Old Norse: Freyr


Senior Member
English (USA)
I hope that someone can help me with the correct pronunciation of two characters from Nordic mythology.

1. Freyr
Is it:
Frier (like English fry +er)
Frare (like English F + rare/Fr + air)
Frayer (like English 'prayer' but with an F)
or is it something else entirely?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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  • Sardokan1.0

    Senior Member
    Sardu / Italianu
    I think that the E must be pronounced like in TEN, and the Y pronounced separated from the E, the accent should be on the E, and the R must be rolled.



    German (Germany)
    like English
    I am afraid that is a suboptimal way to approach the question. The least wrong of your analogies is:
    like English 'prayer' but with an F
    But prayer has two syllables, Freyr only one. If I had to describe it in terms of an analogy to English I would describe it as "Like English frail buy with an r". -- A rolled r that is, both of them.

    About the final -r: This is etymologically a rhoticized voiced s, a phenomenon that is common to North and West Germanic. In Old Norse, this process was probably not yet completed. The exact pronunciation is not known but it must have been somewhere in the middle between a voiced s and a rolled r.
    the accent should be on the E
    -ey- is a diphthong and the syllable nucleus. I don't think it makes phonological sense in Nordic languages to split the stress of a long vowel or diphthong. But I could be wrong.
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    German (Germany)
    Predominantly, yes. But the OP must have thought of the bi-syllabic variant [ˈpɹeɪ.əɹ], which is not infrequent in the US. Otherwise the contrast to
    Frare (like English F + rare/Fr + air)
    wouldn't make any sense.

    But you are right: my simple, unqualified statement "... prayer has two syllables" is not correct. Sorry for that.
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