Learn Swedish

Villagers at Sjölunden have a unique opportunity to spend two or four weeks actively immersed in the Swedish language and culture. Upon arrival, you will show your passport, pass through Swedish "customs" and enter into a miniature, imitation Swedish village. The first order of business is selecting a new Swedish name and exchanging your dollars for svenska kronor. From there, you will proceed to your stuga (cabin) to meet your helpful, friendly counselors and your fellow villagers, before checking out the butik (store), Snickerboa (art studio), båthuset (boathouse) and matsal (dining hall), places you will soon know well.

And as you will soon find out, being a villager at Sjölunden isn’t about sitting in a classroom learning grammar and memorizing facts. It’s about actively living the Swedish language and culture. Before you know it, you'll be responding in Swedish without even realizing it.

Facts About Swedish

Swedish (svenska) is the national language of Sweden and one of two national languages of Finland. It, like Norwegian and Danish, is a descendant of Old Norse, the common language of the Germanic peoples living in Scandinavia during the time of the Vikings (AD 800-1066). What is now known as standard Swedish – the variety taught at Sjölunden -- evolved during the course of the 1800s, primarily from the dialect spoken in and around the capital city of Stockholm. Spoken Swedish is noted – especially by outsiders -- for its musical quality because of its distinctive tone or pitch accent. The Swedish alphabet consists of 29 letters, the 26 of the English alphabet, plus three additional vowels, å, ä and ö.  

Why Learn Swedish?

There are many reasons to learn Swedish! There are more than 10 million speakers of Swedish worldwide. Knowing Swedish helps you connect with Swedes living around the world, as well as with speakers of Norwegian and Danish.

1. Because you have a spirit of adventure.

Sweden is a wonderful travel destination for those who love clean air, spectacular landscapes and outdoor activities. As the biggest country of Northern Europe, there’s a lot to explore, from Stockholm in the south to Lapland in the north. And there’s no better way to get the most out of your travels than feeling comfortable with the language and culture.

2. Because you want to connect.

Learning Swedish connects you to nine million people in Sweden and Finland. When you learn Swedish, you’ll find that you can understand some Danish and Norwegian, too.

3. Because you’d like to understand your past.

Maybe you have family or friends of Swedish heritage. Learning about Swedish language and culture will give you a deep appreciation for your Scandinavian ancestors and famous Swedes like Anders Celsius (inventor of the temperature scale) or Viktor Hasselblad (inventor of the single lens reflex camera).

4. Because you like having fun!

Did you know that Sweden is the third-largest music-producing nation in the world? Perhaps you love musik as much as ABBA, Ace of Base or the Hives. Authentic Swedish activities mixed with camping favorites like canoeing and swimming guarantee that every minute of your experience will be a treasured memory in the making.