Pronunciation #12 - K

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The Swedish K can take on two different sounds.

K + E, I, Y, Ä, Ö → [ɕ]*

  
kedja
chain
  
kista
chest, coffin, casket
  
kyrka
church
  
källa
spring
  
kök
kitchen

K + A, O, U, Å and consonant → [k]

  
kall
cold
  
kopp
cup, mug
  
kung
king
  
kvinna
woman
  
kål
cabbage

In some loan words, K + E, I and Ö is also pronounced like a regular K because of the original pronunciation. [køː], queue, kör [kœr], choir, arkiv [ar’kiːv], archive, monarki [mʊnar’kiː], monarchy, moské [mɔs’keː], mosch, and kex [keks], biscuit. (Kex is pronounced the Swedish way [ɕeks] in some dialects. For instance in Gothenburg dialect.)

In softly emphasized syllable or ending syllable, K + E and I doesn’t turn into [ɕ]. Historiker [his’tuːrikər], historian, rike [”riːkə], kingdom, and tråkig [”troːkɪ(g)], boring.