Not many people know that Swedish is mostly mutually intelligible with Norwegian and Danish. What’s even more surprising is how similar this strangely sounding language is to English. The two languages share the same word order as well as a limited number of inflections. The history of the Swedish language dates to Old Norse, which was a North Germanic language that was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and inhabitants of their overseas settlements during about the 9th to 13th centuries.
Over the time, Old Norse had undergone several major changes, eventually evolving into Old Swedish, which was used around the 13th century up to the 16th century. Old Swedish has a slightly more complex case structure and several other features that are not present in Modern Swedish.
When Gustav Vasa, King of Sweden from 1523 until his death in 1560, assumed power, he ordered a Swedish translation of the Bible. This translation would form the basis for Modern Swedish, setting powerful precedent for orthographic standards.
Just like the Swedish society, the language has undergone a period of democratization. The writing has become less formal and new vocabulary items have been introduced to the language. Prolific Swedish authors used the Swedish language in new ways, experimenting with its form and style. Only with the arrival of the 20th century was the orthography of Swedish finally standardized. These days, the Swedish language is regulated by the Swedish Language Council, which is the primary regulatory body for the advancement and cultivation of the Swedish language.
For speakers of Germanic languages, Swedish is relatively easy to pick up. The language may sound very foreign at first, but most learners usually get used to how it sounds after just a few weeks devoted to its study. The biggest hurdle to overcome are extra vowels not present in English and other Germanic languages.
Once one learns Swedish, it’s very easy to master other Scandinavian languages. People born in Sweden, Norway, or Denmark often migrate to neighboring countries for work, relying on their native language for communication. As such, no one will be surprised to hear a Swede use words from Danish when speaking with someone from Norway.
All Northern European countries are favored by expats because they offer excellent healthcare and education as well as high salaries, even as far as the Western Europe is concerned.