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Spoken by about 9 million people, Swedish is the most important Nordic (Scandinavian) language.

Standard modern Swedish flourished with Protestant Reformation, when Latin was superseded as a relic of Catholic rule.

Its literature being influenced first by French Neoclassicism during the 18th c. and later by German Romanticism, it reached its peak with realist August Strindberg in the late 19th c.

Standard Swedish nouns and verbs have almost no endings, and there are two genders (neuter, common). Swedish can be as concise as English but at the same time very precise, thanks to its extensive use of compound words. It is pronounced quite differently than it is spelt, and it has a tone accent. The Swedish Academy strives to keep the language pure, although the Swedish vocabulary contains many loanwords, especially from German.
    Updated: 2017 January 1
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