Swedish is a North Germanic language with around 9 million speakers mainly in Sweden and Finland, and also in Estonia, Norway, Canada and the USA. It is closely related to Norwegian and Danish and is mutually intelligible with them to a large extent, particularly in its written form.
One of the earliest uses of Swedish as a literary language was "Gustav Vasa's Bible", translated and published in 1540-1 under the patronage of King Gustav Vasa.
Finland was ruled by Sweden from the 12th century until 1809 and during that period, Swedish was the main language of government and education there. Today Finnish and Swedish have equal status as official languages in Finland.
Like it was mentioned before, Swedish is closely related to, and usually mutually intelligible with, Danish and Norwegian, and to some degree with Faroese; all of which evolved from Old Norse about a millennium ago. It is also closely related toIcelandic, though the two are not mutually intelligible. Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian Bokmål, which are all considered East Scandinavian languages, have been strongly influenced by Low German.