Sunday, 24 February 2013

Basic difference in pronunciation between the Swedish and English language

When it comes to pronunciation, you probably know, no matter if you are a beginner Swedish learner or an advanced, that the the way the Swedes pronounce their words are very different from the English language.

Here are som basic differences between Swedish and English:


Swedes don't really have the letter w. You may see it in last names and names of places, but really no. When we sing our alphabet song in Swedish we skipp it. Therefore, if we do happen to find the letter that has snuck in to our language, it is always pronounced as v. So if a Swede, while speaking Swedish, want to say Washington, for example, it will sound like: Vashington.


No need to say, the extra three vowels are of course a major difference between our languages.
Å is pronounced ... similar to the sound in Awesome (if you are speak the Brittish English)
Ä is pronounced... kind of like the long a-sound in glad. Close, but not really...
Ö... do you know French? More similar to the French long u-sound in un, for example. I have a tough time finding an English equivalence.


The English word gym has a g-sound that the Swedes don't have. Whenever a G shows up in the Swedish language, it's always pronounsed y (a Swede would describe it as a j, but that doesn't help an English speaker) or the hard G (sometimes it's a sj-sound, but not that often). What am I trying to say? That the "dj"-sound that the English speakers do, Swedes never do.

Of course there's more differences between Swedish and English pronunciation. But not for now.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Fettisdagen i Sverige | Semla?

What's Fat Tuesday, and what's "SEMLA"?

Well, since I asked two questions in one sentence, I pretty much answered the first one, by asking the other. The "fettisdagen" is when we eat "semla". Fettisdagen is always the last Tuesday before the beginning of the Christian Lent. And if you don't know what semla is, here is a picture.


Kärt barn har många namn

= A beloved Child has many names.

Semla in a simplified described way: Wheat bun, the top cut off,  with almond paste in the middle, lots of whipped Cream and powdered sugar on top of the lid. Mmmmmm...


= fettisdagsbulle
= fastlagsbulle
= hetvägg

Hmmm... "hetvägg" is maybe not totally a synonym. A "hetvägg" is a "semla" in warm milk, eaten in a bowl with a spoon. Like this:

How can "semla" be described?"


Practice and learn these useful Swedish adjectives - because you will most likely need to use them next time you eat a semla!

Need some help to pronounce these words? Watch this video: Swedish adjectives | Semlor in Sweden

And a semla recipe in English, for the ambitious and the poor guy not living in Sweden between January and Easter (which is the only time Swedes eat them), can be found here.

Vill du ha recept på semla på svenska? Här är en länk till dig.

* Note that "god" in Swedish is most often used about food (and yes, also in situations like "god morgon...). Most often the Swedish word "bra" is a better translation to the English word "good".