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Sweden Travel Guide
Languages of Sweden

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The primary language of Sweden is Swedish, a North Germanic language, related and very similar to Danish and Norwegian, but differing in pronunciation and orthography. Norwegians have little difficulty understanding Swedish, and Danes can also understand it, with slightly more difficulty than the Norwegians. Although Swedish is the dominant language, it is not an official language. Sweden Finns are Sweden's largest linguistic minority, comprising about 3 percent of Sweden's population and Finnish is recognised as a minority language. Four other minority languages are also recognised. The issue of whether Swedish should be declared the official language has been raised and the parliament voted on the matter in 2005 but the proposal narrowly failed.

In varying degrees, depending largely on frequency of interaction with English, a majority of Swedes, especially those born after World War II, understand and speak English thanks to trade links, the popularity of overseas travel, a strong Anglo-American influence and the tradition of subtitling rather than dubbing foreign television shows and films. English became a compulsory subject for secondary school students studying natural sciences as early as 1849, and has been a compulsory subject for all Swedish students since the late 1940s. Depending on the local school authorities, English is currently a compulsory subject between first grade and ninth grade, with all students continuing in secondary school studying English for at least another year. Most students also study one and sometimes two additional languages. These include German, French and Spanish. Some Danish and Norwegian is at times also taught as part of the Swedish course for native speakers. Due to immigration, Syriac is spoken by more than 100,000 inhabitants.

Source: Wikipedia Encyclopedia

 



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