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Learn Swedish 2

Community Manager
Community Manager

Lär dig svenska 2 med IKEA (Translation: Learn Swedish 2 with IKEA)


If you haven't visited our lesson 1 post yet, check it out here

The Swedish digraphs and trigraphs

The what and what now? We hear you, but just hear us out! Digraphs are letter combinations that signal a single sound and trigraphs have the same concept, just with three letters instead of two. The emphasis here is ”a single sound”, meaning that even though you see two letters, it’s only one sound that you need to pronounce.

Digraphs and Trigraphs                      Pronunciation
dj, gj, hj, lj like the Swedish “j” (English y)
sch, sj, skj, stj between “sh” and “ch”
sk “sh” before e, i, y, ä, ö “sk” everywhere else
tj, kj “sh” (but slightly different)

Unfortunately, there’s no shortcut to mastering these unfamiliar sounds — you’ll just have to listen to it a bunch and keep practicing.

Swedish pronunciation rules

Now we have introduced you to the Swedish letters in lesson 1 and sounds above, we need to take into account some pronunciation differences and rules in Swedish.

Consonants in Swedish

  • C = more of an “s” sound before e, i, and y, everywhere else it has a “k” sound
  • G = always a hard “g” like in the word get. However, before e, i, y, ä, or ö this letter sounds more like “y” (like yes)
  • K = “sh” before e, i, y, ä, ö. Before a, o, å, u, K = “k” (like kind)

Vowels in Swedish

Vowels can be long or short in Swedish, just like in English. Vowels are flexible and may change in certain situations eg. the “a” in father isn’t the same as in late.

Let us know how you are getting on in the comments below, do we have any fellow Swedes with some other tips?