You can find a course on Udemy for any subject, including different levels of and subjects in Swedish. Courses can last anywhere from one hour to 15 hours, and instructors are as diverse as the content offered.
Each course comes with lifetime access, and most instructors offer printable worksheets and other resources to add to your video-based study experience. Combining audio/video resources with some written supplements is an effective learning model, so Udemy can be a well-rounded option for learning Swedish.
- Lifetime access lets you revisit the content later.
- You can choose a unit to address specific topics and vocabulary.
- Udemy covers your purchase with a money-back guarantee, so you’ve got nothing to lose.
- Some courses are costly—but if you wait for a sale, you might get an excellent deal.
- Each instructor (and their teaching style) is different, so you can never tell what you’re going to get.
FREE BASIC INTRO COURSE
FSI language courses vary in length and quality, and the Swedish option is a decent offering. It’s entirely free and includes 16 audio lessons (with A and B “tapes” for most sections). You can also download a PDF student text, which is outdated but still helpful as a reference.
There’s nothing modern or super high quality about FSI, but you can’t beat the quality of the instruction for a free offering.
- Completely free.
- You can download the material and take it with you (or even print the PDF book).
- There are both audio and text components for balanced study.
- The materials are really outdated.
- The PDF student manual is somewhat poor quality—readable but clearly a scanned document.
Tier 3 – Just okay Swedish resources
Our third-tier choices have some strengths, but also quite a few drawbacks, so tread carefully with these.
PASSABLE INSTRUCTION FOR BEGINNER SWEDISH SPEAKERS
A lot of users compare Mango Languages to Duolingo, but our judgment is that the biggest difference is the cost. Still, many libraries offer Mango for free, so it could be a worthwhile resource if you can get access.
Game-like instruction makes it fun to use Mango, even if you’re not developing super-advanced Swedish skills. If you’re studying multiple languages, Mango Languages is an even better choice since the repetitive format can help you pick up more than just Swedish.
- You might be able to get free access via the library.
- Subscription can give access to all languages (70+).
- The game-like layout and perks like stats trackers make learning fun.
- The translation function doesn’t do much, so you can’t really rely on it.
- Pretty boring as it’s very repetitive.
See our Super-Detailed Mango Languages Review
SOLID INSTRUCTION THAT’S PRICEY
Glossika has a ton of language options, which is the main highlight of the program. There are audio drills for listening and speaking plus comprehension. If you’re a beginner or intermediate speaker, you can pick up quite a bit of Swedish with the repetitive lessons.
The drawbacks, however, include the steep price—but it’s a worthwhile tradeoff if you’re working on multiple languages at a time.
- One subscription delivers access to all Glossika languages.
- Each language has a ton of audio resources.
- Repetitive lessons help drill the point home no matter what aspect you’re studying.
- The price is really high compared to just about every other decent resource.
- Some courses seem to have errors.
- You’ll need to be motivated—the repetitive nature of the program can get boring.
See our Super-Detailed Glossika Review
AUDIO-CENTRIC BUT LIMITED COURSES
Unlike other Michel Thomas-branded courses, Swedish isn’t taught by master critic Michel himself. We weren’t fans of his overly critical style—but the conversational lesson format is a positive, and he doesn’t do the Swedish courses.
Roger Nyborg, a native Swedish speaker and teacher, leads both Start and Foundation Swedish. Hours of audio content makes up the bulk of each course, and you can stream or download the lessons.
- The conversational style, which features a teacher instructing students, is a helpful learning method.
- The Foundation course has over 20 hours of material to work through, so it might be worth the money.
- A native speaker leads the course.
- There’s no advanced Swedish course (though some other languages are offered at a higher level).
- You don’t get reading or writing material, so you might still need a textbook for those skills.
- Michel Thomas’ method doesn’t include any correction for your work, so you would do well to add some tutoring with italki or another resource, too.
See our Super-Detailed Michel Thomas Method Review
Avoid These – Swedish courses we recommend skipping
These courses aren’t really worth your time or money, in our opinion.
INEFFICIENT METHODS THAT BECOME BORING
While Rosetta Stone might have been innovative back in the ‘90s, it’s not so today. Its picture-sorting teaching methods haven’t changed, and that means it’s boring and not engaging at all.
There’s a bit of reading and writing practice, but mostly the format stays the same, using picture matching to reinforce vocabulary. In our opinion, it’s boring and not worth the price.
- The lessons are accessible for beginners and build on each other.
- You get pronunciation practice with a speech recognition tool.
- The format is bland and monotonous.
- It’s expensive, and you only get one language per subscription.
- Rosetta Stone could do with a bit of explanation in English for some of the activities.
See our Super-Detailed Rosetta Stone Review
UNIMPRESSIVE EXECUTION OF A GOOD IDEA
Mondly covers the basics, but beyond that, we can’t recommend it. At this price point (or below), you can get a lot more Swedish skills with another program or combination of courses.
In short, the repetitive format is unengaging, and the lessons don’t seem to build on one another in a way that makes sense.
- There is a lot of vocabulary to study.
- Some of the quizzes and challenges shake things up and make it not so boring.
- The format gets really repetitive in most lessons.
- The lessons don’t build on one another as you progress.
- A lack of explanations makes it hard to navigate some of the lessons.
See our Super-Detailed Mondly Review
A VERY BASIC OFFERING THAT’S TOO PRICEY
Lots of languages are available with Transparent Language, but the quality of the materials doesn’t quite warrant the price. There’s not much in-depth Swedish instruction, and the teaching methods are severely lacking.
We can’t recommend Transparent Language, and the only thing it really does well is offers up a recording tool for pronunciation.
- Neat recording tool to put yourself in conversations and listen to the playback.
- Many languages are available.
- Pricing is very high and unwarranted.
- The focus is on memorization.
- The repetitive teaching style gets dull, fast.
See our Super-Detailed Transparent Language Review
Final Thoughts on Swedish Language Courses
Whether you’re an absolute beginner or are already advanced in Swedish, our top picks for online courses can help you hone your skills. After all, becoming fluent requires the right resources—and fortunately, we’ve found them here. Have any recommendations? Share with us in the comments.