Swedish: pronounciation of två

Discussion in 'Nordic Languages' started by Rochelle-H, Sep 15, 2017.

  1. Rochelle-H New Member

    English - American
    What is the correct pronounciation of två ?

    T - where is the tongue placed?
    V - just like American v?
    å - long or short? aw? o? oo?

    And putting the three above together?
  2. Brannoc Member

    British English
    Lived in Sweden on and off for quite a few years and adore the country and language to bits, however not being Swedish I can only say that I think you could perhaps try going down the phonetic route which personally I always found very helpful, especially as in this case there is no equivalent in English.

    So starting with the word vortex leave off the word "tex" at the end leaving you with just "vor". Then replace the å with the ordinary English word "or", finally adding the t at the beginning so it would read t-vor-or. Then squeeze it all together and pronounce it as just one word - "tvoror" - however with the middle r always silent = tvor.

    Hope this helps, however always ready from experience to stand corrected by native speakers....;)
  3. Red Arrow :D

    Red Arrow :D Senior Member

    Dutch - Belgium
    The v is either a partially devoiced V or simply an F. Long å is indeed pronounced like the vowel in the American English word 'or', but there is often a short schwa right after it. (a schwa is the a sound in the word 'about', but it's very short)
  4. Wilma_Sweden

    Wilma_Sweden Senior Member

    Lund, Sweden
    Swedish (Scania)
    I disagree emphatically - v in Swedish is almost always voiced, and I cannot imagine a single combination where it would sound anything like f. In fluent speech you don't need to worry about extra schwas or diphthongs - in sound samples, like on the Wikipedia article about Swedish phonology, the long vowels are sometimes exaggerated. If you can work your way through the article, you'll find sound samples for most phonemes. In IPA, I would simply show the pronunciation thus: /tv/ (listen to "mål" for example).
    For an English speaker without IPA, I would suggest 'tvore' (rhymes with fore). The t differs from English t in that the tongue hits the alveolar ridge further forward, almost behind your upper front teeth, the tongue is flatter and less curled than in an English t. For the v sound, just use the same as in very, maverick etc.
  5. Sepia Senior Member

    High German/Danish

    If you can still find it on Youtube I can also reccomend you to look up the documentary series "Svenska dialektmysterier". It gives some insight in how things are pronounced in the differnt parts of Sweden, but also why.
  6. Rochelle-H New Member

    English - American
    Thank you all so much for replies. I'm working on the pronunciation and will follow the above tips. Learning a new language at 58 years old is slow. Best regards, Rochelle
  7. Rochelle-H New Member

    English - American
    I found "Svenska dialektmysterier" or Swedish dialect mysteries! Thanks, Rochelle
  8. Red Arrow :D

    Red Arrow :D Senior Member

    Dutch - Belgium
    My source was Wordreference: Swedish: pronunciation of v
    But you seem to be right. When I listen carefully to SVT Nyheter, I do hear a voiced sound in words such as två and kvinna.
  9. Wilma_Sweden

    Wilma_Sweden Senior Member

    Lund, Sweden
    Swedish (Scania)
    I'd be worried if you didn't! ;)
    I have to retract that statement - after re-examining the paper(*) by Tomas Riad referred to in the thread mentioned, I find that v -> f only before a voiceless phoneme, e.g. havs = /hafs/. However, my brain thinks it's a v and therefore I hadn't even thought about it!

    (*) Svenskt fonologikompendium
  10. tewlwolow

    tewlwolow Senior Member

    Polish - Poland
  11. Lugubert Senior Member

    Wilma is correct,as always. But on
    I don't agree 100 %. OK, thats' what all text books say, but I find that my tip of the tongue quite often rests on my lower teeth on 't' or gets intradental. To make it more complicated, my Western Swedish 'd' tends to be on the retroflex side...

    Whatever you do, however, don't despair. Slow indeed, but manageable. I started Chinese at 58, and had it as a major in my (second) linguistic B.A. at 66.
  12. Wilma_Sweden

    Wilma_Sweden Senior Member

    Lund, Sweden
    Swedish (Scania)
    Given that I wanted to illustrate roughly the difference between Swedish T and English T I chose to ignore the dialectal variations. :)

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