If you want to speak another language, but can't be bothered to actually learn it, the solution is to learn how to pronounce it! You can then read it and sound like you know what you're doing. What follows is a Norwegian pronunciation guide, for your reading pleasure.

I'll start off with the pronunciation of vowels:

  • A as in father, as pronounced by those who do not rhyme it with bother.
  • E as in bed.
  • I as in beat.
  • O doesn't have an equivalent english sound afaik. It's about the roundest sound you can make. Ooooo. Try saying the vowel in food, and then move your tongue further back and down in your mouth and let your jaw drop, all without moving your lips.
  • U as in food.
  • Y as in yard, only push your jaw and tongue a little forward and up to make it sharper.
  • Æ as in mad.
  • Ø as in hurt.
  • Å as in ball.

Usually the wovels are long, as in bad (e.g. "bad"), except when followed by a double consonant, in which case they are short, as in hat (e.g. "hatt"). Two vowels together are usually pronounced separately, that is, first say the first vowel, then morph it into the last.

Most consonants are pronounced as in english, with these exceptions:

  • J is pronounced without the d-sound first, as in yes.
  • L with a bit more of the tongue touching the palate and a wider mouth, like that of the wovel in speed.
  • R is one of the more difficult noises. Place your tongue where you put it when making the 'n'-noise, then breathe so it repeatedly slaps the palate. This should make a sound somewhat like an internal combustion engine. In southwestern Norway they pronounce it like the French R.

In addition, some combination of letters have special pronunciations:

  • KJ, KI and KY is another difficult sound. Try almost making a k-sound without actually blocking the throat, so that the air makes a sound as it squeezes out.
  • SJ, SKY, SKJ and SKI as in shop.

There are of course many exceptions to these general rules, but they're beyond the scope of this text.

Now you're almost ready to go, just remember to speak without pausing between words! Say each sentence as if it was one long word, like real Norwegians do. And don't worry, you'll do well. May the force be with you!

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