Review of: Swedishpod101
Use: Audio lessons for learning Swedish setup as podcasts. The site also has bonus content and provides several study tools.
Engaging podcasts help you learn words in context. But you'll have to practice speaking on your own
Free content and monthly plans at $4 to $47 per month
Each podcast is around 15 minutes long.
Ease of Use
Digital immersion without the tedious work
Podcasts are sorted by level of difficulty and subject.
- Over 1,200 podcast lessons
- Free content and affordable price
- Lessons are fun and interesting
- Built in flashcard system
I Don't Like
- No speaking required
- Limited community features
Summary: For a monthly fee Swedishpod101 provides access to Audio lessons for learning Swedish.
Swedishpod101 proves to be a great resource for learning the Swedish language. While advanced learners may find it useful, beginners and intermediate Swedish speakers will get the most out of this product.
You can use the podcasts and in-site features to learn vocabulary and grammar pretty effectively. However it’s really in your listening skills and pronunciation that Swedishpod101 can help you the most.
The site’s content is also available on mobile (via app), so you can practice on the move. With their limited free content and 7 day trial (no credit card required), Swedishpod101 makes it easy to test out their product before you make a purchase.
Subscription plans starting at $4 per month (Free plan available too)
Is Swedishpod101 right for you?
Swedishpod101 is an excellent tool for intermediate and beginner students of Swedish. The majority of the lessons are aimed at these levels, so more advanced students may not find the site as useful.
The site is best used to practice developing your “Swedish ear” by listening to native speakers, and for learning new words and grammar ideas in the context of a conversation. The podcasts are highly conversational and typically feature at least two native speakers.
Swedishpod101 is also one of the better tools out there for learning Swedish on mobile. All the content on the site is also available on their Iphone, Ipad, and Android apps. If you’re looking for a way to practice Swedish in the car, on the bus, or walking to work then look no further.
Though they do have some extra features and content, Swedishpod101 is mostly an audio podcast for learning Swedish.
Usually the episode last around 15 minutes (give or take), and deal with an explicit grammar rule, cultural topic, and or useful Swedish phrase. The lessons are always centered around a Swedish conversation between two or more speakers.
By and large Swedishpod101 keeps the lessons relevant to the real world. You can tell they put some thought into making the lessons useful and the conversations similar to ones you might actually have if you went to Sweden.
They do this by centering the conversations on various situations. Usually the scenario is someone talking to a friend or walking around town.
Conversations are natural and interesting
The hosts are pretty good at keeping your attention during each episode before and after the featured conversation they share stories, jokes, and interesting Swedish facts and it all helps keep you listening.
This feature is markedly different from a lot of other audio based language learning courses.
Tools and Resources
The folks behind Swedishpod101 also provide you with a selection of tools and resource you can use as you learn Swedish.
On the site you’ll find a handy word lists, grammar helps, and a Swedish dictionary. However the 3 tools that give the most value are the probably the flashcards, slow playback, and lesson transcriptions.
If you’re familiar with Anki, Memrise, or other Spaced Repetition programs, Swedishpod101’s flashcards work in much the same way, showing you the cards you’re likely to forget the most and the ones you remember the least.
A nice perk of SWP101’s flashcards is that you can make them by simply clicking on a word from any lesson. This saves a lot of time and lets you build up your deck fast.
You can take any single Swedish word from the dialogues and play it back slower or at regular speed. This will allow Swedish learners to double check their accent and Swedish spelling.
Having a full transcription of each lesson definitely comes in handy as well. Inevitably you will want to go back and confirm what you heard and see the correct spelling of a word. The lessons transcripts make that easy.
Swedishpod101 comes in a variety of 3 subscription levels: basic, premium, and premium plus. Not unlike other subscription sites, the more months of Swedishpod101 you buy upfront the cheaper the price is per month.
The cheapest level is the basic level. It can be anywhere from $4 per month for 24 months up to $8 a month for a single month. Basic will give you access the entirety of the podcast episodes.
Next in line is the premium level. It’s price ranges from $10 a month for 24 months up to $25 a month for a single month. With premium you get the podcast plus all the learning tools and resources.
Lastly we have the premium plus level. This is the most pricey of the three starting at $22.88 a month for $24 and costing as much as $47 a month for a single month.
At this level you’ll get everything from premium in addition to an assessment and instruction from an actual Swedish teacher.
Which level should I choose?
The basic is the most cost effective hands down. In truth you don’t NEED anything in addition to the podcast episodes themselves.
The premium subscription isn’t a bad choice if you want more bells and whistles. The only level you should watch out for is the premium plus. If you really want someone to help guide in learning Swedish get the basic level subscription and hire a tutor on a Italki.
Problems with using Swedishpod101
Speaking Swedish isn’t necessary
Someone learning Swedish could take the time to listen to every episode of Swedishpod101 and never actually open their mouth to speak any Swedish. This isn’t the sites fault.
They clearly bill themselves as an audio based course. All audio courses fall short of providing the feedback and experience that speaking a language with other people provides.
No way to connect with other learners
My only true gripe with the site is that it lacks any feature to connect you to your fellow Swedish learners. Many other language sites do, why not Swedishpod101?
Best way to use Swedishpod101
Study & review
Swedishpod101 works great for daily practice. Just listening to one episode a day and using the flashcard decks for review can been a huge boon to your Swedish. Pay close attention to the material you don’t know or have trouble with.
Listening & pronunciation
Get the full benefits of their audio podcast and use the transcripts and slow playback to practice Swedish pronunciation. Give careful attention to the may the individual words blend into one another when spoken together.
Learn Swedish anywhere
You can use the mobile to learn throughout the day whether you're walking down the street, riding the train, or waiting in line. It may not seem like much at first much using these moments to practice Swedish will help you maximize your time and quicken your learning.
Alternatives to Swedishpod101
From $6.95+ per month
15+ minutes a day
Babbel features lessons in a quiz based format. Lessons are separated by course categories which include things like difficulty level and specific aspects of grammar.
Babbel works well as a supplement for your daily Swedish learning, and it's good for learning the foundations of the language.
30 minutes a day
Pimsleur is probably the second most popular language course behind Rosetta Stone. Pimsleur is entirely audio based and is specifically designed to develop your conversational skills.
They use a unique and effective question/recall/respond technique to get you on your feet in your new foreign language. With Pimsleur You'll learn a limited but functional vocabulary and have a good sense of pronunciation.
Pimsleur is pricier than Swedisnpod101, but it is also more structured and it the only Swedish audio course that will develop your conversation skills.
$6+ per hour (varies between teachers)
30 minute or 1 hour lessons
An intro video from one of Italki's Swedish teachers.
Italki is an online market place that connects language learners with language teachers for one-on-one language classes via video or audio chat.
You can connect with language speakers from around the world and practice your speaking skills. Italki is one of the only sites out there that provides lessons with professional Swedish teachers.
*with a purchase of $20 or more. After your first purchased lesson a credit of $10 will be added to your account
Swedishpod101 is a reputable resource for learning Swedish. Its portability and its engaging podcast episodes make it a great companion to regular Swedish practice or a Swedish course.
More than anything else the site will help improve your accent and grammar, as well as your vocabulary.
With a free 1 week trial with no payment information required, it’s not a bad idea to try out Swedishpod101 and use the site for yourself.