1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Swedish
  4. >
  5. A different question about "i…


A different question about "is/are" in Swedish

First, I would like to thank the Swedish team for their hard work producing this course. I am just beginning but am enthusiastic.

I read the thread about issues with TTS and the pronunciation of "am/is/are" (ar, but I do not have umlauts on my keyboard), but my question is a little different.

I noticed that when I listen to the sentence pronunciation slowly, all words are apparent including the "be" verb. However, when I listen to the sentence at the higher speed, the word "ar" seems to disappear or drop out.

In example: "Pojken ar ett barn." "The boy is a child." I hear this when I play it slowly. When I play it at full speed it sounds like "Pojken ett barn" I do not hear the word ar.

Is this word often skipped over when Swedish is spoken at normative speeds or is my untrained ear simply missing it? I noticed something similar in the Danish course, and I was wondering if I simply am not hearing it, or if the word is commonly dropped in languages from the North Germanic branch of the family.

Thank you again for the course and for your time.


November 20, 2014



You're just missing it.

It's pronounced differently depending on the dialect and how fast you're talking. "Är" is pronounced /æːr/ when spoken clearly/slowly in "Standard Swedish". In everyday Stockholm Swedish it's /eː/, often said very very quickly.


I think that one of the course creators mentioned that the pronounciation of "är" is rather stockholmish, which means that it sounds more like "e". Then, "Pojken e ett barn" is of course very close to "Pojken ett barn".


The voice in the Swedish course sounds like the Google Translate voice, or am I wrong? Even tough, it is or not, the voice can be speaking a bit weird like you mentioned. When swedes speak we don't skip "är". The word "är" can sometimes sound like e. Next time, try to spot an "e" -sound. If not, you'll hopefully get used to it. If you visit Sweden in real life it'll be easier to hear är.


The R is silent in almost all dialects. Might have to do with it.


Thank you all. I appreciate the help. I thought I was just missing it, and it appears I was correct. I appreciate the quick and helpful responses.

Learn Swedish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.