Swedish Course Descriptions

The following courses are offered regularly as a part of our Swedish language program and Swedish minor. For all SWE catalog listings and current scheduling information please check the PS Mobile Course Catalog.

Core Swedish Language Courses

In level 1, you will acquire a practical command of both spoken and written beginner’s Swedish, as well as some knowledge of Swedish culture and society. We learn the basics of Swedish language structure and everyday words and phrases, as well as proper pronunciation. We practice all four language skills and after completing the course, you will be able to talk about yourself and your life, read and comprehend simple texts, write short texts and understand short conversations about familiar topics using present or past tense. Examples of topics we cover are greeting phrases, going shopping, interests and hobbies and how to talk about what you do in your spare time.
In level 2, you will continue to acquire basic skills in Swedish by expanding your vocabulary and learn more complex sentence structuring. We introduce the present perfect and the future tense to be able to better talk about our own experiences and other events and use short news articles, song lyrics and nursery rhymes/fairy tales to improve your comprehension. At the end of the semester, you will demonstrate your knowledge of basic grammatical structures and pronunciation by holding a short presentation on Norse Mythology. Examples of other things you will be able to do after completing the course are asking and giving directions, plan trips, write short texts and emails and describe people and things.
In level 3 we strive to use a more developed grammar and vocabulary so we can talk about things beyond everyday life. Communicative skills continue to be our focus. Some topics that are covered are Swedish food and going to a restaurant, professions and work life, social etiquette and computers and internet. We continue expanding our grammar (for example reflexive verbs and the usage of past tense vs present perfect) and vocabulary by adding more authentic materials. At this level we read and discuss our first Swedish novel together, an abbreviated version of a popular current Swedish novel.
In level 4, we talk about topics like school and education, renting an apartment, going to the doctor and media/news. We work on grammar and language to be able to work with increasingly more difficult materials, novels and texts, and analyze differences between formal and informal Swedish. We learn more about Swedish adjectives, how to use the definite form as well as comparisons, as well as the future tense of verbs. After this level, you will be able to take part in small talk, follow along with news reports and carry out phone conversations in Swedish.
At this level, we use mostly authentic materials as we get an in-depth knowledge of Swedish through the study of novels, current newspaper articles, literary excerpts, poems and movies. We move from finding and stating facts when using our Swedish into using persuasive language to be able to hold discussions about pets, social life, leisure time, habits and more. We introduce the conditional and past participles but only use grammar to improve our communicative skills.
In level 6, our materials represent a wide variety of style, formality and vocabulary to help you adapt your Swedish accordingly. We use the textbook to continue learning more grammar, for example s-verbs, the passive voice and transitive/intransitive verbs, but the focus is as always on communicative skills. Examples of topics we cover are social media, travel and tourism and working life and we work on real life skills, for example writing a job application and a resume. We also study proverbs, slang and swearwords – areas that require a significant knowledge of the language to be used appropriately.
SWE 0107 - Swedish 7
SWE 0108 - Swedish 8

Elective Courses for the Swedish Minor

Sweden – land of the Vikings, IKEA and midnight sun… But what is modern day Sweden really like? How did it change from a traditionally homogenous country into the multi-cultural society it is now? In this course, you will gain a deeper insight into how Sweden became the country it is today, what Swedish culture is and how it is changing. After a historical overview, we will look at areas like marriage and family, politics, religion, holidays and customs to try to grasp the hidden elements of Swedish culture that form society and the national identity. We will analyze characteristics usually associated with Sweden – fairness, self-sufficiency, egalitarianism and democracy, gender equality – and compare how these values differ from other cultures.
This course satisfies General Education requirement (F2) Global Awareness and Cultural Understanding--A Course in a Specific Geographic Region.
SWE 1909 - Special Topics in Swedish
The topic and content of this special topics course are variable.
This course is taught only in Sweden as a part of the summer study abroad program Pitt in Sweden.
SWE 0111 - Introduction to Swedish Language in Sweden 
This course is taught only in Sweden as a part of the summer study abroad program Pitt in Sweden.
SWE 0112 - Continuing Swedish Language in Sweden
This course is taught only in Sweden as a part of the summer study abroad program Pitt in Sweden.
Through this class, students will read literature about the impact language has on interactions between different cultures. There is discussion of the differences in communication within and between various communities.
While giving an overview of the types of languages present in each area of the world, this course explores the composition and trends within and between language families. The course incorporates study of language structure differences as well as sociolinguistic variations.
The Viking age, the period from 800 to 1050 AD Marks Scandinavia's transition from prehistoric to historic times. This course will reassess Viking activities as constructive as well as destructive. Raids, commerce and colonization are best illuminated by a blending of written and physical evidence. Through the sagas, secondary readings and an assessment of archaeological sources such topics as state formation, trade, technology, rise of cities, religion and the voyages to Greenland and America will be examined.
In this course we will explore the Baltic Sea region, and trace Northern Europe's history from the age of the Vikings to the post-Soviet re-union in 1991. We will study the history of this region and its diverse language communities: Scandinavians, Finns, Balts, Slavs and Germans. We will discuss how the Baltic Sea region was shaped by several European powers, in particular Denmark, Sweden, Poland-Lithuania, Russia, Prussia, and Germany. The course will cover the history of Northern Europe over the course of the last 1,000 years, including the Vikings, the Hanseatic League, the Reformation, the Thirty Years War, the Nordic Wars, the Enlightenment, Nordic Romanticism, the Russian Revolution, the two World Wars, the Cold War, and the renewal of the Baltic Sea region as a unified trading space after the collapse of the Soviet Union.