With 10.5 million speakers worldwide and 90% of those speakers living in Sweden, one might wonder why bother learning to speak Swedish? Swedish has been touted as being one of the easiest languages for a native English speaker to pick up, and because it is somewhat mutually intelligible to Danish and Norwegian, students benefit extra from learning Swedish.
The official language of Sweden and one of two national languages of Finland, Swedish is also spoken in small areas in Estonia and Ukraine. If you’re considering to learn Swedish, please read the SwedishPod101 review below!
**Verified October, 2020
SwedishPod101 Review: Overview
SwedishPod101 is just one of the Innovative Languages’ online- and app-based language-learning programs. You will find hundreds of hours of learning materials including Swedish podcast and video lessons. There are four subscription plans including a free lifetime account.
SwedishPod101 claims to be one of the fastest and most fun ways to learn to speak Swedish. Expertise levels start at the absolute beginner and go to advanced speakers. Its on-the-go learning program is designed to allow you to set your own pace and schedule. A few features you will find in SwedishPod101 include:
- access to the entire library of lessons
- interactive learning tools
- common word and phrase lists
- native speaking instructors
- relevant, engaging study topics
- personalized learning plans
- word-of-the-day emails
- new content added each week
What We Liked About SwedishPod101
Pro #1: Native Instructors
Since you are being taught by native-speaking instructors, you will get authentic dialogue, pronunciation, and even cultural pointers. Instructors are engaging and speak slowly to help you better understand.
Pro #2: Quick Lessons
Each lesson is only 10-15 minutes long, so it is easy to incorporate learning into your busy lifestyle. You can listen or watch lessons while waiting at the dentist, on your daily commute to the office or on your lunch break. This truly allows you to set your own learning pace and schedule.
Pro #3: Lots of Learning Content
The lesson library is significant. You can choose a guided learning path that will include grammar and cultural lessons or quicker lessons to help you get by in certain situations such as ordering food in Swedish. A beginning Swedish speaker will find an abundance of learning materials to get started.
What We Didn’t Like About SwedishPod101
Con #1: Lacking for Advanced Speakers
SwedishPod101 is a good start for those who are just beginning to speak Swedish, but the advanced speaker may find the lessons lacking. If you can already converse in Swedish and want to learn more about the county, customs and enhance fluency, you will need to find another resource.
Con #2: No Feedback
You can go through and complete lessons as it suits you, but you do not have anyone telling you if you are speaking correctly or to answer grammar or structure questions. You can purchase access to an instructor if you sign up for the PremiumPLUS subscription plan, currently the most expensive monthly plan.
Con #3: No Speaking Practice
Not only is a community aspect connecting Swedish speakers lacking with SwedishPod101, but you also never really have to speak what you see or hear. You can pay for the Premium subscription for voice-recording tools to let you compare your pronunciation to your instructor’s, or you can pay for the PremiumPLUS subscription to actually speak to an instructor one-on-one.
The dashboard is the first place you’re taken upon logging into SwedishPod101. Initially, the dashboard is a bit confusing, and it can be hard to know where to begin your lessons. The dashboard is the hub of your learning. Here, you can upgrade your subscription plan, change your experience level, access lessons and learning tools and learn all the latest news.
Swedish Podcast and Lesson Library
Each learning pathway consists of both podcasts and video lessons that have one or two instructors teaching the class. During videos, words are flashed across the screen as they are spoken so you can see what you are listening to. Some lessons can drag on due to banter between the instructors; some of it is useful while some are not.
Detailed notes follow each lesson and summarize what was taught. These notes can be downloaded and printed to be reviewed at a later time. Grammar and cultural expectations and norms are also covered in these transcripts.
Interactive Games and Learning Tools
You will find spaced-repetition flashcards, vocabulary slideshows and even voice-recording tools to enhance your lessons. These fun, game-like tools can help break up the monotony of a structured learning course while helping you to remember key words and phrases.
Who Should Try SwedishPod101?
Those who have decided they want to learn to speak Swedish will enjoy and benefit from using SwedishPod101 if they:
- are motivated, independent learners
- can dedicate at least 30 minutes per day to their studies
- want to be conversational or even fluent in Swedish for business or travel
- enjoy Swedish films or music or have Swedish friends and family
Who Should NOT Try SwedishPod101
On the other hand, those who might not reap the full benefits of SwedishPod101 include those who:
- require or excel in a classroom setting
- cannot dedicate time to learning
- prefer one-on-one instruction
- are already fluent in Swedish and seeking deeper knowledge
How does SwedishPod101 stand up to its competitors? We’ve put together a summary of the few Swedish-learning programs available online to make a fair review.
SwedishPod101 vs. Duolingo
Duolingo Swedish is a free language-learning app that helps you learn to speak Swedish with a game-like platform. Begin at the first level and work your way up earning lingots to spend in the store on items like free lives or new levels.
Duolingo is very motivating, requesting users to log just five minutes per day. Lessons are set up as a series of questions and these questions are fill-in-the-blank, multiple-choice or matching. Sometimes you will be asked to listen to and translate what has been said.
Duolingo does have a reputation among some serious language learners as being a waste of time and not really producing real fluency. That said, it’s hard to argue with free, and it can motivate early learners to study more intensely.
SwedishPod101 vs. Babbel
Upon signing up for Babbel Swedish, you will be asked a series of questions about why you are learning to speak Swedish including things like your age and how much free time you have. Babbel relies on spaced-repetition to drill vocabulary into your memory.
Monthly subscription prices begin at $8.95 per month when you sign up for three months in advance. Most of the lesson format is fill-in-the-blank which some feel limits the learner’s potential for variety.
Cost of SwedishPod101
When you sign up for SwedishPod101, you automatically get a free seven-day trial of the Premium subscription plan. This gives you a full week to try out all the features this plan offers. After that, you can upgrade to one of the following plans or remain on your free lifetime account.
Keep in mind that all monthly subscription prices go down with the longer you sign up for service. These prices are based on the single month rate. Each plan listed below contains the former, less expensive plan’s features.
Basic Subscription —
$8/Month $2.80/month (using this link)
- Compete for access to all video lessons and Swedish podcasts
- New content added each week
- Downloadable lesson transcripts
Premium Subscription —
$25/Month $7/month (using this link)
- 2,000 core words and phrases
- Voice-recording tools and flashcards
- Swedish audio dictionary
PremiumPLUS Subscription —
$47/Month $16/month (using this link)
- Private access to an instructor
- Personalize learning plan
- Continuing feedback and assessment
SwedishPod101 Review: Summary
SwedishPod101 could be a valuable resource for beginning speakers, but advanced speakers may find the information lacking. With so few Swedish-teaching programs out there, we can say that SwedishPod101 is one of the more comprehensive ones. The price point is good, especially since you often find discount codes.