As a multinational company, we hire talent from around the world. Our diverse pool of talent consists of over 25 nationalities, so we’ve chosen English as our official working language.  However, that doesn’t mean that members of Team Leo aren’t interested in learning their office’s local language. At our Stockholm office, we offer Swedish lessons after work for those who want to learn.

In part one of our Learning at Leo series, we speak with Joey, Raisa, and Ivan who are all taking our Swedish classes this fall. For Raisa and Joey, their formal Swedish education began with when lessons started up two weeks ago. Ivan has been studying Swedish on and off since he moved to Sweden in 2011. Despite coming from different backgrounds and being at different points in their Swedish-learning journeys, they share similar motivations for studying.

When asked why they want to learn, all three emphasize that learning Swedish is important to them because they want to be able to better understand, appreciate, and participate in the society in which they live.

“Even though you can get around with English, it helps a lot when you can at least have small and quick conversations,” says Joey.

In addition, they all feel that learning Swedish is an asset for their careers.

“It’s a competitive advantage,” says Raisa.

Joey further explains.

“The IT industry in Stockholm seems to be very well versed in English, so I know day-to-day I won’t have problems not using Swedish. Regardless, I think learning and using a native language can really improve personal life! It will make it easier to network and make me feel more at home in Sweden, which is a positive energy I can then bring to the work floor.”

“I think people appreciate when you speak, and speak well, their native language. This, in turn, takes all kinds of relationships to an entirely new level; professional relationships are not an exception,” says Ivan.

Of course, there are plenty of surprises when you are learning another language. For Joey, it’s surprising that there are so many grammatical similarities between Swedish and his native Dutch. On the other hand, Raisa finds the sounds associated with new letters, like å and ä, to be unexpected.

“I find it interesting that Swedish has two accents—acute and grave—and that the meaning of a word can change drastically depending on the accent being used,” says Ivan.

The enthusiasm of Joey, Raisa, and Ivan to learn Swedish is just one example of the vibrant learning culture at LeoVegas. The drive to learn is in our DNA, and it’s vital to our constant pursuit of excellence. We’ll dive deeper into our global learning culture next month when we talk to our Global L&D Coordinator, Amanda Sjödin, in part two of the Learning at Leo series.