Swedish is classified as a North Germanic language and is a decedent of the Old Norse language. Old Norse was spoken during the Viking Era by Germanic people in Scandinavia. Modern Swedish is usually classified as having begun in the early 1500s with the translation and publication of a Swedish Bible by Gustav Vasa. Contemporary Swedish started in late 19th century and is the language which is spoken today.

Swedish is the official language of Sweden and is also classified as one of the official languages of the European Union. A small percentage of Finland, about 5%, speaks Swedish. Overall, there are about 300,000 people who speak Swedish living outside of Sweden and Finland. London reportedly has the largest concentration of Swedish speakers outside of Sweden and Finland.

The Swedish language uses the 26 letter basic Latin alphabet and also includes three additional letters. Nouns and verbs both have differentiated gender forms. Word order in Swedish is classified as V2, similar to most Germanic languages. V2 is defined as the finite verb coming in the second position of a clause where the first part is occupied by the clause topic - commonly referred to as the subject in English.

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