Swedish Language

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Alphabet Swedish uses letters a - z as the English. Add at the end , and (, , ). We also use several accents like: , , , . Those letters are sorted after the the corresponding letter without the accent.
Danish and Norwegian use the letters for and for and recently added after Swedish model. Before that they used aa for .
NOTE that the sorting is different from Danish and Norwegian which both sort , , ( added last historically)
THE SPECIAL LETTERS
We need a few definitions:
a diaeresis is a mark added to a vowel indicating that it should be pronounced separately or differently. The diacritic (or diacritical mark) of 2 dots above a vowel is such a diaeresis.
Ex: Emily Bronte would be pronounced "bront" (silent e) but is correctly written Bront and then correctly pronounced "bronte".
In Swedish you can forget all this since what looks like a diacritic (the 2 dots) in letters and and the circle on top in are all part of unique letters and NOT additions to a base letter as in the examples of diacritical marks above.
a linguistic ligature is a joining stroke in handwriting.
A German umlaut [um = transform and laut = sound] is also a vowel modifying mark using 2 dots above the vowel. It has many uses involving plural forms and present/past tense of verbs.
Another and more common use of the term umlaut in German and some related languages refers to 2 dots above the vowels a, o and u producing , and . The original sound was written adding an "e" after the a, o or u,
but eventually the e was moved up on top creating a new single character. The e on top 
In well designed fonts you can see a difference between a diaeresis type "2 dots" (higher up) and this umlaut (dots closer to the "base letter") but on computers the difference is not seen.
More details about umlaut.
: Originally this sound was written as a double a. The circle above is therefore NOT to be considered as a diacritical mark above the letter "a".
: Originally this sound was written as ae but later joined to form a single letter. In Danish and Norwegian the two original letters are still visible in their letter but in Swedish the e moved all the way to the top and transformed into what looks like a tilde. The top mark is however inseparable and, strictly speaking, not a tilde.
This form is the old style which you will find in old, hand-written documents. Later the tilde-like top part has turned into two dots similar to the German

can be written with either 2 dots as on modern type-writers and computers or with a tilde, especially in handwriting. 
: Originally this sound was written as oe but later joined to form a single letter. In Danish and Norwegian the e turned into a  letter but in Swedish the e moved all the way to the top and transformed into what looks like a tilde. The top mark is however inseparable and, strictly speaking, not a tilde.
 
Typing The standard code page used in computers to produce the letters used by most Latin based languages is ISO 8859-1 (also named Latin-1). You should set your computer to use that code page if you want to write Swedish. The codes work perfectly for English and American too. The main advantage is that you can both type and read the Swedish letters which otherwise turn up as illegible codes.
On a PC keyboard you can manage the special Swedish letters in two ways.
1) Temporary typing:
While holding down the left Alt key type a 3-4 digit code on the NUMERICAL keyboard (to the right) - then release the Alt key. On some machines / Windows versions Num lock must be on
= Alt-134, .. = Alt-132, .. = Alt-148, .. = Alt-143, .. = Alt-142, .. = Alt-153
or using 4-digit codes
(the leading zero must be typed)
= Alt-0229, .. = Alt-0228, .. = Alt-0246, .. = Alt-0197, .. = Alt-0196, .. = Alt-0214
= Alt-0224, .. = Alt-0225, .. = Alt-0232, .. = Alt-0233
The following are not part of the Swedish alphabet but used in foreign words and names:
= Alt-0230, .. = Alt-0198, .. = Alt-0252, .. = Alt-0220, .. = Alt-0248, .. = Alt-0216

List of more codes on Rootsweb

2) Use Windows "Character Map"
A utility program in Windows. Find it under Start->Programs. Can be used for copying characters or just to find the "Alt-" code

3) Permanent implementation of Swedish keyboard
(This is for Win 95 but is similar on later Win versions)
Open Start, Settings, Control Panel, Keyboard, Language tab. Click Add and select the Swedish keyboard. Select your hot-key (= quick switch key combination) under "Switch languages" and check the "Enable indicator on taskbar. Click Ok and close Control panel.
Now when you want to switch keyboard press the selected hot-key combination (e.g. Left Alt +Right Shift).
Some keys will now produce different characters from the ones printed on the key caps:
[ = , { = , .. ' = , " = , ; = , : =
Some other keys also change identity like &, /, <, >, (, ), -, =. You can experiment to find those but the easiest way is to temporarily switch back to US/UK keyboard.

Make a small map of your keyboard (put it keys-down on a copying machine) and change the key top markings for those that are different with the Swedish keyboard setting.
OR put small stickers on the SIDE (facing you) of the keycaps
.

Macintosh:
(a-ring) -- opt-a;  (a-dieresis) -- opt-u + a;  (o-dieresis) -- opt-u + o
(A-ring) -- shift-opt-a;  (A-dieresis) -- opt-u + A;  (O-dieresis) -- opt-u + O
For other special letters and Macintosh keys go here
Pronunciation This is very hard to explain in writing. The only way is to get hold of a dictionary that prints the pronunciation using the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet). Make sure the dictionary is printed for your OWN language, otherwise the phonetic alphabet may refer to sound definitions familiar to speakers of another language only. Check the dictionary preface for this info.
Some tips: (refer to British-English - not American English)
Letter Short Long
E "e" in bet ??
G before a "hard" vowel (a,o,u,) as Eng "g" in gust
G before a "soft" vowel (e,i,y,,) as Swe "j"= Eng "y",
e.g. "get" = "yeet" (the animal goat)
I "i" in tic "ee" in sheet (no "ai" sound)
J "y" as in yoke, e.g. name John = Yonn
U ?? "u" in parachute but with a front vowel (i.e. tongue further forward).
W always like "v", except in loan words
"o" in hot "o" in cord
"e" in tell "ea" in bear
no Eng corresponding sound. (?) "u" in church is similar.
Vowel before single consonant usually long
before double consonant short
("ck" also counts as a double consonant)
"mat" (food) = long
"matt" (tired) = short
"bok" (book) = long
"bock" (he-goat) = short
Some words have sound the same but are spelled differently
e.g.: short "" and "o": "mtt" (=measure) and "mott" (moth, the insect)

Also check Bjrn Engdahl's language site
The best way is to listen to Swedish (even if you don't understand all words). Try Radio Sweden international broadcasts in Swedish

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Last updated by F Hae 2005-07-09 21:04 Fredrik Haeffner, 2001-5