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Learning Swedish

Language is the gateway to a country’s culture, the vocabulary a mirror of society. The Swedish alphabet consists of 29 letters, 26 from the basic Latin alphabet and then our very own Å, Ä and Ö.

We are offering you to learn Swedish for free, the online course is for beginners with material for self-study for adult learners. The course gives basic spoken and written knowledge of the Swedish language, as well as an insight into Swedish culture and society. All instructions are given in English.

In the course you will meet Nathalie from France and her friends who study at a Swedish university.

Learning Swedish platform has been developed by the Swedish Institute and partners. Learning Swedish Module 1 is also available as an app for Android and iOS. It works both online and offline.

© Learning Swedish

We have selected for you as well one word for each letter of the alphabet that somehow represents Sweden and Swedes, the words will help you better understand what life is like in Sweden.

The right to public access. Based on a principle of ‘don’t disturb, don’t destroy’, it gives people in Sweden the right to roam freely, even on private land, to camp overnight and to pick mushrooms and berries.

A small, often sweet, bread roll such as the cinnamon bun. Swedes rank high in the global consumption of sweets, and the cinnamon bun sure contributes.

Camping is a favoured way for Swedes to spend holiday in their own countryside. Some spend their entire five weeks of paid holiday in a tent or camper van.

The Dala horse is a traditional hand-made wooden statuette from the Swedish province Dalarna. An omnipresent symbol for both Dalarna and Sweden.

Fire. On Walpurgis Eve, nearly every city, town and village in Sweden arranges a traditional bonfire to welcome spring.

The Swedish coffee break is a social phenomenon to the outsider. In short, it’s quality time over a cup of coffee and something sweet. Often enjoyed more than once a day.

Water-proof suspender pants, for outdoor activities in the rain or fishing.

Found mostly in Sweden’s northern parts, cloudberries are used to produce jam and liqueurs. Among Swedes, cloudberry jam is a popular topping choice for ice cream or pancakes.

Located in Jukkasjärvi some 200 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle, the Icehotel is built entirely of natural ice and snow. It’s open all year, cooled with solar power from the midnight sun.

Christmas. In Sweden, Santa Claus arrives with the presents on Christmas Eve.

Swedish meatballs, perhaps the country’s most famous culinary item, were first mentioned in a cookbook from 1751, as “hachimunkar”.

A ‘latte dad’ is a father on parental leave, who likes drinking coffee. In Sweden, parents get to share 480 days of paid parental leave. Which makes for a lot of lattes.

With roots in pagan times, Midsummer celebrates the longest day of the year. It involves picking flowers, dreaming about your future love, wearing flower wreaths, and dancing like a frog around a pole.

The Nobel Prize is a set of international awards bestowed annually in recognition of academic, cultural and scientific advances in memory of Swedish scientist Alfred Nobel. Alfred Nobel was a chemist, engineer, inventor and entrepreneur, but also a poet and avid reader with a great interest in peace-related issues.

Sweden’s ground-breaking principle of public access to information dates to 1766 and is still one of the cornerstones of the Swedish Constitution. It stipulates the right to scrutinise documents from public agencies, parliament and government. Sweden recurrently ranks among the top countries on any global freedom of the press index.

One of many Swedish Easter traditions is for children to dress up as an Easter witch, or påskkärring, in brightly coloured headscarves, aprons, red-painted cheeks and freckles. Children go from house to house in the neighbourhood in the hope of getting sweets.

The huge attraction of and interest in Stockholm Pride is one of several signs that the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) community is a welcomed part of Swedish society. Gender-neutral wedding laws were introduced in 2009, insemination rights for lesbians in 2005, and adoption rights for gay and lesbian couples in 2003.

A stone mostly raised by the Vikings with a memorial inscription carved out in the runic alphabet. Runestones can still be visited in the Swedish outdoors, and while most are found in Sweden, the Vikings brought the tradition everywhere they went.

An estimated 20,000 indigenous Sami people live in Sweden – with their own cultural heritage, language, flag and parliament. Sápmi is the name of the region where they have their roots, stretching across parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia.

A torp is the emblematic summer house of Sweden, a simple cottage painted red and white. It is very common in Sweden to own or rent a cottage to spend weekends and the summer holiday in the countryside.

Sweden is ranked as a world leader in innovation, uppfinning, and has a long history of impressive innovations, including the wrench, pacemaker, safety matches and three-point safety belt.

Wind power is one way in which Sweden strives to reduce and eventually eliminate its use of fossil fuels.

In Sweden, more and more functions move to the web, from making phone calls through Swedish invention Skype to doing your tax returns and managing everything from pharmacy recipes to bank errands.

Cross-stitch is a sewing technique used in embroidery. Embroidery is a popular form of handicraft and decorates innumerable walls in Swedish homes and summer houses.

Wintertime in Sweden, the snow sometimes flutters and blows about in the wind, bringing visibility to a minimum.

The footballer Zlatan ‘Ibra’ Ibrahimović is one of the greatest Swedish athletes of all time and so popular his name has also become the word for doing a seemingly impossible football kick.

Medium-sized rivers have their own name to describe them, å, which is identical to the 27th letter in the Swedish alphabet. Sweden is home to a huge number of rivers, and nearly half of the country’s energy production comes from hydro power.

Sweden’s zoological superstar. Featured on safaris, bumper stickers and clothing items to meet the tourist demand for moose.

The 29th letter of the Swedish alphabet is also the word for island. With roughly 96,000 lakes larger than 10,000 square metres and an extensive coastline, there are plenty of islands in Sweden.

Good luck or lycka till

Learning Swedish
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