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Swedish belongs to the East Scandinavian group of languages, subdivided from the North Germanic branch of the Germanic languages, a descendant of Old Norse. Swedish is mutually intelligible with Danish (also a member of the East Scandinavian language group) and Norwegian (which belongs to the western Scandinavian language group). Approximately nine million people speak Swedish as their mother tongue or second official language, they reside in Sweden for the most part but also in Norway, Denmark, Finland and Estonia. Sweden and Finland are the two countries where Swedish is the official language, as well as the small region in Estonia - Noarootsi. The evolution of Swedish language can be divided in three periods : Old Swedish, New Swedish and Modern Swedish. It is stated that the language that was spoken on the Swedish territory in Medieval Ages refers to the first of three periods : Old Swedish. The most relevant sample of this language was found in a law code, Västgötalagen, written around 1250. The first document written in New Swedish that dates back to 16th century considers to be Gustav Vasa's Bible. - Since then Swedish language has gone through various changes and, under the influence of writers and intellectuals, as well as due to the industrial development and internationalization, it has developed into becoming Modern Swedish, the language spoken by the Swedes today. Nowadays "Rikssvenska" or Standard Swedish has becom the official language of Sweden. The Swedish alphabet consists of 29 letters, 26 of which are of Latin origin and three specific letters : , , . Swedish vocabulary belongs predominantly to German origins. German, English and French borrowings are common in Swedish and became a solid part of the modern language. Both Swedish syntax and morphology resemble the ones of the other Germanic languages. Swedish verbs fall into five conjugations; the nouns are divided into five declensions and are inflected according to number, case and definiteness; the adjectives agree with the nouns and pronouns; the number words are cardinals and ordinals etc. If you can speak English or Germans as well as of the Scandinavian languages Swedish may seem easy and obvious to grasp.


Swedish is a working language of the Nordic Council and one of the official languages of the European Union. Considered one of the countries with the highest living standard, Sweden is famous for its worldwide appreciated industry represented by companies like Volvo, IKEA, Tetra Pak etc.

Ioana Mihailas is a linguist for Lingo24 document translation companies, a top provider of technical translation services in London.

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Learn Swedish. Here’s How.