To finish off the series about how to pronounce the Swedish vowels, here are the three extra vowels in the Swedish language: å. ä, and ö.
Here is the first one of the three extra vowels in Swedish (they come in the end of the alphabet by the way, in this order: å, ä, ö). The challenge is to really distinguish them as separate vowels, and not just muddled versions of A and O. The Å can be thought of as the ‘au’ sound in (British accent) ‘Paul’. Indeed, some Swedish Pauls actually spell their names Pål. The sound is long, as in a long ‘Pååål’, or ‘poor’.
This letter can be thought of as the English ‘ai’ in ‘pair’, or ‘hair’. The only thing to remember is that the mouth is actually quite wide, a bit more of a smile than when saying ‘pair’.
Finally, the Ö is similar to the English sound ‘i’ in the word ‘bird’. Or ‘u’ in the word ‘fur’. Or ‘ea’ in the word ‘heard’. The lips are fairly rounded, but also slightly trumpet-shaped.
And finally, the graduation test is to fully master the following Swedish tongue twister: Flyg fula fluga flyg, och den fula flugan flög (Fly, ugly fly, fly, and the ugly fly flew.).
- Anneli’s new book Teach Yourself Complete Swedish has extensive information on pronunciations of Swedish letters and letter combinations (including the pesky sj-sound)
- Here is a video of the whole Swedish alphabet, with a special recap of vowels at the end.
- If you want to practice your pronunciation with a Swedish teacher, book a Skype lesson with us here.
- We have also a study group on Facebook, called “Learn Swedish with Swedish Made Easy – here is a brief video describing what the group is all about.