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2007-01-31 19:25:16
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Svenska alfabetet


The Swedish alphabet

The Swedish alphabet contains 28-29 (W is not always included) letters. Note: Å, Ä and Ö are letters, not different forms of A and O!

Spelling vs Pronounciation


In Swedish everything is spelled almost as it is pronouced. There are however some problems:

If you put two words together you will write them as one word, even if you pronounce them a little seperate (but not as separate as in English). Example: "Elftowninvånare" (Or "Elftown-invånare") (Elftown inhabitant).

Latin, German and Greek words are often spelled as they sound and like they are spelled originally, but with O instead of Å. French words are often spelled in Swedish with a heavy Swedish accent: "byrå" (bureau), but "entré" (entrance) New English words are spelled in English or as they sound, and both are often OK: swimmingpool, action, mail/mejl ("email"), sajt (web site).

The letters


This is a list of the letters with an example word and an example sentence. "en" or "ett" means "a"/"an", but unlike "a"/"an" it is a more like part of the Swedish word and will be put in the end in the definite form: "en apa" (a monkey) - "apan" (the monkey)


A   Pronounced as "a" i "car", or like "u" in "fuck".
    En apa            Sluta att bete dig som en apa!
    monkey or ape     Stop behaving like a monkey!
    Alla              Alla tystnade plötsligt.
    Everone           Everyone suddenly became quiet.
B   En bil            Jag har köpt en ny bil.
    car or vehicle    I have bought a new car.
C   En cykel          Jag cyklar ofta på min cykel.
    bike              I often ride on my bike.
D   En dörr           Öppna dörren!
    door              Open the door!
E   Pronounced as "e" in "bed" or a longer version of it.
    eller             Vill du ha vodka eller snaps?
    or                Do you want vodka or snaps?
    ek                Den här whiskyn smakar mycket ek.
    oak               This whisky tastes a lot of oak.
                      (This whisky has a strong taste of oak.)
F   Fil               Jag äter fil till frukost.
    (a sour form of   I eat (fil) for breakfast.
     yogurt)
G   Ett glas          Jag serverar glassen i ett glas.
    glass             I serve the ice cream in a glass.
H   Ett hus           Det är ett fult hus.
    house             It is an ugly house.
I   Pronounced as "ee" in cheese or "i" in "in". 
    inte              Det är inte kallt.
    not               It is not cold.
J   Pronounced as "y" in "yellow".
    Ja                Ja, det tycker jag också.
    Yes               Yes, I think so too.
K   En kniv           Förbjudet att bära kniv!
    knife             Forbidden to wear a knife!
L   Lyx               Vilken lyx!
    Luxury            What a luxury!
M   Mamma             Hur mår din mamma?
    Mammy             How does your mother feel?
N   nummer            Vilket nummer har du?
    number            Which number do you have?
O   Pronounced as "oo" in "choose", or short like in "good" or like short Å.
    omotiverad        Jag är omotiverad.
    unmotivated       I am unmotivated.
    också             Jag vill också ha!
    also, too,         I also want (something)!
    as well
P   Pappa             Hur gammal är din pappa?
    daddy             How old is your father?
Q   (Använder vi inte på svenska) Very seldom used
R   Ett rum           Har ni något ledigt rum åt mig?
    room              Have you(pl) any unoccupied room for me?
                      (Do you have any room available for me?)
S   En sak            Vad kallas den där saken?
    thing             What is that thing called?
T   tomt              Här var det tomt!
    empty             Here it was (is) empty.
U   Pronounced as French or Dutch U. 
    utan              Jag klarar mig utan den.
    without           I manage without it.
V   vatten            Kan jag få ett glas vatten?
    water             May I have a glass of water?
(W)  Not used in Swedish words but may appear in surnames. 
    Prounced as English V.
X   En yxa            Han högg upp dörren med en yxa.
    axe               He cut the door open with an axe.
Y   Pronounced as a deep version of "ee" in cheese but with the mouth formed as an O.
    yr                Jag är yr.
    dizzy             I am dizzy.
    yrke              Vad har du för yrke?
    profession        What is your profession?
Z   En zebra          En zebra ser ut som en randig häst.
    zebra             A zebra looks like a striped horse.
    Note: Z is pronouced as s!
Å   Pronounced as "a" in "ball" or "o" in "song".
    En å              Varför gå över ån efter vatten?
    stream            Why walk across the stream to get water?
Ä   Pronounced as "a" in "man" or "e" in "very".
    Ett äpple         Varsågod, tag ett äpple!
    apple             There you are, take an apple!
    äta               Var kan man äta?
    eat               Where can (someone, people in general) eat?
Ö   Pronounced as "e" in "her", long or short.
    En ö              Å i åa ä e ö! (Wermländska)
    island            Och i ån är en ö. (Svenska)
                      And in the stream is an island.



Soundfile:


<URL:stuff/1_wiki_svenska%2520alfabetet__hXxUk_1tm.mp3>

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2004-01-08 [Ocean Dreaming]: "how the are spelled" - they, I would presume you mean ;) "entrence" - entrance "sentince" - sentence "become" - becomes "taste" - tastes "lot of oak" - 'like' runs more smoothly, but I'm not sure yours is incorrect. ^^; "How do your" - does "You old are your father?" - I presume the sentence should translate as "How old is your father?"? "Do you have any room available me?" - for me "a glas of water" - glass (and you're missing a question mark at the end ;) ) That'd be all the typos I can find. Hope it helps! ^_^;

2006-06-07 [Hedda]: Thanks! Fixed! Bara ett halvannat år försent! (Only one and a half year too late!)

2006-06-20 [Faery]: Do all the letters have the same pronounciation as in english?

2006-06-20 [Hedda]: Nej. Har du inte lyssnat på ljudfilen? (No, haven't you listened on the sound-file?)

2006-06-20 [Faery]: Oups! :P sorry, I just woke up, I'm not awake yet ... (bad excuse, I know, but still true!!)

2006-06-20 [Hedda]: I added some written explanations now! I guess you have no idea how the Y sounds otherwise...

2006-06-20 [Faery]: well, my speakers are shit and I can'T her the soundfile, so yes, the written explanation does help! Although that leter seems pretty awkward to my frenchie's ears... :-P

2006-06-28 [Ocean Soul]: This is mighty useful.. I'm at the moment trying to learn a little swedish anyway xD Somehow swedish always sounds like you're explaining something really important, even if you only say hello :P

2006-08-13 @Not logged in user@: pet

2006-12-04 gabguy: There is a song called "Boten Anna" - in this song there's a line - "Jag känner en bot" and the singer says it - "Ya-SHanner an bot". so I wanted to ask why the "K" sounds like "SH"?

2006-12-04 [Ocean Soul]: Because that's how it's pronounced -.-'

2006-12-04 [Hedda]: Ä is a soft vowel, so K infront of Ä becomes "tj" (or "sh" with English spelling). Same thing in "kära" (in love), köra (drive) and kika (google). Of course there are exeptions: "killa" (tickle) and köa (queue). "kä" is always pronounced "shä" as far as I can figure out though.

2006-12-13 DE: Aren't there supposed to be long and short vowels in Swedish? O.o Or does that just mean that to pronounce, for example, a long "å" you just elongate the sound a bit? 

2006-12-14 [Hedda]: There are short and long vowels in Swedish. It's explained above. It's mostly A that sounds differently though. And a short O that often is spoken like a short Å.

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