Swedish (svenska [²svɛnːska] ) is a North Germanic language spoken natively by 10 million people, predominantly in Sweden (as the sole official language), and in parts of Finland, where it has equal legal standing with Finnish. It is largely mutually intelligible with Norwegian and to some extent with Danish, although the degree of mutual intelligibility is largely dependent on the dialect and accent of the speaker. Written Norwegian and Danish are usually more easily understood by Swedish speakers than the spoken languages, due to the differences in tone, accent and intonation. Swedish is a descendant of Old Norse, the common language of the Germanic peoples living in Scandinavia during the Viking Era. It has the most speakers of the North Germanic languages. While being strongly related to its southern neighbour language German in vocabulary, the word order, grammatic system and pronunciation are vastly different.
Standard Swedish, spoken by most Swedes, is the national language that evolved from the Central Swedish dialects in the 19th century and was well established by the beginning of the 20th century. While distinct regional varieties descending from the older rural dialects still exist, the spoken and written language is uniform and standardized.