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The chart below shows how the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Norwegian language pronunciations in resource articles. For a guide to adding IPA characters to resource articles, see {{IPA-no}} and Resource: Manual of Style/Pronunciation § Entering IPA characters.

The accent that has been used here as a model is Urban East Norwegian, the pronunciation of Bokmål spoken in the Oslo region and most commonly taught to foreigners.

See also Norwegian phonology and Norwegian orthography § Sound to spelling correspondences for more details about pronunciation of Norwegian.

IPA Examples Nearest English equivalent
b bil bee
ç kjip huge
d dag day
? sardin[1] retroflex /d/
f fot foot
? god good
h hatt hat
j jojo yoyo
k kafé coffee
l lake, Karl, anleg, Hordaland[2][3][4] lack
l? Abel little, but without velarization; German Esel
? falsk[2][3][4] pull
m man man
n natt night
n? natten chosen
? barn[1] retroflex /n/
baren no English equivalent
? ting thing
p pappa papa
r år[1][3] GA latter
? About this soundlerenga GA latter, but retroflex
s sabel sabre
? sjø, torsdag[1] shoe, but retroflex
t tirsdag time
? parti[1] retroflex /t/
v vaktel vat
IPA Examples Nearest English equivalent
? fast art
?: mat bra, RP car
æ fersk[3][5] trap
æ: ære[3][5] Australian mad
? helle[5] set
e: hel[5] Scottish save
? sill hill
i: i need
? åtte[6] off
o: mål[6] story
oe nøtt[6] roughly like bet, but with rounded lips; German Röcke
ø: dø[6] roughly like Scottish save, but with rounded lips; German schön
? ond[6] put
u: bot[6] fool
? full[6][7] Australian goose; German müssen
?: ful[6][7] Australian choose; German üben
? nytt[6][7] roughly like hit, but with rounded lips; Swedish syll
y: syl[6][7] roughly like leave, but with rounded lips; Swedish syl
kai[8] Australian price
æ? bein Australian day
æ? hauk[6] Australian now
tape[8] day
boikott[6][8] boy
oe? røyk[6] Scottish house
hui[6][9] to eternity
Reduced vowels
? påle about
Stress and tone
IPA Examples Explanation
' bønder
Low tone / Tone 1 / acute accent[10]
' bønner
Falling tone / Tone 2 / grave accent[10]


  1. ^ a b c d e Clusters of /r/ and laminal consonants /rd/, /rn/, /rs/, /rt/ produce retroflex realizations in a recursive Sandhi process: , , , .
  2. ^ a b In contemporary Urban East Norwegian there is no difference between the historical /rl/ and the simple /l/; both are realized as non-velarized apical alveolar . The laminal (in this guide transcribed the same as ) occurs after /n, t, d/ and also after back vowels (though not always in the case of the close /?, u:/), where it can contrast with the apical alveolar . The laminal variant is velarized (transcribed in this guide without the diacritic) after back vowels but not after the central /?/ (Kristoffersen (2000:25)).
  3. ^ a b c d e The lack of distinction between the consonants traditionally transcribed with ⟨l⟩ and ⟨?⟩ in the literature leaves no trace of the historical /r/ after some vowels, most notably the close front /?, i:, ?, y:/ and the close central /?, ?:/. After the mid front /?, e:/ the contrast is maintained by lowering the vowels to [æ, æ:] before the historical /rl/, whereas after the back vowels (the mid /?, o:/ and the open /?, ?:/ in particular) the contrast often surfaces as a contrast between a plain apical (which corresponds to historical /rl/) and a velarized laminal (which corresponds to historical /l/).
  4. ^ a b When the lateral is followed by a stressable vowel (i.e. any vowel other than /?/) in a compound word, it is realized as non-velarized regardless of the backness of the preceding vowel (as in Hordaland ), except when it occurs in a morpheme-final position. This means that the non-velarized allophone is more common than the velarized one.
  5. ^ a b c d Before /r/, the quality of non-high front vowels is changed: /e:/ and /?/ lower to and .
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n [?, o:, oe, ø:, ?, y:, , oe?] are protruded vowels, while [?, ?:, ?, u:] (including the [?] element in [æ?] and []) are compressed.
  7. ^ a b c d The distinction between compressed and protruded is particularly difficult to hear for non-native speakers:
    • Norwegian compressed sounds very close to German compressed (as in müssen ).
    • Norwegian protruded sounds more similar to English unrounded (as in hit) than to German compressed , and it is very close to Swedish protruded (as in syll ).
    • Norwegian compressed 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 ).
  8. ^ a b c [, , ] appear only in loanwords. [] is used only by some younger speakers, who contrast it with [æ?]; speakers who do not have [] in their diphthong inventory replace it with [æ?] (Kristoffersen (2000:19)).
  9. ^ [] appears only in the word hui (Kristoffersen (2000:19)).
  10. ^ a b The rise that often follows is only realized at the end of an intonational phrase. It is non-phonemic.


  • 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

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