Swedish Language Blog

Gôteborgska-Gothenburgian dialect Posted by on Mar 20, 2017 in Swedish Language, Vocabulary

Almost each city has a different dialect in Sweden. The Gothenburgian dialect (göteborgska) is part of the Western-Swedish dialects. There is approximately 600 000 people who speak this dialect both in Gothenburg and in the surrounding areas. The emphasis in this western dialect goes always up just like in Norwegian. The common perception is that people in Gothenburg always sound happy while in the Nordics the same thing you could say about the Norwegians.

Fredrik Lindström had a very good tv-serie season 1 in 2006 and season 2 in 2012 about Swedish Dialects called Svenska Dialektmysterier. The serie contained 16 episodes all together and had focus on the main dialectal areas of Sweden.

If you ever come to Gothenburg you should be aware of some local differences when it comes to everyday language. It isn’t just an intonation we talk about but there is a wide range of local vocabulary that makes this city dialect so unique. I will give you the most important facts on the Gothenburgian dialect that makes this dialect so distinctive from others.

Missing retroflexes: rd, rl, rn, rt, rs

Exempel: ord – od, gård – gåd, farlig – fali, härlig – häli, barn – ban, järn – jän, , vart – vatt, norsk-nossk. The last one is not that common or let’s say consequent anymore since people move around and eventually move back to the city picking up new language habits, but mainly because in higher education and tv/radio people often use rikssvenska, which is not a dialect but rather a common agreement on how we should write Swedish. It is more common nowadays to use your own dialects compared to 30-40 years ago or earlier but rikssvenska has also an effect on the academic language in use.


It is very common that you insert an extra interfix in compound words in the Gothenburgian dialect where rikssvenska doesn’t have one: strumpebyxa, målefärg, sopetunna but you can also find this in street names such as: Snickaregatan, Vågmästareplatsen where the Gothenburgian dialect keeps the e from the are-suffix.

Use of denna, detta, dessa:

In rikssvenska you always have indefinite form of nouns after denna, detta and dessa.

for example: denna tjej, detta bord, dessa tjejer/bord but in Gothenburg and also big parts of Western Sweden and Southern Sweden people say: denna tjejen, detta bordet but most people would write denna tjej and detta bord etc.

The rolling r-sound: The pronunciation of the sound r is a sharp rolling r-sound that you can hear in the second video as well. hallå ellerrr!

Pointed i sound: That you can also hear in the video

Long A-sound becomes Å sometimes: Long a-sound tend to sound like å-sound sometimes for example: prata-pråta, bada-båda in spoken language.

I can become E sometimes: tillbaks-tebaks, fisk-fesk in spoken language.


Some examples of  the Gothenburgian dialect with English explanations:



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  1. Greta:

    This accent totally sounds like us italians would speak swedish and it’s awesome, it sounds so familiar! Also I found this comedy video about Gothenburg, called Göteborgskursen:

    • Tibor:

      @Greta That it is very interesting. I didn’t know that at all 🙂