Pronunciation of använda, uttala, etc

laurent485

Member
Chinese
Dear to all,

I wish to know how to pronounce some Swedish compound verbs such as använda, anlita, påverka, etc. My question is that: since these words are compounds, they have two stressed/long syllables which stand next to each other (stå intill varandra). I learned from a book that if one stressed syllable (betonad stavelse) is immediately followed by another stressed syllable, it will cause a so-called betongningskrock, so the second syllable loses its stress. So I think that använda, olika are pronunced like ledare, frågade. Am I right? Could any Swedish native speaker kindly give me a reply? Thanks in advance.
 
  • Segorian

    Senior Member
    Icelandic & Swedish
    So I think that använda, olika are pronunced like ledare, frågade. Am I right?
    There is a lot of variation in the pronunciation of Swedish, but I can confirm that all of these words are generally pronounced with the so-called ‘grave’ (“two-peaked”) tone or accent. There is, however, a subtle difference between the pronunciation of a word like använda and that of a word like ledare. In the former, the second tone peak lands squarely on the second syllable, while in the latter it is more vaguely distributed between the second and third syllables (at least that's how I hear it).

    Note also that a betoningskrock (not a very commonly used term, I should add) does not cause the second of the two adjoining syllables to completely lose its stress. Instead, the stress is weakened, leading naturally to a pronunciation with a grave accent. (If the only stress was on the first syllable, the word would be pronounced with an acute (“one-peaked”) accent).

    You can listen to pronunciation examples for individual words on websites such as svenska.se.
     

    laurent485

    Member
    Chinese
    Thanks Segorian for your remark. I can now hear the difference between "använda " and "ledare ". In "ledare ", the second tone is evenly distributed between the second and third syllables.
    Another question I have is: in "använda " the second syllable "vän" becomes shortend, compared to the word "vända " where "vän " is a long syllable?
     

    Segorian

    Senior Member
    Icelandic & Swedish
    Another question I have is: in "använda " the second syllable "vän" becomes shortend, compared to the word "vända " where "vän " is a long syllable?
    In Swedish, an accented syllable is always long, so -vän- is long in both vända and använda. The length is created in this case by the combination of a short vowel and a long consonant. A long syllable can be either this or the combination of a long vowel and a short consonant. You can hear this clearly in the two possible pronunciations of the word vänlig. Note also that in continuous speech individual words can/will lose all or part of their stress, which then affects the length of each syllable.
     
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