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Your Ultimate Swedish Pronunciation Guide

Knowing how to correctly pronounce words when you learn to speak a new language is crucial for speaking it well. It is no different with Swedish. At SwedishPod101, we put a lot of emphasis on teaching and demonstrating correct pronunciation, as it is our aim to help you to speak like a native after a while!

According to Dictionary.com, ‘pronunciation’ is: the act or result of producing the sounds of speech, including articulation, stress, and intonation, often with reference to some standard of correctness or acceptability.

Paying attention to your Swedish pronunciation not your own essentially means you’re learning to ditch most of your foreign accent. This is very important if you want to be a successful communicator in any language. Getting Swedish pronunciation right may seem like a daunting task at the onset, but it need not be!

Download Your FREE Guide to Beginner Swedish!

If you want to master the Swedish language and become fluent, you must learn the Swedish alphabet letters first. And you need physical worksheets to practice on.

This eBook is a MUST-HAVE for all Swedish learning beginners!

FREE Swedish eBook

Download your FREE Swedish practice sheets PDF today and learn the Swedish language in no time!
This is a must-have guide for absolute beginners

1. Introduction to Swedish Pronunciation

Introduction

Swedish Pronunciation

When you learn a foreign language, you might find that it has some difficult sounds that you are not used to making. Fortunately, Swedish is a relatively easy language to pronounce. While there might be a few hard sounds, the vast majority of them are found in the English language. To further help you, Swedish pronunciation mirrors the intonation patterns we’re accustomed to in English. What this all boils down to is that if you’re learning to speak Swedish, you will have an easier time than you might with some other languages.

When you begin to study Swedish pronunciation, you should start with the alphabet. After all, when you first learned the mechanics and written form of English, you started with the alphabet! Swedish has the same twenty-six letters that English does, with an additional three—å, ä, and ö. These are added to the list of vowels, along with y, making a total of nine vowels.

“A” is pronounced differently depending upon whether it is long or short. When long, it is pronounced like the “a” in far. If short, it sounds like the “a” in the Spanish word casa.

  • E – is pronounced like the “e” in deck, even when long. It never sounds like the “e” in deep. In Swedish pronunciation, another vowel takes that job.
  • I – is pronounced like the “e” in the words be or deep.
  • O – can be pronounced two different ways, generally depending on context. It can sound like the “oo” in too, or it can be pronounced like the “o” in the word for.
  • U – is a trickier vowel since there is no sound in English exactly like it. The closest example would be the long “o” sounds in the English words two and you. However, the sound is created more from the front of your mouth, with the tip of your tongue touching your teeth.

It is important to really practice these vowels, along with the following ones and the consonants that sound a bit different. Swedes will not be able to understand you if you cannot grasp Swedish pronunciation.

  • Å – as the “o” in the word for.
  • Ä – as the “ai” in the English word fair
  • Ö – as the “ea” in the word earn.
  • Y – like the “y” at the end of names such as Terry.

Consonants are mostly the same, but there are a few differences.

  • J – sounds like the “y” in yes.
  • K – sounds like the “k” in keep or the “sh” in sheep.
  • R – is rolled, just as in Spanish but not as forcefully.
  • S – like the “s” in summer; never like “zz”.

2. Why is Correct Pronunciation in Swedish Important?

Correct Pronunciation

Proper pronunciation is important, very important. Some say it’s even more important than getting the grammar perfectly correct! Why would this be?

1) Good Understanding

If communicating with native speakers matters to you when learning Swedish, you need to be understood when you talk, and you need to be able to understand the native speakers. After all, without understanding, the purpose of language is null and void! In order to be understood, you need to be able to speak the language in a way that is familiar to native speakers, or at least recognizable by them.

When learning to speak a new language, you will learn that the more you progress the more intricate it becomes! For instance, almost every language has vocabulary that may look the same in writing, but because the words are pronounced differently, they have very different meanings. This means that you may say a word in Swedish, and because of a slight change in pronunciation, the meaning of the word changes completely. Understandably, this can make for pretty embarrassing situations! At worst, your mispronounced Swedish will sound garbled to a native speaker.

Knowing the nuances of how a word or letter is pronounced will also help you to understand spoken Swedish better.

No worries if this feels hard; you’re learning, and with our help at SwedishPod101, you will not have a problem with mispronunciation if you follow our advice and examples carefully.

2) Good Communication

Not pronouncing Swedish or any other language correctly can lead to a lot of frustration because you’re unable to express what you mean, and you will not be understood correctly. Even if you have total knowledge of Swedish grammar, and can write it like a native, not knowing how to speak it properly will only make for very frustrating communication all around.

3) A Good Impression

Even if you’re only a beginner, it is possible to speak any language correctly. This way, you are bound to make a good impression on native speakers, and when you’re more fluent, you will be likely to garner a lot more respect than a fumbling newbie speaker who doesn’t care much for correct pronunciation.

People often have a lot of patience for someone who learns to speak a new language, but native speakers are more likely to address you and engage with you in conversation if you work hard on your accent. This is simply because you’ll be able to understand one another! So, proficiency in pronunciation can mean the difference between having none or plenty of Swedish speaking friends. It will also serve you well in the workplace, and make you popular with your Swedish speaking managers and employers or employees.

Learning to speak Swedish properly is also a sign of respect for not only the language, but also the native speakers and their customs.

3. Secrets to Learning the Correct Swedish Pronunciation

Secrets to Learning

1) Use voice recording tools to perfect your pronunciation

SwedishPod101 has plenty of resources to help you with your Swedish pronunciation, so be sure to make thorough use of our recordings with native Swedish speakers. These are available not only to demonstrate to you how you should pronounce Swedish vocabulary, but also sentences and dialogues. Watch and listen to these over and over again to train your ear, and watch the teacher’s mouth as she speaks in the video lessons. Then, copy the speech as best you can. Later, you can record yourself to hear if you sound like a native speaker and compare yourself with native speakers. Great for self-motivation.

2) Practice in front of the mirror.

And see that you’re copying the correct lip and mouth movements.

3) Use our SwedishPod101 dictionary!

Use the Swedish dictionary provided by SwedishPod101 to look up words and listen to the audio pronunciation. This will go a long way towards giving you an idea of how to pronounce a word or letter correctly.

4) Train your ear to the language!

Make an effort to often listen to Swedish music and recorded books, and watch plenty of Swedish movies and/or TV shows in Swedish. This will train your ear to the language, and you’ll be surprised how quickly you pick up the accent. Remember, this is the way we learned to speak when we were young - mostly by listening to the adults talking, and repeating what they say!

5) Practice, practice, practice…

Repetition of the same thing may be boring, but in learning a new language, you’re creating new pathways in your brain. For these to remain and become habitual, you will need to repeat the correct pronunciation often.

6) Make friends with a native Swedish speaker.

Don’t be shy to address them in Swedish! Ask them to correct you when you make a pronunciation mistake - this is a wonderful way to practice and learn the language first-hand, and also to make new friends.

7) Practice your pronunciation with your Swedish teacher!

If you’re a serious student and don’t know where to meet native Swedish speakers, consider investing in SwedishPod101’s Premium PLUS plan. This means you will have your own native Swedish teacher available to practice your pronunciation with, and much more! Send recordings of yourself speaking Swedish and get feedback from your Swedish teacher.

4. How to Download Your Free Guide to Beginner Swedish

Download Your FREE Guide to Beginner Swedish!

If you want to master the Swedish language and become fluent, you must learn the Swedish alphabet letters first. And you need physical worksheets to practice on.

This eBook is a MUST-HAVE for all Swedish learning beginners!

FREE Swedish eBook

Download your FREE Swedish practice sheets PDF today and learn the Swedish language in no time!
This is a must-have guide for absolute beginners

Log in with Your Free Lifetime Account and we’ll give you a bundle of PDF cheat sheet including Survival Phrases, Romantic Lines, Learning Tips… — absolutely FREE!

3 Reasons to Learn Swedish Through PDF Lessons

Let’s now take a closer look at how studying Swedish lessons in PDF format can help you reach your dream in up to half the time of normal video or audio lessons!

① Saves Minutes on Your Data Plan

Learning Swedish through PDF lessons can dramatically reduce your data use. Once a lesson or tool is downloaded, you can then access it offline via your computer or smartphone any time or place regardless of Internet access. And once you’ve downloaded the Swedish lessons in PDF format, you can actually access them faster than logging in and trying to do so via a live site. So not only will learning Swedish using PDF lessons save minutes on your data plan—it will save you some significant time as well as the lessons add up!

② Print and Take All Swedish Lessons and PDF Tools With You Anywhere

Sometimes, a tiny smartphone screen just isn’t adequate, especially when you are trying to learn something new. The great thing about PDF lessons, tools or files is that they can be quickly printed and taken anywhere after you download them. In fact, printing out Swedish lessons in PDF format can actually save you time when compared to going through the material on a smartphone with a small screen—even with the extra printing time!

③ Great Study Tool to Boost Retention and Mastery

Studying video or audio lessons online is a great way to learn a language because students can play and rewind sections as many times as needed until the lesson is mastered. But when you review the same Swedish lessons again in PDF format, an incredible thing happens: your retention dramatically improves! Thanks to Time Spaced Repetition, seeing the information again in written format helps reinforce the information in your mind and improves both retention and recall. The benefits of learning Swedish using PDF lessons quickly add up to significant time savings for you, your data plan, and your dream of learning a new language!

Why are we giving it away?

Learning to read and write is a must for all beginners. Although you get video lessons on how to write in Swedish at SwedishPod101, you’ll still need physical worksheets to practice on. That’s why you’re getting this printable tutorial PDFs as a gift.

5. Related Lessons

How to Say Hello in Swedish
Do you know how to say hello in Swedish? It’s the most basic phrase that you’ll need to say and hear in everyday life. If you don’t know yet, learn 15 ways to say hello and greet others in Swedish. Why 15? The more variations you know, the more you can speak and the more fluent you become!
How to Introduce Yourself in Swedish
Can you introduce yourself in Swedish? Don’t worry! Check out the 10 Swedish Lines You Need To Introduce Yourself with this free Review Sheet. From “My name is…“ and “I live in…” down to “My hobbies are…” Just review the 10 lines. It will only take you 2 minutes. Then, introduce yourself in the comment section below!
Swedish Alphabet
Learn everything you need to know about the Swedish alphabet. At SwedishPod101, we introduce you to Swedish writing in simple, easy-to-follow steps, and you can ask for advice or help anywhere along the way. It is important to master the Swedish alphabet completely from the start.
How to Say Thank You in Swedish
Has anyone thanked you today? We will. Thank you for reading this article and learning with us! In fact, today, you’ll learn the many different ways to say “Thank You” in Swedish. It’s one of the most important Swedish phrases. Check it out and watch the video too to practice your pronunciation.

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