Introduction to Swedish pronunciation



Swedish pronunciation is rather straightforward as compared to many other languages, though there are some sounds which English speakers might find difficult to pronounce. One hurdle that English speakers will come across is the intonation system - the melody of the language.
That is not to say that Swedish doesn't have its share of tongue twisters. If you've already met a Swede, you might have been challenged with this phrase:
Sju skönsjungande sjuksköterskor skötte sjuttiosju sjösjuka sjömän
'Seven beautifully-singing nurses tended to seventy-seven seasick seamen'.
It is important to pronounce Swedish correctly. Unlike English, which is more widely spoken, Swedish does not easily tolerate deviations. You might on the odd occasion find yourself misunderstood because of a single sound, especially the farther away you move from Stockholm.
For example, in en fot (a foot), the t is pronounced as in English, but in fort (quickly, fast), the t is pronounced differently. The two words might sound similar to you, but they are distinct in Swedish.
The following pages will introduce you to the Swedish alphabet and give examples of how each letter is pronounced in different words.


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