Norwegian, Swedish and Danish all have their roots in Old Norse and a speaker of one has a default capability to at least understand the other two languages. But the Scandinavians’ language ability doesn’t stop there. Virtually all are fluent in English too.
The languages spoken in Scandinavia are called North Germanic languages and include Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Icelandic, and Faroese. They are subdivided into East- (Danish, Swedish) and West-Scandinavian (Norwegian, Icelandic) languages.
As a tourist, you can experience almost everything Scandinavia has to offer if you speak English fluently. If you want to live here, however, I very strongly recommend learning at least the basics of the local language. It is expected and people will think less of you if you don’t.
Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Iceland have English proficiency rates in the 85-90% range. Finland is a little behind at around 70% proficiency, but this is still higher than most other countries in the world where English is not the first language.
“Modern English is a direct descendant of the language of Scandinavians who settled in the British Isles in the course of many centuries, before the French-speaking Normans conquered the country in 1066,” says Faarlund. … The descendants of the Vikings gained control of the eastern and northern parts of the country.
Why do so many Norwegians speak English?
The reason why many Norwegian seem to speak English well, at least during casual talk, has to do with several factors. You find few grammatical structures in the English language that you cannot find in Norwegian, and Norwegian has more or less the same syntax. Many English words are clearly related to Norwegian words.
Is English widely spoken in Sweden?
English might be one of the most commonly spoken languages in the world, but don’t expect to hear Swedes speaking English to each other. Although more than 80 percent of people in Sweden do speak English, you might still come across people who don’t, so it’s best to learn some basic Swedish phrases for common niceties.
Do they speak English in Sweden?
English might not be the official language in Sweden, but almost everyone in Sweden excels at speaking it. In 2017 Sweden ranked 2nd out of 80 countries in the EF English Proficiency Index ↗️ (EF EPI), which measures the language proficiency of non-native speaking countries.
Is English taught in Sweden?
A new National Curriculum was introduced in Sweden in 1995. The curriculum stipulates that “English as a first foreign language is taught from grade 1, 2 or 3 and in some schools from grade 4.” Each school decides when to start and how to allocate the time to English with the grades 1-9 students.
English in Sweden
We start with Sweden, which is possibly the most proficient of all the Scandinavian countries in terms of English fluency. It showed up as the top country in the world in a 2018 study by Education First that ranked countries by English skills.
Do Norwegian children speak English?
People do speak English in Norway as a second language, with approximately 90% of the population being completely fluent. Although Norwegian is the primary, most widely spoken language in Norway, students learn English from an early age, so many Norwegians are comfortable communicating in English.
How common is English in Norway?
English is commonly spoken in Norway as a second language with 90% of Norwegians speaking it. This would mean that 4,795,200 Norwegians speak English out of 5.328 million. Like with most Scandinavian countries, English has very high presence in Norway.
Do Danes speak English?
Denmark has one official language: Danish. However, there are several minority languages spoken throughout the territory, if you include The Faeroe Islands and Greenland. Danes are taught English from a very young age and 86% of all Danes speak English as a second language.