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 when followed by a single consonant. Otherwise like ay in day.|
|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 i in bid when followed by a single consonant. Otherwise like 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.|
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.