Appendix:Swedish pronunciation

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search

This is a guide to transcriptions of Swedish words. It's based mainly on Standard Swedish with focus on the variants spoken in and around Stockholm, which is the standard taught to foreign students and generally considered the most prestigious and neutral. All pronunciations are made by a 25-year-old male speaking a reasonably colloquial form of Central Standard Swedish particular to the greater Stockholm region.

Consonants[edit]

Plosives[edit]

Phoneme
(IPA)
Pronunciation sample, phonemic transcription and translation
p
(file)
pol (pool) /puːl/
b
(file)
bok (book) /buːk/
t
(file)
tok (fool) /tuːk/
d
(file)
dop (christening) /duːp/
k
(file)
kon (cone) /kuːn/
ɡ
(file)
god (good) /ɡuːd/

/p, t, k/ are all aspirated and pronounced almost identical to the equivalent English sounds. /b, d, ɡ/ are distinctly voiced, more so than the English equivalents of most dialects.

Fricatives[edit]

Phoneme
(IPA)
Pronunciation sample, phonemic transcription and translation
f
(file)
fot (foot) /fuːt/
v
(file)
våt (wet) /voːt/
s
(file)
sot (soot) /suːt/
ɧ
(file)
sjok (chunk) /ɧuːk/
ɕ
(file)
kjol (skirt) /ɕuːl/
j
(file)
jord (soil) /juːrd/
h
(file)
hot (threat) /huːt/

/ɧ/ (skjuta, fascist, garage) represents the “sje-sound”, which also varies considerably, not just dialectally, but also individually and depending on where it occurs in a word. /ɕ/ represents the “tje-sound” (tjata, kisa, chips) which is much less varied, but which can alternate with /ɧ/ in some words (charter, chans, match).

/r/[edit]

Phoneme
(IPA)
Pronunciation sample, phonemic transcription and translation
r
(file)
rov (prey) /ruːv/

The pronunciation of /r/ varies considerably in various parts of Sweden. Everything from more guttural fricatives and trills in Southern Sweden to more forward taps and approximants in Central and Northern Sweden. Please note that rolled forward /r/ is today uncommon in colloquial speech, especially in the kind of Standard Swedish spoken in broadcast media. It is mostly reserved for articulate or formal speech.

In most dialects /s, t, d, n, l/ merge with /r/ into retroflex assimilations [ʂ, ɖ, ʈ, ɳ, ɭ]. These are transcribed /rs, rd, rt, rn, rl/.

Laterals[edit]

Phoneme
(IPA)
Pronunciation sample, phonemic transcription and translation
l
(file)
lov (tack) /luːv/

Nasals[edit]

Phoneme
(IPA)
Pronunciation sample, phonemic transcription and translation
m
(file)
mod (courage) /muːd/
n
(file)
nod (node) /nuːd/
ŋ
(file)
lång (long) /lɔŋ/

Vowels[edit]

Long vowels
Phoneme Sound file and example Comment
(file)
sil (sieve) /siːl/
(file)
kyl (refrigerator) /ɕyːl/
ʉː
(file)
ful (ugly) /fʉːl/
(file)
hel (whole) /heːl/
ɛː
(file)
heel /hɛːl/
lowered to [æː] before /r/ with most speakers
(file)
ɑː
(file)
mat (food) /mɑːt/
øː
(file)
nöt (nut) /nøːt/
lowered to [œ̞ː] before /r/ with most speakers
(file)
(file)
bot (penance, fine) /buːt/
(file)
mål (goal) /moːl/
Short vowels
Phoneme Sound file and example Comment
ɪ
(file)
sill (herring) /sɪl/
ʏ
(file)
syll (sleeper) /sʏl/
ɵ
(file)
full (full) /fɵl/
œ
(file)
nött (worn) /nœt/
lowered to [œ̞] or [ɵ] before /r/ with most speakers
(file)
e
(file)
hell (hail, interjection) /hel/
lowered to [æ] before /r/ with most speakers
(file)
a
(file)
matt (listless; matte) /mat/
ɔ
(file)
moll (minor) /mɔl/
in free variation with /ʊ/ in unstressed position
ʊ
(file)
bott (lived, supine) /bʊt/
in free variation with /ɔ/ in unstressed position

Stress and lexical pitch accent[edit]

Swedish has two contrastive lexical pitch accents on stressed syllables, which are marked in dictionaries as for Accent 1 and for Accent 2. Monosyllabic words can only have Accent 1. The tonal realization of the accent differs based on word position and pragmatic focus, and has regional variation across Swedish dialects.

  • Accent 1: /ˈ/
    e.g. /ˈandɛn/ for anden as nominative definite singular of and (duck)
  • Accent 2: /ˈˌ/
    e.g. /ˈanˌdɛn/ for anden as nominative definite singular of ande (spirit)
(file)

Sample reading[edit]

The sample text is a reading of The North Wind and the Sun.

(file)

Broad transcription[edit]

/ˈnuːrdanˌvɪndɛn ɔ ˈsuːlɛn ˈtvɪstadɛ ɛn ɡɔŋ ɔm ˈvɛm ɑːv ˈdɔm sɔm vɑːr ˈstarˌkast || ˈjɵst ˈdoː ˈkɔm ɛn ˈvandrarɛ ˈvɛːɡɛn fram ˈɪnˌsveːpt iː ɛn varm ˈkapˌa || dɔm kɔm ˈdoː øːvɛˈrɛns ˈɔm at dɛn sɔm fœrst kɵndɛ foː ˈvandrarɛn at tɑː ˈɑːv sɛj ˈkapˌan | han ˈskɵlɛ ˈanˌseːs ˈvɑː ˈstarkarɛ ɛn dɛn ˈanˌdra || doː ˈbloːstɛ ˈnuːrdanˌvɪndɛn soː hoːrt han ˈnɔnˌsɪn ˈkɵndɛ | mɛn jɵ ˈhoːrdarɛ han ˈbloːstɛ dɛstʊ ˈtɛːtarɛ ˈsveːptɛ ˈvandrarɛn ˈkapˌan ˈɔm sɛj | ɔ tɪl slʉːt ɡɑːv ˈnuːrdanˌvɪndɛn ɵp fœrˈsøːkɛt || doː lɛːt ˈsuːlɛn sɪna ˈstroːlar ˈɧiːˌna heːlt varmt ɔ ˈjeːˌnast tuːɡ ˈvandrarɛn ˈɑːv sɛj ˈkapˌan ɔ soː vɑːr ˈnuːrdanˌvɪndɛn ˈtvɵŋɛn at ˈeːrˌɕɛna at ˈsuːlɛn vɑːr dɛn ˈstarˌkastɛ ɑːv dɔm ˈtvoː/

Narrow transcription[edit]

[ˈnuːɖaɱˌvɪnːdən ɔ ˈsuːlən ˈtv̥ɪsːtadə ɛŋ ɡɔŋː ɔɱ ˈvɛmˑ ɑˑv ˈdɔmˑ sɔɱ vɑː ˈstaɹːˌkʲast || ˈjɵst ˈd̥oː ˈkʰɔm ɛɱ ˈvanːdɾaɾə ˈvɛːɡəɱ fɾamˑ ˈɪnːˌsv̥eə̯pt iˑ ɛɱ vaɹˑm ˈkʲʰaˌpːa || dɔm kʰɔm ˈdoː øə̯vəˈɾɛnːs ˈɔmˑ at d̥ɛnˑ sɔmˑ fɵʂˑʈ kʰɵndə fo ˈvanˑdɹaɹən at tʰɑː ˈɑːv sɛj ˈkʲʰaˌpːan | hanˑ skɵlːə ˈanˑˌseːs ˈvɑ ˈstarːkʲaɾə ɛn dɛn ˈanˑˌdɾa || doː ˈbloə̯stə ˈnuːɖaɱˌvɪnˑdən soː hoə̯ʈ han ˈnɔnˑˌsɪn ˈkʰɵnːdə | mɛn jɵ ˈhoːɖaɾə ham ˈbloə̯stə dɛstʊ ˈtʰɛːtaɾə ˈsv̥eə̯ptə ˈvanˑdɹaɹəŋ ˈkʲʰaˌpːan ˈɔmˑ sɛj | ɔ tɪ slʏ̹ːt ɡɑːv ˈnuːɖaɱˌvɪnˑdən ɵpː fœ̞ˈʂøə̯kət || doː lɛːt ˈsuːlən sɪna ˈstɾoːlaɹ ˈɧiːˌna heːlt vaɹːmt ɔ ˈʝeːˌnast tʰuːɡ ˈvanˑdɹ̝aɹən ˈɑːv sɛj ˈkʲʰaˌpːan ɔ soː vɑ ˈnuːɖaɱˌvɪnˑdən ˈtv̥ɵŋːən at ˈeːɹˌɕɛnːa atˑ ˈsuːləɱ vɑː ɖɛn ˈstaɹːˌkʲastə ɑːv dɔmˑ ˈtv̥oə̯]

Orthographic version[edit]

Nordanvinden och solen tvistade en gång om vem av dom som var starkast. Just då kom en vandrare vägen fram insvept i en varm kappa. Dom kom då överens om att den som först kunde få vandraren att ta av sej kappan, han skulle anses vara starkare än den andra. Då blåste nordanvinden så hårt han nånsin kunde, men ju hårdare han blåste desto tätare svepte vandraren kappan om sej, och till slut gav nordanvinden upp försöket. Då lät solen sina strålar skina helt varmt och genast tog vandraren av sej kappan och så var nordanvinden tvungen att erkänna att solen var den starkaste av dom två.