SPEAK LIKE A SWEDE shortlisted at the 2020 Digital Education Awards!
"Absolutely love this. Anneli Beronius Haake's and Stefan Holmström's enthusiasm is infectious! Brilliant use of carefully thought out tasks for improving pronunciation techniques. One of the failings of many language apps is the lack of instruction on how to reproduce the sounds heard. This program deals with this wonderfully! I would love to see this expanded to cover other nordic countries. It would help us all! Well done team."
Skulle du vilja låta mer svensk? / Would you like to sound more Swedish?
Har du aldrig lyckats uttala sjuksköterska, eller fattat vad skillnaden är mellan Å, Ä och Ö? / Never got the hang of how to say sjuksköterska, or what the difference is between Å, Ä and Ö?
Eller när G eller K uttalas hårt eller mjukt? / Or when G or K is pronounced hard or soft?
Känner du dig osäker på hur man betonar ord när man uttalar dem? / Feel unsure of where to stress a word when you pronounce it?
If this is you, then this course is definitely for you!
Speak Like a Swede is a comprehensive, self-paced online course, created by Swedish teacher Anneli Beronius Haake and opera singer/voice trainer Stefan Holmström. In this course, we'll guide you deep into the mysteries of Swedish pronunciation. Find out about how to use your tongue, lips and larynx when you speak Swedish. Explore exercises to strengthen muscles and use your vocal tract in new ways, that will help you reduce your accent. Learn about stress and pitch, and also which consonants aren't pronounced.
Who this course is for
This course is suitable for anyone who's learning Swedish, but feels unsure of pronunciation. Maybe you're a beginner who feels confused about Å, Ä, Ö for example, or maybe you're a more advanced speaker who'd like to reduce your accent and just sound more Swedish! Perhaps you always get stuck or stumble on certain words/letter combinations, or maybe you've received feedback that the way you say something isn't right.
Whatever the reason, this course will help you to work your pronunciation muscles, show you many accent reduction hacks, and build your confidence when you speak Swedish!
Why this course is important
Swedish pronunciation is by far the area of the Swedish language that learners feel is most difficult. This is because in your own mother tongue, you're used to using your vocal tract in certain ways. It feels natural. This is called your 'Attractor State'. But when you learn a different language, you can find that the normal way of speaking doesn't work. It doesn't sound right. And that's because you may have to work against your own, natural 'Attractor State'.
There are very few, if any, Swedish pronunciation courses available. Usually, you learn a bit of pronunciation at the same time as learning grammar and vocabulary, but standard courses rarely give you enough time or tools to develop your Swedish pronunciation muscles.
That's why we've created this course. Our unique collaboration (Swedish teacher + opera singer/vocal trainer) means you get a real insight into how Swedish pronunciation actually works, so you can improve yours and start to Speak Like a Swede!
We're not saying it's bad to have an accent. In fact, we love accents and think they make you who you are! However, sometimes accents can make it harder for native speakers to understand what you're saying. And it's easy to let your own, natural 'Attractor State' dictate how you say Swedish words. By identifying exactly what the tongue, the lips and the vocal tract do, you can reduce your accent so you sound more Swedish and so that people will understand you better.
How and what you will learn in this course
In this course, you'll get an insight into what you can do with your tongue, your lips and your larynx, and how you can strengthen any muscles that you're not used to working with. This will give you a solid foundation for when we go through all the vowel and consonant sounds. We'll go through various spellings of certain sounds, so you know how to pronounce all the letter combinations. We'll look at stress patterns in words and in sentences. And you'll get exercises that you can practice on your own. You'll also get downloadable cheat sheets so you can remind yourself of the different sounds and spellings.
How this course is different to other courses
In this course, Stefan (an opera singer and an Estill Master Trainer) uses the Estill Voice Training (EVT) method as a way to describe how the different parts of in your vocal tract work when you speak Swedish. It's also based on Anneli's 15 years of experience in teaching Swedish to adults all around the world. This unique collaboration between a Swedish teacher and an opera singer will give you a new perspective on Swedish pronunciation, that you won't find in any other Swedish courses. And as a graduate of this course, you will also be given an opportunity to take part in live accent reduction group coaching session with us in the future. This is something we will only offer those who have taken this course and are familiar with the key concepts.
Who is the opera guy?
Stefan Holmström is a professional opera singer and singing teacher working with singers of all genres and levels using Estill Voice Training (EVT) as a baseline for safe and sustainable voice use. He offers online vocal training and workshops from his studio in Brighton, UK.
“As a singer, I’ve trained to speak and sing in many different languages; it’s part of the job. I’m really excited to use my experience together with my expertise in voice training to help people speak better Swedish. The confidence you get from good pronunciation is truly empowering.”
What you get
- 34 videos with detailed explanations of all the Swedish pronunciation techniques, including The Tongue Gym, The Lip Gym, The Larynx Gym, all the vowels (long and short) and consonant sounds, explanations of the different spellings of consonant sounds, specific Accent Reduction Hacks (including avoiding intrusive R, dropping consonants and softening D to an R), stress in words and sentences, extra tricky words with discussion and breakdown of pronunciation, tricky place names, and combined exercises and tongue twisters
- Specific exercises to strengthen your pronunciation muscles
- Downloadable PDF's showing you the anatomy of the tongue, lips, larynx and vocal tract, including an illustration showing you exactly where the consonant sounds are positioned inside the mouth
- Downloadable cheat sheets with different spellings of consonant sounds, hard and soft vowels, dropped consonants, syllable stress patterns and sentence stress patterns
3 month payment plan available
HERE'S WHAT YOUR PEERS SAY:
"It really opened my eyes to how our mouths/tongues etc work when speaking and having that understanding really helps me know what I should be looking for when I speak. Often times I have been told I'm saying it wrong but I don't quite understand why or how to do it better!"
"‘Speak like a Swede’ is an excellent course enabling the learner to sound like a real native Swedish person. It is very easy to think that learning a language is just learning vocabulary and grammar and putting it together. Along with Swedish, I am learning; German, French and Norwegian. I have already learned Spanish and know that however much I try, I still have an English accent.
I feel that when I have finally completed the course I will be able to create the sound of the language by learning how to use the anatomy of the mouth – tongue, lips etc to make the sounds that, as non -native Swedish speaker, I do not usually make. There are many sounds in foreign languages that are not the same as in one’s native language and it takes some practice to get it right or nearly perfect. I only wish this sort of course was available in all my languages I am learning. I have never come across a course like this before. This is a first for me and the course is fun, with Stefan and Anneli guiding you through the sounds of the letters and how to make them. It is also quite amusing for anyone listening to you while you do it!
I feel this is a very necessary type of course for feeling confident when speaking Swedish."
"This course points out the oral shapes, muscle movements, and tongue positions for sounds in Swedish, which builds a vivid imagination of correct sounds in my mind. This approach with imagination accelerates the self-correcting process significantly. I couldn't learn such in small group classes and always felt frustrated to reach understandable-level Swedish."
"I am a beginning student learning Swedish. The pronunciations for me were very difficult so I decided to purchase Speak Like a Swede. I really like it! The Tongue, Lip and Larynx gym videos brought my attention to how the sounds were made and the gym very much helped in learning how to use everything in my mouth to pronounce the different letters, letter combinations and words. Going through the vowel sounds and consonant sounds was very helpful along with the continued practice of The GYM series. All of the accent reduction hacks were also very useful."
"Despite having studied Swedish for seven years and despite having lived in Sweden part-time, I have always struggled with Swedish pronunciation. The few pronunciation courses that I found were only for an afternoon or a weekend, which did not provide enough ongoing practice to really make a difference. Speak Like a Swede was exactly what I needed. The course provides clear explanations of how one creates Swedish sounds, and it also provides opportunities to practice by repeating after the teachers. I went through the whole course twice, and I still watch the individual videos in order to practice. There’s even a half-hour workout video that provides as a thorough refresher. I have a lot more confidence now when I speak, and people definitely understand me better. This course fills a crucial gap for anyone dedicated to learning Swedish."
"I started off with Duolingo and then Rosetta Stone which took me only so far. At the present time I am doing a certificated course on Swedish at Glasgow University via zoom.
Speak like a Swede is the only course which is concentrating on helping me speak Swedish which is the area I am finding really difficult especially when you are learning the language when you do not live in Sweden to practise in real life situations."
"Speak Like a Swede is a fabulous online course. I have been studying Swedish for many years in many ways, but this is the first course that has taught me how my pronunciation is directly related to anatomy in a way that I can remember it and then practice it. The use of models and videos of the larynx and vocal tract make it easy to visualize what is going on inside the mouth and throat when speaking. The clear explanations about the Swedish vowel groups help describe the relationships of the vowels to one another and also give a good idea of the full vowel space that we are manipulating when we speak, again in a way that makes it easy to put the exercises into practice when speaking. Two other aspects of pronunciation covered in this course that were a total game changer were the focus on consonants and vowel length. I was always a bit baffled when Swedes would seemingly not understand me only to have them correct me in a way that sounded to me just like what I had said. With this course I have learned what I was doing that was causing the problems in being understood and have learned how to correct them. In short, this course has helped my confidence in Swedish pronunciation which makes it easier to seek out opportunities to speak which is really the only way to truly improve."
"I really enjoy the Speak Like a Swede course. For me it has helped to break down the mechanics of the sounds with the focus on lips, tongue, larynx. I'd heard before that with Swedish the lip movement is important, but didn't quite understand it or know how to implement it in my own way before this course. The videos are great because I can see, hear, practice and repeat! I also appreciate that the course is divided into manageable units and builds up over time."
"I am currently (as in, as of this moment) celebrating my 10 year anniversary with my (Swedish) wife, whom I met in graduate school in the States in 2004. Since that time, I have been an on/off-again student of the Swedish language. I have tried many study paradigms, including self-study via books, face-to-face lessons with Swedes in my area (there aren't many!), and several online resources. Despite the resources available, I have consistently found that, although Swedish grammar is very straightforward and easy to learn as a student whose mother tongue is English, achieving proper pronunciation is maddeningly difficult. Moreover, Swedes are endearingly (and frustratingly) good students of the English language. In my experience, anything short of a bona fide Swedish accent--accurate to the locale that one is speaking in!!!--will land one back in English-speaking territory. The net result is precious little time to speak Swedish with actual Swedes.
Let us examine the options available for the aspiring Swedish student prior to the introduction of your "Speak Like a Swede" course, shall we?
- Struggle to learn the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). This appeals to me--a PhD engineer--but is difficult to wield and, quite frankly, time-consuming to learn in its own right. The only IPA that students should be dealing with is a cold beer after an intense study session!
- Typical lackluster book descriptions of how to pronounce Swedish words based off of those in the English language. This is fine for a start, but fails to communicate nuance and, frankly, is subject to misinterpretation.
- Face-to-face lessons with a Swede. This is a good, albeit expensive, option. If the session is not recorded, however, how can one practice going forward?
"Speak Like a Swede" is, to the author's knowledge, the first in-depth guide to Swedish pronunciation that circumvents all of these potential pitfalls. One does not need a PhD in phonetics, a massive collection of tomes, nor a garbled tape of an ancient Swedish lesson. Instead, this course cultivates a genuine interest in how we, as humans, use the anatomy of our vocal tract to generate sound. It then goes on to connect this newfound anatomical knowledge to the generation of legit Swedish pronunciation.
Approximately 15 years of constant struggle have generated, for me, a decent facsimile of Swedish pronunciation. All I can say is that I wish I would have had access to this course a decade and a half ago! My confidence in speaking Swedish gone up dramatically (my wife is SHOCKED!!!). The brainpower that was formally used in worrying about being understood has now been freed up to start mastering prosody, as well as my reading and writing abilities. The difference is palpable.
THANK YOU for creating this tool for myself and the others that are doggedly pursuing the lofty goal of learning to speak Swedish!
Swedish Teacher Dr Anneli Beronius Haake and opera singer/voice trainer Stefan Holmström have been working together since 2020, helping Swedish learners worldwide to reduce their accent and improve Swedish pronunciation.