Stockholm chronicles part 5: The first step to learning Swedish

Today I did not much more other than job hunting and scouting companies in Stockholm. One thing I did besides that though was getting a clearer understanding of how to actually learn Swedish.

Now, many of you will say: “But everyone speaks Swedish in Stockholm, you only need English.” – That is right, but in a limited environment. There are 3 reasons why I want to try my very best to learn the language:

  1. If you only speak English you restrict yourself when it comes to getting a job and working in different career paths. For example: If you’re a student over here you won’t be able to score a job in retail or whatever on the side. Today I found a really, really interesting job but could not apply because I lack the language skills. If you come over here with a job already secured and you do not plan on switching companies, fair enough. Everyone else should think about giving it a try and learn the language.
  2. You will always be “the foreigner”. It’ll be a bit annoying for the Swedes if they always have to switch to English when you´re around. It´ll be difficult to be fully included with the locals if you don´t speak a bit of their language at least. I know how it can be from living in Germany. I have a friend who came from the Ukraine and had major problems with it until he spoke German.
  3. A matter of respect – If you move to another country try and learn at least the basics of the language there. You´re a guest in the country.

Luckily for me there is an institute that is called SFI, or “Swedish for Immigrants“. If you want to learn the language you will have to go there in person with a valid ID and you need to be a permanent resident of Sweden. As far as I understand it you will take a test and based on that you will be put in certain classes according to your level of English and Swedish. There is also a crash course of 15 – 20 hours a week, which I hope to be able to take. In addition to that I plan on using online programs the likes of Duolingo and the others to help me practice at home. And here comes the best part: Apparently it is completely free of charge! How awesome is that?! Go Sweden! 😀

I have to say I´m a bit afraid but at the same time I´m excited. For my understanding learning and speaking the language is the key to a lot of things if you want to play outside of the sandbox and enter the “real Sweden”. So, I´ll go there either tomorrow or on Monday and see how I get on and what they have to say.

Catch ya later,

Stefan


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