My Little Swedish Library

Little Library

History and Culture

A Concise History of Sweden

Neil Kent, English

Neil Kent’s book sweeps through Sweden’s history from the Stone Age to the present day. Early coverage includes Viking hegemony, the Scandinavian Union, the Reformation and Sweden’s political zenith as Europe’s greatest superpower in the seventeenth century, while later chapters explore the Swedish Enlightenment, royal absolutism, the commitment to military neutrality and Pan-Scandinavianism. The author brings his account up to date by focusing on more recent developments: the rise of Social Democracy, the establishment of the welfare state, the country’s acceptance of membership in the European Union and its progressive ecological programme. The book successfully combines the politics, economics and social and cultural mores of one of the world’s most successfully functioning and humane societies. This is an informative and entertaining account for students and general readers. (Cambridge)


This is a list of the resources I use or plan to use to teach myself Swedish. This isn’t meant to tell you what to do or what to use. Moreover, not all these things will fit your learning style. I just want to share what has been helpful for me because they might be helpful for you, too.  Love them, hate them, have others to recommend? Leave a comment.

Getting Started

Pimsleur Swedish

When I start learning a new language, one of the first things I do is complete its basic Pimsleur course. The Pimsleur program is great for pronunciation, picking up the rhythm and rate of speech, getting comfortable speaking and having basic conversations, and learning basic grammar. Lessons are about 30 minutes long, making them ideal for daily commutes. Pimsleur lessons are very helpful, but also very expensive. Borrow a copy from NYPL.

30 lessons with reading instruction as MP3 downloads (16 hrs). Learn greetings, directions, numbers, shopping, telling time, meals, making plans + more. Teaches standard Swedish known as “Rikssvenska.” The Pimsleur® Method is the foundation upon which every Pimsleur course is built. It’s a scientifically proven set of principles designed to take a learner directly to the heart of the language, eliminating noise, confusion, and information overload. People all over the world are using Pimsleur programs to start speaking and understanding new languages quickly and easily. If you haven’t experienced it for yourself, you may find it hard to believe that something so simple could work so well. The Pimsleur Method is made up of a few key principles:graduated intervall recall, principle of anticipation, core vocabulary, and organic learning. (Pimsleur)

8000+ Most Common Swedish Words flashcards 

Memrise, English

Swedish flashcards

Memrise, English

Grammar Reference

Dover Essential Swedish Grammar

Julian Granberry, English

Designed for those with limited learning time, this book is not a condensed outline of all aspects of Swedish grammar. Rather, it focuses on simple everyday communication, helping students use previously learned phrases and vocabulary more effectively and with great versatility.
After introductory discussions of vocabulary building, word order and the formation of negative sentences and questions, the author offers concise, easy-to-follow coverage of the parts of speech. Numerous examples are included to demonstrate each rule of grammatical usage with the emphasis throughout on simple constructions rather than complicated ones. A selection of useful expressions and a glossary of grammatical terms round out this excellent, inexpensive guide, perfect for self-study or as an adjunct to a language course.
Whether you are just beginning the study of Swedish or wish to review the fundamentals, Essential Swedish Grammar enables you to learn in a systematic way, at your own rate, guided by your own requirements and interests. (Dover)


Teach Yourself Complete Swedish

Vera Croghan & Ivo Holmqvist, English
I would NOT recommend using this book as a primary textbook unless you want to learn Sassy Swedish. Some of the vocabulary it uses is stuffy, unusual, or antiquated, and it introduces finer points of grammar early on, which can be overwhelming for beginners. What I like about this book is that it addresses grammatical mistakes common to English speakers learning Swedish. This book is only on my bookshelf because Lars Magnus got it for me on one of our first dates as I casually considered learning Swedish, so I’m somewhat attached to it.

Speak, read and write Swedish confidently and fluently with this best-selling course from Teach Yourself-the No. 1 brand in language learning. Learn everyday, useful Swedish through real-life situations that make the building blocks of the language easy and memorable. Learning is fast and fun with an ultra-clear page design and complete audio support (available separately – MP3 compatible). (Teach Yourself)

Rivstart Series

Paula Levy Scherrer & Karl Lindemalm, Swedish
This series is commonly used to teach Swedish to adult learners in a classroom setting. Instructions are in Swedish, and a basic knowledge of Swedish is assumed. Great for structuring your learning, building vocabulary, learning grammar progressively, and practicing everyday interactions. Some exercises are boring, so I skip them. The series includes textbooks + CDs, workbooks, an app, and supplementary materials. I bought paperbacks from Akademibokhandeln in Stockholm, but they are (sometimes) locally available from Strand, NYU, Columbia and from online retailers like AbeBooks and Amazon.

Med reviderade Rivstarts tydliga struktur och varierade övningar lär sig dina elever svenska snabbare. Rivstart är ett enspråkigt nybörjar- och fortsättningsmaterial i svenska som främmande språk och vänder sig till språkinlärare i och utanför Sverige. Med såväl humor som allvar tränas alla färdigheter utan överdriven upprepning och onödigt tragglande för att passa den studievana eleven. Nu lanseras även Rivstart App!
Nya reviderade Rivstart har ett uppdaterat innehåll och en tydligare struktur. Rivstarts teman uppmuntrar och inspirerar till kommunikation. Eleverna lockas att bli aktiva språkinlärare i och utanför klassrummet och får själva upptäcka språkliga mönster och formulera grammatiska regler. Rivstart består av textbok, övningsbok samt lärarhandledning. Extramaterial som t.ex. webbövningar, och ordlistor finns att tillgå på Teman i kapitlen och den grammatiska progressionen bygger på nivåbeskrivningarna i Europarådets nivåskala och Rivstart innehåller nivåerna A1–C1. Rivstart B2+/C1 utkommer HT 2016
Rivstart tar upp många varierade texttyper och övningar. Uttalsträning vävs nu in i kapitlen och Rivstart kommer ge dina elever goda förutsättningar för en fungerande vardagskommunikation. Läromedlet passar även bra för studier på egen hand. Pedagogiken och arbetet med textbok och övningsbok är lätt att förstå och följa med i. Längst bak i böckerna finns vidare ett utförligt avsnitt om uttal där eleven kan lyssna och öva själv. Här hittar du också en minigrammatik. Allt för att underlätta det självständiga arbetet med språket! (Natur & Kultur)

Människans Texter Språket

Bengt Sjöstedt & Tomas Jeppsson, Swedish
This book is marketed towards gymnasium students (roughly ages 16-18) and adult learners content-wise, but its simple language and vocabulary make it accessible even to advanced-elementary and lower-intermediate students. I would recommend this book to those interested in language, linguistics, and writing.

Utmana eleverna och låt dem fördjupa sina kunskaper med hjälp av Människans texter. Ett heltäckande läromedel, för SVE 1, 2 och 3, som ger din undervisning tyngd och flexibilitet samtidigt som det ger eleverna gedigna kunskaper.
I Språket utvecklar eleverna sitt skrivande, med en progression från berättande texter till vetenskapliga texter. De tränar handfast sina förmågor att producera olika texttyper, som förberedelse för högre studier. I fylliga kapitel om språkriktighet, språksociologi, språkhistoria och textanalys arbetar eleverna vidare med analys, reflektion och egen produktion med hjälp av tydliga analysmodeller och exempel.
Med hjälp av den digitala delen får eleven en stor flexibilitet i sin inlärning. Alla texter är inlästa med autentiskt tal och textföljning, så att eleven kan läsa och lyssna på samma gång. Det finns också faktafördjupningar, kapitelsammanfattningar, interaktiva uppgifter kopplade till kunskapskraven och mycket mer, som eleven kan använda för att förstärka och fördjupa sina kunskaper. Den digitala delen fungerar på dator, surfplatta och mobiltelefon. (Studentlitteratur)


Hipocrene Standard Dictionary: Swedish

Vincent Petti & Kerstin Petti, English/Swedish

This book is more comprehensive than ever before with 70,000 entries, includes 20,000 phrases and idioms, full explanations of inflected forms, plurals and conjugations, covers both British and American usages, and compact up-to-date; ideal for students and travelers. (Hippocrene Books)

Berlitz Swedish Phrase Book & CD


With its completely redesigned interior making the book even more accessible than before, the Berlitz Swedish Phrase Book is ideal for travellers of all ages who are looking for a reliable and up-to-date phrase book that contains all the phrases they really need when they are in Sweden. The new and improved content has a more visually appealing colour-coding system, enabling users to find what they want, when they want it, and in less time. The book also provides simplified phonetics to ensure that users pronounce the Swedish words and phrases correctly, and the updated CD is ideal for users who wish to practise their pronunciation in advance. Stunning images enhance the content and make this the most visually attractive Swedish phrase book on the market. (Berlitz)

Lexin Bildteman


Vissa begrepp kan bättre förklaras i bild än i ord t ex sådana som ska entydigt definieras. Nåra begrepp förstås lättare om de ses i ett helt sammanhang, framför allt ord och företeelse som tydligt hör ihop med varandra. Dessa ord har förts samman i betydelsefält. Även förståelsen av komplexa sammanhang kan uderlättas genom presentation termavis på planscher som benäms bildteman.
Illustreringen grundas på ca 1730 “bildord” som utgör ett urval ur Språklexion för invandrare, Lexin. Bildorden, som i huvudsak är substantiv, återges intill sin illustration med genusangivelse i form av bilduppslag om två sidor. Huvudområden är människan, livsförnödenheter, versamhet, kommunikation, vissa kulturyttringar, natur, lantbruk samt tidsindelning och mått, vikt och geometriska begrepp.
Häftet avslutas med alfabetiskt sökregister som anger var ordet är avbildat. (Institutet för språk och folkminnen, Språkrådet)

Verb Lists

Common Swedish Verbs

David Hensleigh, English

This book helps students quickly find the correct conjugation and meaning to more than 2,000 Swedish verbs. This book helps you understand the rules for the four regular verb groups and lists the irregular ones. It also includes many slang, regional and phrasal verbs. (Plugghäst Books)

201 Swedish Verbs

Richard Auletta & Leif Sjöberg, English

Full title: 201 Swedish Verbs Fully Conjugated in All the Tenses. Verbs are presented alphabetically, one verb to a page, and shown in all of their forms. (Barron’s Educational Series)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.