There's a song I like by Jonas Altberg called "Boten Anna." An interest in his music is what led me to Duo Lingo's English to Swedish.
My question is regarding one of his songs, "Boten Anna." In the song, the opening lyrics are as follows:
"Jag känner en bot, hon heter Anna, Anna heter hon Och hon kan banna, banna dig så hårt"
When he sings these lyrics, the pronunciation of "känner" seems strange-- almost like it starts with "Sh." Is there a guide/rule to this pronunciation, or is it just a quirk of his?
Not a quirk. That is how the K in "kä" is always(?) pronounced. (As well as in ke, ki, kö and ky)
It's not exactly a "sh", but I pronounce it as a 'sh' anyway and people seem to understand me, lol. I'll fine tune my pronunciation later.
Basshunter's first album was also one of my first experiences with Swedish. I know he isn't the most...ahem...professional DJ in the world, and I have since found many Swedish artists that make considerably better music than he does, but his first album LOL will always have a place in my heart.
Slightly embarrassing story -- This album came out in 2006. My son was two-years-old and we used to dance to it in the living room. It's one of those albums that I know back to front, front to back. I know it so well that if they sporadically play Boten Anna on the radio, I expect the next song Strand Tylösand to follow. Now I remember a couple of months ago, when I started actually learning Swedish (as opposed to just translating songs that I liked the sound of), someone linked to the Swedish national anthem here on Duolingo. Having never heard it, I had a listen...and only then did I realize that the melody of the song Sverige was your beautiful national anthem.
I am so, so sorry Sweden. I knew the Basshunter version of Du Gamla, Du Fria before I knew the original. סּ︵סּ
There are two ”groups” of vowels in Swedish, front vowels: e i y ä ö, and historically back vowels: a o u å. Many consonants or consonant clusters change their pronunciation if there’s a front vowel afterwards.
- k → tj (’känner’ sounds like ’tjänner’)
- sk → sj (’sked’ sounds like ’sjed’)
- g → j (’gilla’ sounds like ’jilla’)
This also applies to many loanwords, like the ones with ’c’:
- c [k] → c [s] (’cancer’ but ’cykel’)
This actually happens in English as well to some extent, compare the pronunciation of call and gall with cell and gel.
Hmm unless I am not understanding correctly, this video says a o and å are the only back vowels, which is what I had originally thought. If ä and ö can be back vowels I guess I'd be interested in seeing examples where kä and kö make a hard K sound.