Swedish Language Blog

Älvdalska-Elfdalian Posted by on Apr 17, 2017 in Culture, Swedish Language

Today I have a real treat for everyone who is in love with languages. Have you  heard about the ancient dialect of Elfdalian? Not? Where I can give you a quick summary. I can also provide you a very nice poem written by Lars Göran Lannegård who obviously speaks the dialect. I say dialect but it counts actually as old Nordic language. They have form and cases that you can only see in Icelandic or Faroese, but Elfdalian has also a bunch of characteristics that other Nordic languages or dialect don’t have anymore. Deep in the Dalawoods of Sweden it has stood the test of time and the isolation made unique marks on Elfdalian and preserved very much of the Old Norse features. Elfdalian is a separate language by the standard of mutual intelligibility. There was an Elfdalian/Swedish vocabulary that came out in 2015.


  • Lack of vowel lengthening in open syllables.
  • The medial voiced fricatives /ð/ and /ɣ/ are retained.
  • The dative case is retained.
  • Old Norse nasal vowels are retained.

Innovations and unique developments:

  • More frequent assimilation of pre-Norse mp, nt and nk to pp, tt and kk, as in West Norse dialects.
  • a > o before Pre-Norse nk (but not kk).
  • Old Norse ei, ey and au develop into ie, ä and o respectively.
  • Diphthongization of Old Norse long high vowels í, ý, ú to closing diphthongs ai, åy, au, and of the long rounded mid vowels ó, œ to opening diphthongs uo, .
  • Vowel harmony (present also in other dialects of central Scandinavia).

Info: Wikipedia Read more here: link

Some comparative word list and your first lecture in Elfdalian language find here: link

Tungt war er go aut i raise
mes snion log i draiver
O we’ens ymse saidur.
Ig ar snion nidhi skuoen
Og uvonad skollam ainger grottsjrais nidyvyr buomen.
Dar ir eikonnes ferder
Og rådiuor og brinder
Og eller slags dyre i raise
Skalded prestn å itanjär waise.


Idag var det tungt att vandra i skogen

När snön låg i drivor
På vägens båda sidor.
Jag har snö i skorna
Och över huvudet hänger snårskogen över vägbommen.
Där finns spår av ekorre
Och rådjur och älgar
Och rådjur och älgar
Diktade prästen så här.

Skriven och översatt av Lars Göran Lannegård

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  1. Reuben:

    Love to learn swedish, though i learn through other website i just want learn it through here aswell.

  2. Misha:

    Thank you! Very interesting information is shared by you!