Pronunciation #8 - G

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The Swedish G is pronounced differently depending on which letters surround it.

G in front of hard vowels (A, O, U, Å) and all consonants → [g]

  
gata
road
  
glas
glass
  
god
good, delicious
  
gul
yellow
  
go

G in front of soft vowels ( E, I, Y, Ö, Ä) and after R and J → [j]

  
berg
mountain
  
gift
poison, venom
  
gym
gym
  
göra
do
  
Sverige
sweden
  
älg
moose, elk

G + N

G is pronounced like [ŋ] (ng) in front of an N.

  
lugn
calm
  
regn
rain

Loan words

In some loan words G is pronounced like [g] in front of E and I.

  
agent
agent
  
biologi
biology
  
logik
logic

A few loan words, especially French, make the G sound like [ɧ].

  
geni
genious
  
genre
Genre
  
giraff
giraffe

If a French loan word ends on -ge, the -e is dropped and the G turns into [ɕ].

  
bagage
luggage, baggage
  
garage
garage, carpark

G at the end

Some consonants at the end of words get dropped in spoken Swedish. This concerns G and common words where you’ll see this phenomenon often are dag [dɑː(g)] and jag [jɑː(g)].

G + S or T

Like with B and D, G turns into it’s harder equivalent K after a short vowel and in front of S or T.

högst [høkst], the heighest, sagt [sakt], said.

Some important words make up the exception of this rule. Säga [”sɛja], to say, and mig [mɛj], me, dig [dɛj], you, and sig [sɛj], oneself/himself/herself. G is here pronounced like [j].