pronunciation of är

is är pronounced like "are" or "air" in american english because the ä sounds different in är from the ä in ägg and i assumed that ä would be pronounced generally the same as it is in german which would make är sound like "air" in american english but "är" is said like "air" in the voice thingy on duolingo help

June 20, 2015


The ä in ägg is indeed different than the one in är.

As Wikipedia (link to article) puts it:

/ɛː/, /ɛ/ (in stressed syllables), /øː/ (with a few exceptions), and /œ/ are lowered to [æː], [æ], [œː] and [œ], respectively, when preceding /r/.

Links to pronunciation: [æ] [ɛ]

June 20, 2015

To be honest I just stick with saying "eh", which is how I've heard that people in the Stockholm region say it. It's more comfortable to say it like that, and I've heard it like that (videos, music, etc), so I'm sticking to it. That "are" or "air" sound makes it too awkward for me.

June 20, 2015

Yeah I'm used to saying it like that too but I didn't know after the speaker changed.

Veronica Maggio says it like "are" but Wild Strawberries says it like "air" so it must be regional and not matter so I'll be inconsistent and say both probably lol

June 20, 2015

although I dont know much about it maybe the är, ägg difference you hear is related to the pitch accent?

June 20, 2015

They have the same accent. All monosyllabic words have the same accent.

The phonemicity of this tonal system is demonstrated in the nearly 300 pairs of two-syllable words differentiated only by their use of either grave or acute accent. Outside of these pairs, the main tendency for tone is that the acute accent appears in monosyllables (since the grave accent cannot appear in monosyllabic words) while the grave accent appears in polysyllabic words.

See my comment above for the difference between ä and ä followed by r.

June 20, 2015

The R s in all essence silent unless you really emphasize the word. It's pronounced like a long E or a long Ä depending on the dialect. I think long E-sound might be more common, but I might be biased as a Stockholmer.

June 21, 2015

Okay thanks :D I kinda hear that too

One more thing... Is "de e" the same as "det är" just shortened or dialect like dej/mej vs dig/mig? In a lot of lyric videos I see "de e" a lot... Is that and dej/mej an old way of writing or something?

June 22, 2015

"De e" is basically how you pronounce "det är". Where I'm from we tend to say it more like "dä ä", like Zmrzlina mentioned.

Dig/mig is the old, and still considered the only correct way of writing it. However, since it's such a weird spelling a lot of people tend to write it as it's spoken when texting and chatting and whatever. That is, they write "dej/mej".

June 22, 2015

In the Swedish anthem I have heard it as "are" so I just stick with that

June 20, 2015

kk thx bruh

June 20, 2015

The two most common ways I hear it pronounced in casual speech are either like "Eeh", or "Air" with a softer or rolled 'R'.

June 20, 2015

I do the second with the smooth rolled r but the eeh is for speaking fast and it slurs in sometimes right?

June 20, 2015

Pretty much.

June 20, 2015

Well, "är" is definitely not the same as "are"!

You can't really compare "är" to "air" in American English. Honestly, I think "air" in British Enlgish sounds more like "är". But I might be wrong because my American is very Californian, and I don't know if it's different in other states.

The "ä" is pronounced a little differently depending on where in Sweden you come from, and sometimes we just pronounce it differently from time to time.

We usually pronounce it either as an "ä" or an "e". In face to face conversations we'll usually say "e", in most of Sweden, and when we read a book or a text aloud we'll usually "ä", because our brains have been taught that "ä" makes an "ä" sound. And when we see it on a paper we'll say it with the sound our brain connects it to. That's just how reading works, and I'm sure you already know, I'm just being annoyingly clear. Sorry lol.

As someone who has both English and Swedish as native languages I would say that the "ä" in "är", when you're saying it with the actual "ä" sound, is more similar to the "a" in "apple."

Then the "r" is a whole different story from the "r" in "air", which you might already know. In "air" your tongue doesn't touch the roof of your mouth, but in Swedish it indeed does, and it vibrates as well. We call this "rulla på r:en" meaning "roll on the r's".

This slightly depends on where you live. In the Stockholm area the r's almost sound like "j" at first to an English ear. If you ask me this sounds rather bad, but a lot people have this accent so I guess I shouldn't be too harsh.

To summarize, "är" is not pronounced like "are" or "air". It's more like the "a" in American English's "apple".

To make the "r" sound a little bit more Swedish if you can't do the rolling r, (which most Swedes are able to do, but don't usually make in daily speech), just put your tongue in the same position as if you were about to say "do" but don't have the tongue touch your the roof of your mouth and loosely bite. Now say a j-ish/r-ish sound. Try either. If you can feel a slight buzz then you're doing great! If you think your r sounds the same as usual then wait with perfecting your r's 'til later on, when someone can instruct you in person.

Now in slow motion start with saying the "apple a" and then take your time to try to say either the rolling r, the other version that is more common in the Stockholm area that I tried to explain or just stick with the English r for now.

Ta-daa! Hopefully you found something that I wrote helpful and I'm almost certain you sound more Swedish now. <3

October 8, 2018
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