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Sounds in Swedish I. Posted by on Apr 16, 2018 in Grammar, Swedish Language

This post is definitely for advanced learners, but of course it can be interested for anyone of you. This type of knowledge in a foreign language is required an C1 or higher level in a language. It is usually one of the hardest things to learn and use in a correct way, just like knowing tree and plant names or offsprings of animals. I will try to give you a lagom dosage in three posts this months.

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Keys, chains, metal things:  rasslar (to jingle) in Swedish.

Glass, bottles, glas things: klirrar

Cats spinner (to purr)

The rain smattrar (to blare) against the window

The wind is susar (to whistle) among the trees

Parquett, dry wooden objects can knarra (to creak)

Water in the radiator or a stream or creek porlar (to gurgle)

Your stomach when you are hungry might kurrar (to rumble)

Something heavy falls or suddenly breaks into pieces brakar (to crack)

You can do this with your teeth when you’re asleep or ungreased doors can gnisslar (to screech)

Thunder, storm, vulcano but even sometimes your stomach can mullrar (to roar, rumble)

From anywhere where air is stuck or coming out slowly you can use the word pyser (to hiss)


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  1. Sarah:

    Hi, I think the rain batters against the window not blares.
    Kind regards

  2. Sarah:

    Or patters actually. Thanks for interesting post.

  3. C J J:

    Smattrar sounds like Smatter, like a smattering of rain 😀

  4. Bob Barker:

    gnisslar Birds CHIRP (not chrip). Ungreased doors

  5. Bob Barker:

    Glass has double s in English.

    porlar. Water might GURGLE. Ripple is not a sound, but might describe what a sound does.

    gnisslar. Birds CHIRP (not chrip). Ungreased doors SCREECH or maybe SQUEAK. Teeth GRIND.

    As you say “one of the hardest things to learn and use in a correct way”.

    Fascinating post.
    Thank you.

  6. Martin Sharman:

    I think susar might have the sense “murmur”, “sigh” or in a more literary context, “sough”. “Whistle” is what trees do in hurricanes. “The whistle of the wind in the rigging was almost drowned by the continuous roar of thunder.”

  7. Stefan:

    Perhaps nitpicky, but I believe it would be good for learners of Swedish if the verb tenses in the two different languages correspond, i.e ‘att rassla – to jingle’ or ‘rasslar – jingle(s)’.

  8. Toni Olander:

    Very interesting!