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 April, 2021
- SwedishPod101 Review: Overview
- What is SwedishPod101?
- What We Liked About SwedishPod101
- What We Didn’t Like About SwedishPod101
- Learning Method
- SwedishPod101 Features
- What are the Lessons Like?
- Who Should Try SwedishPod101?
- Who Should NOT Try SwedishPod101?
- SwedishPod101 Alternatives
- What do Learners Say?
- Cost of SwedishPod101
- SwedishPod101 Review: Summary
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:
What is SwedishPod101?
SwedishPod101 is a Spanish language course offered by Innovative Languages’, which has made a name for itself for its highly conversational and situational language lessons. By signing up, you get a 7 day free trial and can access the app via desktop, Android and iOS.
The method has proven effective enough for the platform to host more uncommonly learnt languages, including Swedish. Combined with a word bank, flash cards and quizzes, the course establishes a solid base to learn Swedish. You can download these lessons for offline study.
But, Swedish is not often everybody’s first choice when picking a language, and consequently you won’t find too many resources devoted to it beyond the intermediate content. Advanced speakers will find more use in picking the premium plus plan, which assigns every student a teacher for a thorough 1-on-1 learning experience.
SwedishPod101’s content, of which there is a hefty amount, are all completely free. Paid members, however, will gain from features that can speed up and smoothen the learning experience. One of these is the aforementioned 1-on-1 experience. Two other useful features are assignments and being awarded access to CEFR certification when you hit certain milestones.
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.
Pro #4: You'll Gain Practical Communication Skills Quickly
With the focus so heavily being on being able to communicate in real life situations, it won’t be long before you can speak on the phone, order some food or find your way around a city. You have plenty of lessons to pick and mix from, and it’s so digestible that you shouldn’t have a problem getting started.
The course is really suitable if you’re planning to visit Sweden as a tourist — and remember, the free tier gives you access to all of the content.
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.
Most lessons are themed around everyday topics and contexts, in keeping with Innovative Languages’ immersive methodology. The screenshot below gives you a good idea of what you’ll be learning in the first few months of your study.
The lessons “Essential Swedish for Emergencies” and “Survival Phrases” will give you a good idea of the kind of communication you’ll be learning. These are a part of the absolute beginner level, which is followed by the beginner, intermediate, upper intermediate and advanced lesson. A bonus course is also present, though it largely consists of general advice on language learning.
Later difficulty levels take on a more academic nature, but SwedishPod101 largely forgoes grammar and academic rigor for a more real-world approach.
That means you’ll be naturally building a vocabulary and a set of useful phrases in your head as you progress through the lessons. Prior learnings will be added to and modified, much like if you were thrown in the deep end and asked to live in Stockholm for a while. You’d just slowly pick up the language by virtue of being immersed in it.
This is not to say it’s difficult – quite the contrary, it feels fluid and natural!
One last specific feature worth mentioning is the vocabulary lists and flashcards. As you find yourself at that stage where you can independently study material, these two features really start showing their worth. They do a good job of adding to your understanding, which you can in turn feed into Swedish media and culture.
It may not be everyone’s cup of tea — but we suspect that most learners will find themselves progressing fast with the immersion approach. The one downside is that you won’t be entirely sure of your speaking capabilities, but having an assigned teacher addresses that problem.
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.
What are the Lessons Like?
Lessons are easy to navigate, with each set having a clearly defined purpose and capable of standing alone, for the most part. A typical learning experience will see you paying attention to the audio/video, checking the vocabulary section for key words and example sentences, followed by a quiz. It’s straightforward and for the early stages of language does a fantastic job of imparting organic knowledge.
Most lessons will range in the timeframe of 5-15 minutes, which really lends to it being learnt at your own pace. This means you can pick a lesson or two everyday and still be surprisingly competent a month or two down the line.
For Swedish, the lessons are a little more sparse, as compared to, let’s say, the SpanishPod101 course. But courses are constantly being updated and if other languages are anything to go by, the Swedish course will also see more improvements.
So, in short, if you’re a serious learner and want to go all the way, then your best will be to use SwedishPod101 as supplementary material. You could also buy the premium plus plan. Casual learners will find plenty to be happy about with — and you can always test the course out with the 7 day free trial!
Who Should Try SwedishPod101?
Those who have decided they want to learn to speak Swedish will enjoy and benefit from using SwedishPod101 if they:
Who Should NOT Try SwedishPod101?
On the other hand, those who might not reap the full benefits of SwedishPod101 include those who:
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.
What do Learners Say?
There are a few reviews available for SwedishPod101.
Generally, there has been a lot of praise for Innovative Languages’ method, particularly for its use of native speakers and focus on real-world situations. This value seems to taper off after a certain point, however, as LanguagePod users often find themselves turning to other sources to make up for deficits in grammar and writing.
On the whole, though, most people are pleased with how easy it is to get started with SwedishPod101 and its immersion-first approach.
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.
Michael has been an avid language learner and traveler for many years. His goal with LanguageTsar is to discover the most fun and effective ways to learn a language. He is currently learning Japanese, French and Indonesian.