Why I chose to learn Swedish?

Swedish is a language that is being spoken roughly by 10 million of population, majority locates in Sweden. There are Swedish speaking Finns as well in some parts of Finland.

Here comes a little of the backstory, the reasons why I decided to learn Swedish. About 3 years ago, a year before graduating from medical school. Normal as it seemed to be, talking about our unseen-able future was a common topic among all the students. I studied in an international medical program, majority of classmates came from different parts of the world. Some decided to go home, some decided to stay. People in my group were especially diverse, most people had no clue what to do after graduating. Planning as early as possible is definitely a great help to the future.

People then talked about going to Germany, the most popular destination, knowing the need of doctors there and the quality of life- work balance. Most importantly, Germany is known as a big country. In terms of economy and job opportunity, undoubtedly it is the dream land among all.

To manage the language is the hardest task. Graduating from medical school within EU allows people to work in EU countries without doing extra medical exam. Doing medical recognition exams, which is probably the last thing people want to do after thousands of exams in medical school. At least that’s the case for Sweden. The prerequisite to work in Sweden, is to obtain Swedish language at C1 level.

The Swedish law- regarding working as a foreign doctor has changed over the past few years. Just a few years before my graduation, the language bar has raised to C1. Years before that, people could apply the medical license without knowing the language. Some rural places in the north even helps foreign doctors with language learning, for free! Raising the language bar has ensured the doctors ability to communicate with patients.

Comparing to German, I found Swedish a lot easier. Despite the difficult grammar, Swedish grammar seems to be more understandable. I have had some base of Swedish when I learned it younger. Thinking to manage a higher level of Swedish language would be easier than learning a whole new language by scratch.

When targeting a language within a certain time frame, it is important to know what your goal is. Learning a language can be a life long process, but we don’t have that much time, nor that much money. Efficiency is the key.

They say learning a language is art, but I somehow take it more as a mathematical process.

Choosing a language to learn, it is helpful to set up few goals and know what you are targeting at. There are few tips with 5w:

  • Why do you want to learn the language?( Social, Interests, Work related)
  • Whats your goal with your targeting language? ( A1,A2,B1,B2,C1,C2?)
  • Where do I look for the source? ( Online, Tutor, books?)
  • How do I want to learn the language/ How much money I want to invest for this? ( Casual, moderate, intensive)
  • When do I start, When do I plan to finish? ( A certain time frame given)

Listing out simple 5W questions helps you clear up your mind with efficient language learning process.

I decided to stick with Swedish because I didn’t want to learn another language by scratch. English is my second language, It did take me a few years to even get it right. The hardest part of starting a foreign language is always the knowing — I, YOU, HE, SHE, IT. Those words are repetitive but very common to forget and to stuck with it for awhile. Talking about efficiency, I decided that it was the best for me to start out as A2.




Not your stereotypical physician. Currently a barista wannabe / casual article writer.

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H. L

H. L

Not your stereotypical physician. Currently a barista wannabe / casual article writer.

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