Guide on How to Learn Swedish Pronunciation

By OptiLingo • 6 minutes read

Learning and speaking Swedish gains you access to join among the nine million languages in Sweden and some selected regions in Finland. The style is greatly similar to English on sentence structure and grammar but with some small differences. Swedish is among the simplest languages to understand and speak when few lessons are provided.


Critical Points to Note


1. Listening and Imitating the Language

Similar to how children learn and understand how adults speak, they easily utter their first words immediate from the native language heard. Unlike children, listening and simulating the words for adults is a great challenge but understanding the grammar, with guidelines, can aid in learning Swedish. Writing down the words for adults remains considered natural compared to uttering the words with the correct pronunciation.

Children tend to learn faster to distinct native languages due to their listening and imitation technique they possess than adults who can listen but with a problem of pronouncing correctly. Learning Swedish begins by monitoring and trying to imitate the words step by step until the word come out correctly.


2. Hearing

As pronunciation is a physiological procedure for understanding any language, adults can easily learn Swedish. Adults possess neurologist and physiological features, similar children, hence have the capability on how to learn Swedish pronunciations. The hearing is a critical factor in understanding the words, pronunciations and enabling the mimicking nature of the Swedish language.


3. Comparison between Pronunciation and Spelling

There exists a significant difference between how the sounds are pronounced and how letters are written. Some characters sound different in Swedish compared to other languages similar to some consonants enunciated the same in some native words. In Swedish for instance, kal and kol have similar pronunciation but with different letters making the sounds. Therefore, the native language of the learner has an impact on the lessons provided in learning and understanding Swedish.


4. Learning Swedish Pronunciation

Being an adult in learning Swedish requires a few children techniques such as listening and mimicking the language more frequently. Usually use active dialogues, Swedish television programs, and radio stations which engage in teaching the language and hear carefully and more frequently. Understand the phrases and try speaking them out following the speed of the teacher while repeating many times. It’s advisable not to use written materials as most may mislead due to sounds and letters difference.


Prosody Lessons

Understanding Swedish also requires learning the pattern of the rhythm, stress, sound used and intonation available in the language. Use of prosody also brings out emotions, feeling, tone and attitudes expressed in the sentences constructed. Hearing and imitating the language accompanies the pattern which makes the Swedish language learnt quickly and easily understood. Prosody is characterized by word stress, accent, and stress in sentences.


1. Word Stress

Word stress means inputting either a short or long emphasis on words which are promoted independently and stressed on one or more syllables. Swedish words have very long emphasized words with a long vowel and a short consonant or short vowel and long consonant. When learning Swedish, it’s vital that the stressed syllables be understood on their length and contrast as they may result in a different meaning if not pronounced well.

Stressed syllables have either long vowel and short consonant, short vowel and long consonant or long vowel and long consonant. Practice great word stress of words such as people’s names and ecological regions to perfect the pronunciations of Swedish words.


2. Word Accent

Word accent is stress or emphasis that a word or words possess in a given language. Swedish words typically weight one or two syllables accompanied by two intonation curves which give the style a singing-like conversation hence referred to as an accented language; a good tip on how to learn Swedish pronunciation. Swedish words with two syllables are given accent two with the first syllable emphasized. Words with rising tones have an emphasis one while those with a falling tone receive accent two.


3. Sentence Stress Structure

When word stress and accent are put together, they form sentences which are also part of prosody as a technique of learning Swedish. Phrases together with clauses offer a continuous dialogue containing various stressed words in the sentence to deliver the required message. Sentence stress provides the emphasis on the essential critical words in the speech hence offering an opportunity on how to learn Swedish pronunciation.

Clauses frequently stressed include nouns, adjectives, adverbs, numerals, interjections, names and pronouns while unstressed ones include auxiliary verbs, prepositions, sentence adverbs, and conjunctions. Learning Swedish thus requires stressing the essential words during the exercises in understanding the language.



Letters and spellings of Swedish words have a very different pronunciation compared to other languages such as English and the native language of the learner. It’s, therefore, essential to note that learning pronunciations first is vital compared to understanding the written word.


1. Vowels

Unlike English with five vowels, Swedish has nine: a, e, i, o, u, y, å, ä, õ which have a distinct quality in pronunciation and quantity in length. The quality varies in high and low points of the tongue but with a small difference between long and short vowel sounds. When pronouncing, the vowels usually differ in peak and the bottom of the utterance hence the length and the pronouncements depends.


2. Consonants

Swedish has twenty alphabets with eighteen consonants as other sounds such as /s, c, z/ having more letters. The consonants are categorized into different groups depending on the mode of pronunciation. For instance, /p/ is formed when the air is held at the mouth and throat, /j/ having a small restriction and /f/ the wind is resealed upon the teeth and the lower lips.

They are further grouped into voiceless: /p/, /t/ and /k/ and voiced consonants /b/, /d/ and /g/. The consonants also have quality and quantity feature which require adequate practice. The long pronunciation letters should be well differentiated from short consonants for a successful Swedish language study.


Other Important Points to Consider


1. Pronunciation and Spelling

Vowels can be classified into hard and soft vowels because some consonants such as /g, k, SK/ are soft afore soft vowels becoming /j, tj, sj/. Hard vowels include /a, o, u, å/ while soft vowels are /e, i, y, ä, õ/ which sometimes have a different pronunciation in a given statement of speech.


2. Fluency

Speaking Swedish requires a regular alternation of stressed and unstressed words at the appropriate positions of the speech. Reduce the stress to the right syllables and utter quickly on the unstressed words to lose their length. Again, focus on the aspirant consonants such as p, t, and k at the start of the stresses syllable releasing sufficient air at an interval of the consonant and the next vowel.

On the ten voiced and eight unvoiced consonants in the Swedish language, adopt a voicing assimilation method when the voiced and unvoiced collide in a word. Ensure that the unvoiced word dominated the voiced resulting in a voiceless word when. Also, nasal assimilation in words should fit in either within or amidst the words.


Dreaming of learning a new language? With OptiLingo, you can learn 20 languages in just 20 minutes per day. - Optilingo


What is OptiLingo?

Dreaming of learning a new language? OptiLingo was founded in 2016 to help people who truly wanted to learn a new language but struggled and failed too many times to think it was possible. With OptiLingo, you can learn 20 languages in just 20 minutes per day.

"Our mission is to breathe life into those dreams again."