Whatever your reason for wanting to learn Swedish — maybe you want to visit Sweden in the near future, or you have a business trip or you just want to impress a Swedish friend — you may have started looking at Swedish language-learning courses and felt a bit in over your head.
Well, don’t worry. There are plenty of resources out there that can help you learn Swedish with a little hard work and dedication. The first thing to do is to get yourself enrolled in a Swedish language course, whether online or in person. Then, you can start taking advantage of all the extra educational resources available online — such as podcasts.
Podcasts can be a great complement to any Swedish language course. They’re easy to use, often free and can be listened to any time, any place. Whether you’re driving to work, working out at the gym or cleaning the house, you can practice your Swedish while you’re at it.
Ready to get started? Then consider listening to some of these 10 Swedish language-learning podcasts.
Podcasts for Beginners
If you’re just starting out learning Swedish, these beginner podcasts can help you learn the very basics, from counting and greetings to more difficult phrases and vocabulary, as well as grammar rules and even Swedish cultural norms.
Learn Swedish language concepts, grammar and vocabulary with the SwedishPod101 series. These episodes are short and each is packed with lots of information, including linguistic info, cultural info and more. Episodes are uploaded regularly and there are quite a few available to beginners (as well as some that are more suitable for intermediate and advanced learners). SwedishPod101 offers a mix of free and paid content, accessible via a variety of subscription options. If you’re wondering if the paid subscriptions are a good bargain, check out our full review of SwedishPod101.
Learn Swedish at a slow pace, starting with easy vocabulary words and phrases. There are 32 episodes of the Simple Swedish Podcast from Swedish the Linguist to choose from, and the vocabulary lessons focus on topics such as holidays, work, travel and sports. The episodes are of really varying lengths, so you should be able to find an episode that works for your available amount of time on any given day.
Though this podcast is no longer being updated, it does offer 80 episodes to choose from. There is a range of types of episodes available. Some are for “absolute beginners” and cover concepts such as parts of speech, while others are slow spoken Swedish, so you can follow along with the podcast and try out your comprehension skills.
For those who want to learn just some basic phrases and words to help them get through a business or leisure trip, they might benefit most from the One Minute Swedish podcast. This podcast doesn’t really go into the fine details of the language and instead just focuses on the need-to-know items that will get you through a Swedish interaction with ease. The episodes are not, as the name implies, one minute in length, but they are on the shorter side.
If you’re starting to build a robust Swedish vocabulary and want to challenge yourself further, then it’s time to move on to some intermediate podcasts.
In this podcast that’s relatively new, with only a few episodes so far, you’ll learn, over the course of 15 or 20 minutes, about how the Swedish language works and how to best use it in practical situations. The podcast gives you the feel of listening in on a real, in-person Swedish language lesson, as it features a teacher and a student working on the concepts being taught to the listener.
When learning a language, it can be really helpful if you actually learn a little bit about the culture surrounding the language, to give you a more comprehensive and holistic learning experience. Swedishness dives deep into all things Sweden. The hosts include one Swede and one Irelander, as well as guests, and topics include Swedish politics, lifestyles and industry.
If you’re learning Swedish particularly so that you can eventually live, study or work in Sweden, then you’ll find this podcast handy. My Swedish Område follows a student living in Sweden and their explorations of Stockholm, meeting other students, immigrants and natives.
When you’re ready to move on to more difficult Swedish concepts, many learners find that it helps to listen to podcasts completely recorded in the Swedish language. This tests your comprehension and shows you what you absorbed from your beginner and intermediate lessons, and what you may want to review.
This podcast, spoken entirely in Swedish, is a mature comedy podcast that’s currently highly popular, particularly with — of course — Swedes. In fact, this podcast is the second most-listened-to podcast in Sweden, making it really one of the best to pay attention to if you want to thoroughly learn common, everyday Swedish (including slang) and immerse yourself in Swedish culture.
Similarly, Geniförklarat, or “Genius, Explained,” is a popular Swedish-spoken podcast that discusses intellectual topics with the help of celebrated thinkers. The podcast is hosted by a journalist and comedian, for a blend of thought-provoking and smile-inducing commentary. Follow along and see how much of the podcast you can accurately translate.
If you’d rather listen to the news and information about world events, sports and human interest stories, than comedy and philosophical discussions, you can tune in to the SBS Swedish podcast. There, you’ll get information you’re likely already familiar with from your own news provider, just presented in Swedish rather than English. This will help you follow along as you hear about familiar topics.
Learning Swedish isn’t always the easiest undertaking, but if you combine the right resources — like podcasts — with your current language-learning courses, then you have a recipe that sets you up for success.
Do you have a favorite Swedish language-learning podcast that we didn’t include above? Let us know!