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What's your favourite Swedish dialect?

The Local · 29 Apr 2009, 12:14

Published: 29 Apr 2009 12:14 GMT+02:00

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Tiffany Hoffman

Tiffany Hoffman

Since I'm still new to the Swedish language, it's quite difficult for me to distinguish between the dialects, but I can recognize a few. Here in Linköping, I think the dialect is easy to understand, but Skånska--really deep Skånska--is like its own language.

Because of my own southern American accent, I can definitely appreciate and respect the Skåne dialect--and the teasing that comes with it--and I think it's fun to hear. I haven't heard many dialects from the north, but I look forward to the day when I'm fluent enough in Swedish to pick them out.

Robert Flahiff

Robert Flahiff

Dalarna's Dalmål! C'mon, who doesn't get a chuckle from "Jordpäron" (Earth Pear), which is a potato in my parts. Funny part is that we have so many sub-dialects that old-timers can tell people their neighborhood or village just by listening to them for a few sentences.

But I think the real reason I like Dalmål is that I just don't comprehend Skånska - it sounds like somebody speaking out of their nose with their mouth full of gravel. And I know I may take some heat for that, but if you are speaking in Skånska, I just won't be able to understand you anyways....

Sanna Holmqvist

Sanna Holmqvist

Without any trace of doubt in my mind - Skånska. The Skåne dialect. That is what I have grown up with and that is what makes me feel comfortable and at home.

There are so many kinds of Skånska, every district or city has its own. Within the cities, the different parts may have their own too. Old people in Malmö, where I live, tell me that in their youth, they could easily decide from which side of town someone was (so it is worth remembering that the city used to be perhaps even more segregated than it is today).

Posh Fridhem or workers’ Möllan; Kirseberg, Holma or Kulladal; your specific version of Malmöitiska gave you away instantly (to native Malmö ears). But this is probably true in many cities.

Skånska is soft and singing, yet with a rougher touch from the r's (that are pronounced as in Denmark, Germany and France) and the diphthongs, somehow: cursing or getting angry in Skånska is more efficient than in other dialects... But when spoken in a friendly voice, there is nothing that sounds nicer and kinder.

And Skånska is absolutely impossible to imitate, if you don't speak it naturally. So many actors and comedians and imitators have tried and failed (embarrassingly enough, often without realising). It is almost impossible to get the melody absolutely right and the r's flowing effortlessly.

We mostly get embarrassed and feel awkward when people try. Especially if they think they are funny. I haven't ever heard anyone succeed. I don't know if this is good or bad - it is simply how it is.

Nabeel Shehzad

Nabeel Shehzad

I am very new to the Swedish language and still do not understand it fully. In the beginning all the dialects were the same to me. I couldn’t understand anything. Now when I have started understanding, I can see the difference in dialects too.

The Swedish dialect spoken in southern Sweden, like Gothenburg, seems best to me as it is easy to understand. I think they speak it very calmly. Stockholmers on the other hand speak much faster and always look like they’re in a hurry and skip over words. I find it very difficult to understand even a single word sometimes.

Then there is this Rinkeby Swedish, Swedish spoken by immigrants mostly. I like it too as it comes in a different flavour, a bit harsh and a bit loud and with an Arabian accent to it, though a friend of mine calls it a throat disease.

I am still in the learning process and since I am living in Gothenburg I have more influence from Gothenburgish (that’s what I call it at least). To me it is simple, slow and easy to learn and the good thing is people are very cooperative even if you speak it wrong.

Marcus Cederström

Story continues below…

Marcus Cederström

I am constantly amazed by the number of dialects in Sweden. In a country of only nine million people there seem to be countless dialects, some that differ significantly from one another in regions that are just a few Swedish miles apart.

But of all those different dialects, my favourite by far is Skånska. And I blame my father completely for that.

My father and his family originate from Skåne. He spent his childhood there and still carries the classic dialect of the region. While he spent his childhood in Skåne, I spent mine in the next best thing. Colorado, in the middle of the United States. Which is almost the same.

Seeing as how my old man was the only Swedish speaker for miles around though, I grew up hearing nothing but Skånska. When we returned to Sweden for our summer vacations, we travelled to Skåne. I have been inundated with the dialect all of my life. And I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Living in Stockholm, I am surrounded by the classic accent of the region, but every time I hear that Skånsk accent, my ears perk up and I feel like I’m home.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

13:18 April 29, 2009 by Balticcrosser
Can't believe nobody mentioned Finlandsvenska, or doesn't that qualify as a Swedish dialect? To me, it just sounds so gentle, the way it lilts. It makes me smile every time I hear it.
10:10 April 30, 2009 by Britswedeguy
My favourite Swedish dialect is - Norwegian ;)
11:46 May 1, 2009 by Random Guy
"My favourite Swedish dialect is - Norwegian ;) "

...ooooooo that's cold!

does speaking Swedish with a yo-yo stuck in your throat count as a dialect?
15:59 May 1, 2009 by rybo1
My favourite dialect is Svenglish. When I hear it, it's like music to my ears.
19:40 May 1, 2009 by Ralph Kramden
I also consider Finnish Swedish my favorite. I like the dialects in Norrland and Goeteborg
16:10 May 2, 2009 by maria1234
Hello Ralph, How does the Svenglish sound like ? can you give me an example please?

The best dialect is Skanska hahahaha (not)
16:44 May 2, 2009 by Stüpid
Swedish + English = Svenglish

Mine is Emil och Grisaknoen (Småländska)
22:13 May 2, 2009 by Viking in Singapore
I used to love watching Emil, the TV series, but I always found it odd that while everyone of Emil's family and friends spoke Småländska as they should as they were located in Småland, Emil himself spoke in a Stockholm dialect..
00:58 May 3, 2009 by Coalbanks
Don't you Swedes all speak some dialect of Danish?
13:14 May 3, 2009 by DidiE
Give me a slow talker, and a clear enunciator from Norrland any day. Lacking that, I'll take a null 8 Stockholm bland dialect.

That IS funny about Emiiiiiiil- I never really noticed, but he is a real city boy, isn't he? I like that show, it's at about my level of Swedish right now. Spending your entire day in time out sounds about like my current job situation, too.
12:17 May 4, 2009 by jim747
Norrland rules!
12:33 May 4, 2009 by 7
i'd inhale agreement if i'd ever been further north than gävle (unless you wanna count åre)
12:39 May 4, 2009 by Mzungu
Honestly! Can't imagine what you lot are on about,seeing that Småland is the heart of the nation,it just has to be SMÅLÄNDSKA without any doubt....

*please bring along an interpreter if visiting,'ve go fram'*
16:38 May 22, 2009 by Riku
GÖTEBORGSKA! Even though I speak Stockholmska :)
21:22 November 10, 2009 by sunemannen
Da glöm fel int JAMSKA?!

Hearing it just makes me flina.

Nope, the dialect from Jämtland is the best. :)
17:04 March 2, 2011 by Valdir
We have a word for Skånska in English you know: Scania. It took a while to grow on me but I could even say I like it now, after 4 years.

I'm not easily influenced by others' accents normally but going to Gothenburg - yes, that's another English word! - or even going into Norway I have that infectiously happy-sounding sing-song in my voice when I get back to Stockholm.
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