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Are there any pronounciation rules for swedish words?

Are there any rules that tells you how to pronounce a letter in a certain word or do you just have to learn and memorize it?

For example: How do you know when "k" is pronounced as an "K" like in the word "kock" and when is it pronounced more or less like an "sh (as in shoes)" like in "körsbär?"

When is a "g" pronounced as a "g" as a "g" like in "jordgubbe" and when do you pronounc it with that "y" sound liked in "gör"?

I hope you understand what I am asking for (. Thank you in advance)

February 10, 2015



What you're looking for is what we call hard and soft vowels.

Hard: A, O, U, Å

Soft: E, I, Y, Ä, Ö

Before hard vowels, G and K keep their hard sound, as in Komma, God, Kub and Begå. ("To come, good/tasty, cube and to commit/act")

Before soft vowels, they get their soft sound, where K = /ɕ/ and G = /j/ in phonetics. Examples are Kemi, Gift, Kylskåp, Gäl and Kött. ("Chemistry, poison/married, fridge, gill and meat")

In addition, there are a handful of additional rules and exceptions. A word-final K or G will keep it's sound even if when then noun takes an ending that makes a soft vowel follow the letter. Thus, taken ("the roofs") is /ta:ken/ still with a hard K.

Finally, there are the combinations RG and LG, where the G will take a soft sound. Thus älg ("moose") is /ɛlj/ and arg ("angry") is /arj/.

Does that help to clear it up a bit?


Okay I think I slowly begin to understand it now. Tack så mycket för förklaringen.


You're welcome. If you have any questions, just ask and we'll try to make you wiser. :)


Great! Really! But one minus. the final K example a bit unclear there. Tak (roof) - taket ( the roof) it is also soft i think?


The K stays a hard K regardless of ending there.


I sow it now,it help me a lot , thank you!Very nice explanation.


Great question. I needed help with this too :)

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