It provides a set of symbols to represent the pronunciation of Swedish in Wikipedia articles, and example words that illustrate the sounds that correspond to them. Integrity must be maintained between the key and the transcriptions that link here; do not change any symbol or value without establishing
consensus on the
talk page first.
The Sweden pronunciation is based primarily on Central
Standard Swedish, and the Finland one on Helsinki pronunciation. Recordings and example transcriptions in this help are in Sweden Swedish, unless otherwise noted.
abcdeIn many of the dialects that have an
apicalrhotic consonant, a recursive
sandhi process of retroflexion occurs, and clusters of /r/ and dental consonants /rd/, /rl/, /rn/, /rs/, /rt/ produce
retroflex consonant realisations: [
ʈ]. In dialects with a
guttural R, such as
Southern Swedish, they are [ʁd], [ʁl], [ʁn], [ʁs], [ʁt]. In Finland Swedish, retroflexion might only occur in some varieties, especially among young speakers and in fast speech.
^Sweden Swedish /ɧ/ varies regionally and is sometimes [
ɸˠ], or [
^/r/ varies considerably in different dialects: it is pronounced
alveolar or similarly (a
trilledr when articulated clearly or in slow or formal speech; in normal speech, usually a
tappedr or an
alveolar approximant) in virtually all dialects (most consistently [r] in Finland), but in South Swedish dialects, it is
uvular, similar to the Parisian French r. At the beginning of a syllable, it can also be pronounced as a fricative [
ʐ], similar to in English genre or vision.
abcdBefore /r/, the quality of non-high front vowels is changed: the unrounded vowels /ɛ/ and /ɛː/ are lowered to [
æ] and [
æː] (except certain instances of unstressed /ɛ/), whereas the rounded /œ/ ([
œ˔]) and /øː/ are lowered to open-mid [
œ] and [
œː]. For simplicity, no distinction is made between the mid [œ˔] and the open-mid [œ], with both being transcribed as ⟨œ⟩. Note that younger speakers use lower allophones [
ɶ] (which they tend to merge with /ɵ/ into [
ɵ]) and [
ɵ] and [
ʉ] are the Sweden Swedish unstressed allophones of a single phoneme /ɵ/ (stressed /ɵ/ is always realized as [ɵ]):
[ɵ] is used in all closed syllables (as in kultur[kɵlˈtʉːr]) but also in some open syllables, as in musikal[mɵsɪˈkɑːl]. Some cases involve resyllabification caused by retroflexion, which makes the syllable open, as in kurtisan[kɵʈɪˈsɑːn].
[ʉ] appears only in open syllables. In some cases, [ʉ] is the only possible realization, as in känguru[ˈɕɛ̌ŋːɡʉrʉ], or when /ɵ/ appears in
hiatus, as in duell[dʉˈɛlː].
In other cases, [ɵ] is in free variation with [ʉ] so musik can be pronounced as [mɵˈsiːk] or [mʉˈsiːk] (
Riad 2014:28–9). For simplicity, only ⟨ɵ⟩ will be used.
abThe distinction between compressed [
ʉ] and protruded [
ʏ] is particularly difficult to hear for non-native speakers:
Sweden Swedish compressed [ʉ] sounds very close to
German compressed [
ʏ] (as in müssen[ˈmʏsn̩]);
Sweden Swedish protruded [ʏ] sounds more similar to English unrounded [
ɪ] (as in hit) than to German compressed [ʏ], and it is very close to
Norwegian protruded [ʏ] (as in nytt[nʏtː]).
abThe distinction between compressed [
ʉː] and protruded [
yː] is particularly difficult to hear for non-native speakers:
Sweden Swedish compressed [ʉː] sounds very close to German compressed [
yː] (as in üben[ˈyːbn̩]);
Sweden Swedish protruded [yː] sounds more similar to English unrounded [
iː] (as in leave) than to German compressed [yː], and it is very close to Norwegian protruded [yː] (as in lys[lyːs]).
abFinland Swedish, as well as a few accents of Mainland Sweden, have a simple
primary stress (transcribed as ⟨ˈ⟩) rather than a contrastive pitch accent. In such accents, a word like anden is always pronounced as [ˈɑnːden] regardless of its meaning. The variety of Swedish spoken on the
Åland Islands usually resembles phonetically speaking the dialects of the
Uppland area rather than other Finland Swedish varieties, but the pitch accent is still largely missing.
^Consonants always tend to geminate after a stressed short vowel in Sweden Swedish. In Finland, this is not always true and between vowels usually only happens when the short vowel is followed by an orthographic geminate.
Engstrand, Olle (1999), "Swedish", Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: A Guide to the usage of the International Phonetic Alphabet., Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 140–142,
Hedelin, Per; Elert, Claes-Christian (1997), Norstedts svenska uttalslexikon, Norstedts,
Reuter, Mikael (1971), "Vokalerna i finlandsvenska: En instrumentell analys och ett försök till systematisering enligt särdrag", Studier i nordisk filologi (in Swedish), Svenska litteratursällskapet i Finland, 46: 240–249