Alphabet and Pronunciation


This lesson introduces the Swedish alphabet and provides a quick guide to Swedish pronunciation. Some sounds in Swedish are not in English and will take a bit of practice to get right. Pronunciation also varies a bit depending on the region that Swedish is spoken.

At the end of this lesson are two samples of spoken Swedish, along with the transcript in both Swedish and English.

A a (ah) Sounds like the a in father when followed by a single consonant. Otherwise between the a in bat and the u in but.
B b (bay) Pronounced as in English.
C c (say) Pronounced like k, except when followed by e, i, y, ä, or ö, where it is pronounced like s.
D d (day) Pronounced as in English. In the combination dj the d is silent.
E e (ay) Pronounced like e in bed.
F f (eff) Pronounced as in English.
G g (gay) Before the vowels (e i y ä ö) or in the combination gj, pronounced like y in yes. Otherwise pronounced like g in go.
H h (hoh) Pronounced as in English. H is silent in the combination hj.
I i (ee) Pronounced like the ee in see.
J j (yee) Pronounced like y in yes.
K k (koh) Before the vowels (e i y ä ö) or in the combination kj, pronounced like sh in shirt. Otherwise pronounced like k in king.
L l (ell) Pronounced as in English. L is silent in the combination lj.
M m (em) Pronounced as in English.
N n (en) Pronounced as in English.
O o (oo) Pronounced like o in hoop or o in hop.
P p (pay) Pronounced as in English.
Q q (kew) Rare in Swedish.
R r (ar) Pronounced as in English. Except rs which is pronounced sh. Can be silent before n and t.
S s (ess) Pronounced like s in sit.
The combination rs is prounounced sh.
The combinations sj, skj, stj, as well as sk before (e i y ä ö) do not have an equivalent sound in English. Somewhat like the h in huge.
T t (tay) Pronounced as in English. The combination tj is pronounced like sh in ship.
u (Sound not in English) Pronounced like oo but with the lips more rounded. Represented by ew.
V v (vay) Pronounced same as English.
W w (dobbel vay) Pronounced like v. Not common in Swedish
X x (eks) Pronounced like ks.
Y y (Sound not in English.) A sound between ee and oo.
Z z (sayta) Rare in Swedish. Pronounced like the s in sit.
Å å (oh) Pronounced like oa in boat.
Ä ä (eh) Pronounced like e in get.
Ö ö (Not in English) Pronounced as a sound between ay and o. Represented by oe.

For a more thorough guide to pronunciation see. Wikipedia Swedish orthography and Wikipedia Swedish phonology


Here is a youtube video by "Swedish with Axel" to help you with Swedish pronunciation.