Even though you can get by with just English by living in Sweden, I think it really helps to make an effort and learn Swedish if you are going to live in Sweden.
Understanding what’s happening when you call and need to press a number
Sometimes you don’t get to speak to a person when you need to call a public service such as Vårdcentralen (medical care) and you’ll be offered the options, in Swedish, to see which service they can provide you.
Joining in on conversations with Swedes
If you’re at a networking event, you can join in on conversations that are already in Swedish. If you don’t speak Swedish it can be difficult to join in. Even though everyone around you can probably switch to English, it’s still nice to try and get an idea of what the conversation is about, before you join in.
People here appreciate it
You don’t need to speak fluent Swedish in a perfect accent to have people here appreciate the fact you’ve taken the time to learn Swedish. It’s common knowledge that people here are great at English and when you visit here as a tourist, you can easily get by and ask someone for directions or order from the menu in English. But you really get to know about someone’s culture by learning their language. It’s also interesting how your brain can start to wire itself differently as you speak another language. (for example, I find when I speak Swedish, I’m a lot more direct, but that’s probably because of my limited vocab in Swedish. I can’t express myself as freely as I can in English).
Reading letters and other printed documents
Google translate wont always be there for you. If you’re on your laptop or mobile, you can copy-paste text, to figure out what the Swedish text means. But if you receive a letter from the bank etc. then it can be a hassle having to type each word into your laptop/mobile to figure out what it means.
Keen to come up with some ideas on learning Swedish? Check out how I’ve been learning Swedish the past two years