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Lesson Transcript

Filip: Norwegian pronunciation series, lesson 4. Norwegian accents.
Jack: Hello everyone. Welcome back to the pronunciation series. This is lesson 4, Norwegian accents. My name is Jack.
Filip: And I'm Filip. How is it going? Are you getting the hang of Norwegian pronunciation, starting to feel more confident?
Jack: This time, we are going to go over some regional variations on pronunciation.
Filip: Up until now, you’ve learned that Norwegian has a set number of consonants and vowels, 31 native consonants, 9 vowels and 4 diphthongs.
Jack: But we also want to tell our listeners that depending on where you go in Norway, remember it’s a large and diverse country. People might say things entirely differently.
Filip: So, how are we going to cover this?

Lesson focus

Jack: Well we are going to focus on two regions. Western and Southern Norway and Northern Norway. Why? Because most of the tourists who go to Norway visit these areas at one point. Let’s start with Western Norway.
Filip: Okay so in west south Norway there is one distinct difference you will notice quite early on. For example, [er]
Jack: Like in the French or German [r]. This is what you call [a guttural R]. It was introduced in Norwegian during the time of the The Hanseatic league and it stayed since then.
Filip: Right. Many Norwegians find this [guttural r] sound to be easier than the rolling [r] and thus prefer it over the one that usually pertains to their dialect.
Jack: You are most certain to hear the [guttural r] no matter where you go in Norway. The usage has spread further down the west coastal areas and it’s become quite common everywhere in Norway.
Filip: Another thing quite special to each dialect is the different vocabulary each one has especially pronouns, interrogatives and possessive pronouns change depending on the dialect.
Jack: That’s right and what are some major changes between the eastern Norwegian dialect and the western dialect?
Filip: First of all, to not confuse our listeners, the eastern Norwegian dialect is the one you should be used to hearing by now. It’s the dialect most common in Oslo and spoken by the largest amount of Norwegians.
Jack: Oh yes that’s true.
Filip: As for the difference in the vocabulary, an easily noticeable difference is the pronoun I pronounced [jeg] in the common eastern dialect and [eg] in the west and E in the south.
Jack: Right and a good sample sentence for that?
Filip: Well hi, my name is becomes [Hei, eg heter] in western Norwegian and [Hei, i hetar] in Southern accent.
Jack: Great. Quite a difference there almost like a different language. Speaking of which the northern dialect can sound even more alien to foreigners.
Filip: Yes the northern dialects have some quite distinct differences from the eastern dialects. However the L and R sounds would be very familiar to someone that speaks with an eastern dialect.
Jack: Well the L sound can be slightly more thick than the eastern dialect and to foreigners, it might even obscure the rest of the word.
Filip: Yes Northern Norwegian has a thick L. Even I sometimes have problems understanding some of the thicker northern accents. They can be quite tricky.
Jack: So to continue, the pronouns in the Northern dialects are again different from what you might be used to.
Filip: Yes to take I as an example again, it can be pronounced as either [æ, æg or jæ]
Jack: Huh notice the exaggerated [æ] sound?
Filip: Yeah. So they are very fond of [æ] up there. You have words like [kæm ]
Jack: Who
Filip: [æm]
Jack: They
Filip: [dæ]
Jack: You
Filip: And [korhen]
Jack: Where.
Filip: Don’t be too baffled the first time you bump into a person who speaks Norwegian but in such foreign manner, you have no idea what they are saying.


Jack: Yeah and don’t worry about learning to speak and pronounce the dialects as it is not all necessary to make yourself understood.
Filip: Learning to understand some of the dialects could be an advantage though.
Jack: Well certainly.
Filip: All right, well that ends our lesson on regional pronunciations.
Jack: Make sure to keep practicing, listen over and over again if you have to.
Filip: Let us know if you have any questions at NorwegianClass101.com
Jack: See you next time!
Filip: Bye everyone.