How to read in Swedish

Lesson 2: How to read in Swedish / Hur man läser
Swedish alphabet :

Aa       Bb       Cc       Dd       Ee        Ff         Gg       Hh      Ii          Jj         Kk
a:         be:       se:       de:       e:         ɛf:        ge:       ho:       i:          ji:         ko: 

Ll         Mm      Nn       Oo       Pp       Qq       Rr        Ss        Tt       Uu       Vv  
ɛl          ɛm        ɛn        ω:         pe:       ku:       ær        ɛs         te:       u:         ve:  

Ww                Xx         Yy         Zz        Åå       Ää       Öö
dub:ǝltve:    ɛks        y:         sɛ:ta      o:         æ:         ø:

In the following video you can listen how different people pronounce the Swedish letters.

Source: youtube.com, video by SVENSKA FÖR ALLA 

1. Vowels

There are two types of vowels in Swedish. These are hard vowels (a, o, u, å) and soft vowels (e, i, y, ä, ö). Hard vowels do not affect the reading of consonant sounds. Soft vowels make the consonant into a completely different sound.

CONSONANT

Hard (rear) vowels 
a, o, u, å

Soft (front) vowels
e, i, y, ä, ö

SK… [ sk ]

ska, skola,  skura, skåp, Skåne, skulle,
fiska, skada

[ ch ]

sked, skidor, skynda, skära, skönt, sky

OBS! människa

G [ g ]

gammal, golvet, gul, gå, godis

OBS! gem, get

[ j ]

ge, gissa, gymnasium, gärna, göra, gift, gillar

K

[ k ]

katt, ko, kultur, kål

OBS! kö, kille, kör (chorus)

[ sh ]

kedja, kilo, kyrka, kärlek, köra bil

C

[ k ]

cancer, cobra,
cup…

[ s ]

cement, cäsar,
citron, cykla…

2. Always read TJ, RS, SCH as [ sh ].
TJ tjugo, tjej, tjata, tjena…
RS [ sh ] i morse, mars, försent, Vänersborg…
SCH duscha, affisch, bransch
3. Always read SKJ, STJ, CH as [ ch ].
SKJ skjorta, skjul, skjuta…
STJ [ ch  ] stjärna, stjäla, stjälk…
CH chans, charm, champagne…
4. Always read DJ, LJ, HJ, GJ as [ j ].

For example: djur, ljus, hjul, gjorde, djup…

5. Always read tion/sion as [ hu:n ].

There are about 5,000 words in all European languages (including Swedish) that have the same meaning. They all end with …tion/sion. /
For example: tradition, nation, station, expansion, expression

To listen the pronunciation, you can always type the Swedish word in Google Translate and click the sound button. Or read the transcription and listen to the word on the site https://svenska.se/

Click here to open How to Read grammar table in PDF format.

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