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Swedish K's

could anyone explain to me the rules with swedish Ks ? I know often it is pronounced as "sh" but also sometimes as a hard C... is there a rule i can follow?

January 28, 2015



Before e, i, y, ä, ö: Soft.

Before a, o, u, å: Hard.

Same for C and G. Exceptions for loanwords apply.


Thank you very much landsend, thats exactly what i was after :) Now i just need to invent some kind of rhyme or something so i might actually be able to remember it .. i curse my terrible memory every day.

hmmm... å, o u, a, make a sound like a normal k ... there we go that'll do for now


I think i and e are neutral (see kille), so you may just have to memorise them. Now if someone could give the rule for consonants. Is kj the only soft sound?


Kille the card game is pronounced with a soft sound ;-).

Yes, there are exceptions.

Soft sounds are sk, skj, sj, stj, tj, kj, dj,gj, hj, lj. And don't forget about rg, lg and gn.


kille is a relatively recent word, which is why it has a /ki/ sound combination. The "softening" had by then already ceased to be productive. This is why modern words ignore this rule despite not being loans. But of course, that's not going to help someone trying to learn them...

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