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Note: In some of the IPA-examples you may find alternative signs like: e or ɛ ,
In this example I have marked short o-vowels and Swedish å-vowels with the same sign because it is the same sound: ɔ or o. Note that there are long variants aswell.
: means long vowel or consonant
Special Swedish sounds:
tj-sound– tjena, tjäna, Tjörn, tjej or tjack please compare it with schack with sj-sound. Schack is an exception and it is never pronounced with German sch like in schwartz or English sh like in shoot.
sch-sound German sch or English sh for example in Gulasch, dusch ( there is also a pronunciation variant with sj-sound in this case). Many older Swedes pronunce choklad, chans and charmig for example with sch- pronunciation, even many dialects. However, many people from the younger generation choose to pronounce these words with the popular lyranx-sound as you guys can see in the next example.
sj-sound (lyranx) – sju, sjal, sjunga, sjysst (also: schysst). The spelling of Sj-sound has no special rules in Swedish it follows tradition and sometimes original spelling of loan words. genre, skjorta, chans, choklad, charmig dusch, motion, station. Please also note that there are dialectal differences in pronunciation, but even individuals can change between the different variants of the words both in written and spoken language. So don’t be worry if your pronunciation is not perfect. These sounds are very close to each other and people will perfectly understand you.
Retroflex sounds: rn, rt, rs, rl- barn (ba:ɳ), fort (fʊʈ) , kors (kɔʂ) *, Karl (Ka:ɭ). Please note that the pronunciation of n, t, l, and s is not exactly the same that you would expect. R partly assimilates in these combinations and creates a modificated sound.
* note that retroflex sounds can also appear between two words in spoken language when people speak fast: Jag kommer sen. I am coming later. But most of the time people say: Jag kommer sen. (with English s-sound) or Han frågar sig varför. He is asking himself why.
y-sound yr, yrke, fy, ty. This sound is the hardest vowel to hear for a foreign ear. I would recommend that you train it with short words like ty, fy, My, sy, because you don´t have other sounds blocking the flow of the pronunciation (the way of the air coming out of your mouth if you like). If you can pronounce the Swedish letter u, you could also try to train the combination uj which might be the closest to the y-sound. Try it at home several times when no one is listening ;-).