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The chart below shows how the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Norwegian pronunciations in Wikipedia articles. The accent that has been used here as a model is Urban East Norwegian, which is an unofficial pronunciation standard of Bokmål that is spoken in the Oslo region and most commonly taught to foreigners. See also Norwegian phonology for more details about pronunciation.

IPA Examples Nearest English equivalent
b bil bee
ç kjip huge
d dag day
ɖ sardin[1] retroflex /d/
ʁd no English equivalent; French corde
f fot foot
ɡ god good
h hatt hat
j jo yo
k kafé coffee
l lake lack
Abel little, but without velarization; German Esel
ɭ Karl[1] retroflex /l/
ʁl no English equivalent; French Arles
m man man
n natt night
natten chosen
ɳ barn[1] retroflex /n/
ʁn no English equivalent; French Marne
ɳ̍ baren no English equivalent
ŋ ting thing
p pappa papa
r år[1][2] GA latter
ʁ roughly like Scottish loch; French rester
ɽ [example needed] GA latter, but retroflex
ɽ̍ About this soundlerenga no English equivalent
s sabel sabre
ʂ sjø shoe, but retroflex
ʁs no English equivalent; French Corse
t tirsdag time
ʈ parti[1] retroflex /t/
ʁt no English equivalent; French carte
v vaktel vat
IPA Examples Nearest English equivalent
ɑ fast art
ɑː mat bra, RP car
æ fersk[3] trap
æː ære[3] Australian mad
ɛ helle[3] set
hel[3] Scottish save
ɪ sill hill
i need
ɔ åtte[4] off
mål[4] go
œ nøtt[4] roughly like Burt; German Röcke
øː dø[4] roughly like bird; German schön
ʊ ond[4] put
bot[4] fool
ʉ full[4][5] Australian choose; German müssen
ʉː ful[4][5] Australian goose; German üben
ʏ nytt[4][5] roughly like hit; Swedish syll
syl[4][5] roughly like leave; Swedish syl
ɑɪ kai[6] Australian price
æɪ bein Australian day
æʉ hauk[4] Australian now
ɛɪ tape[6] day
ɔʏ boikott[4][6] boy
œʏ røyk[4] Scottish house
ʉɪ hui[4][7] to eternity
Reduced vowels
ə påle about
Stress and tone
IPA Examples Explanation
ˈ bønder
Tone 1 / acute accent:
  • low-rising tone in Oslo and Trondheim: [ˈbœ̀nːə̌r]
  • falling-low tone in Bergen: [ˈbœ̂nːə̀ʁ]
  • rising-falling tone in Stavanger: [ˈbœ̌nːɔ̂ʁ]
  • simple primary stress in certain accents: [ˈbœnːər][8]
² bønner
Tone 2 / grave accent:
  • falling-rising tone in Oslo and Trondheim: [ˈbœ̂nːə̌r]
  • rising-falling tone in Bergen: [ˈbœ̌nːə̂ʁ]
  • falling-falling tone in Stavanger: [ˈbœ̂nːɔ̂ʁ]
  • simple primary stress in certain accents: [ˈbœnːər][8]


  1. ^ a b c d e f In many of the dialects that have an apical rhotic consonant, a recursive Sandhi process of retroflexion occurs, and clusters of /r/ and dental consonants /rd/, /rl/, /rn/, /rs/, /rt/ produce retroflex consonant realizations: [ɖ], [ɭ], [ɳ], [ʂ], [ʈ]. In dialects with a guttural R [ʁ], such as Southern and Western Norwegian dialects, they are [ʁd], [ʁl], [ʁn], [ʁs], [ʁt].
  2. ^ /r/ varies considerably in different dialects: it is alveolar (tapped or trilled) in some dialects and uvular in others.
  3. ^ a b c d Before /r/, the quality of non-high front vowels is changed: /eː/ and /ɛ/ lower to [æː] and [æ].
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n [ɔ, , œ, øː, ʏ, , ɔʏ, œʏ] are protruded vowels, while [ʉ, ʉː, ʊ, ] (including the [ʉ] element in [æʉ] and [ʉɪ]) are compressed.
  5. ^ a b c d The distinction between compressed [ʉ] and protruded [y] is particularly difficult to hear for non-native speakers:
    • Norwegian compressed [ʉ] sounds very close to German compressed [ʏ] (as in müssen About this sound[ˈmʏsn̩]).
    • Norwegian protruded [ʏ] sounds more similar to English unrounded [ɪ] (as in hit) than to German compressed [ʏ], and it is very close to Swedish protruded [ʏ] (as in syll About this sound[sʏlː]).
    • Norwegian compressed [ʉː] sounds very close to German compressed [] (as in üben ).
    • Norwegian protruded [] sounds more similar to English unrounded [] (as in leave) than to German compressed [], and it is very close to Swedish protruded [] (as in syl About this sound[syːl]).
  6. ^ a b c [ɑɪ, ɛɪ, ɔʏ] appear only in loanwords. [ɛɪ] is used only by some younger speakers, who contrast it with [æɪ]; speakers who do not have [ɛɪ] in their diphthong inventory replace it with [æɪ] (Kristoffersen (2000:19)).
  7. ^ [ʉɪ] appears only in the word hui (Kristoffersen (2000:19)).
  8. ^ a b Some accents have a simple primary stress rather than a contrastive pitch accent. In those accents, bønder (meaning 'farmers') and bønner (meaning 'beans') are pronounced exactly the same.


  • Berulfsen, Bjarne (1969), Norsk Uttaleordbok (in Norwegian), Oslo: H. Aschehoug & Co (W Nygaard)
  • Kristoffersen, Gjert (2000), The Phonology of Norwegian, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-823765-5
  • Kvifte, Bjørn; Gude-Husken, Verena (2005) [First published 1997], Praktische Grammatik der norwegischen Sprache (3rd ed.), Gottfried Egert Verlag, ISBN 3-926972-54-8
  • Skaug, Ingebjørg (2003) [First published 1996], Norsk språklydlære med øvelser (in Norwegian) (3rd ed.), Oslo: Cappelen Akademisk Forlag AS, ISBN 82-456-0178-0
  • Vanvik, Arne (1979), Norsk fonetikk (in Norwegian), Oslo: Universitetet i Oslo, ISBN 82-990584-0-6
  • Vanvik, Arne (1985), Norsk Uttaleordbok: A Norwegian pronouncing dictionary, Oslo: Fonetisk institutt, Universitetet i Oslo, ISBN 978-8299058414

External links

  • "Lexin". Uni Research Computing.
  • "Nordavinden og sola: Opptak og transkripsjoner av norske dialekter" (in Norwegian). Trondheim: Institutt for språk- og kommunikasjonsstudier, Norges teknisk-naturvitenskapelige universitet.
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