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The chart below shows how the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Norwegian language pronunciations in Wikipedia articles. For a guide to adding IPA characters to Wikipedia articles, see Template:IPA and Wikipedia: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 hue
d dag day, but dental
ɖ sardin[1] hard
f fot foot
ɡ god good
h hatt hat
j jojo yoyo
k kafé coffee
l lake, Karl, Hordaland[2][3] lack
Abel little, but without velarization; German Esel
ɫ falsk[2][3] pull
m man man
n natt night, but dental
natten chosen
ɳ barn[1] night
ɳ̍ Kristoffersen unnecessary
ŋ ting thing
p pappa papa
r år[1] GA atom
ɽ lerenga[4] GA atom, but retroflex
s sabel sabre
ʂ sjø, torsdag[1] shoe, but retroflex
t tirsdag time, but dental
ʈ parti[1] time
v vaktel vat
Non-native consonants
ʈʂ[5] Chile, match challenge, but retroflex
Other symbols
◌ː sommer [ˈsɔ̂mːər][6] roommate
Stress and tone
IPA Examples Explanation
ˈ◌̀ bønder
Low tone / tone 1 / acute accent[7]
ˈ◌̂ bønner
Falling tone / tone 2 / grave accent[7]
ˌ◌ skoledisippel
Secondary stress
IPA Examples Nearest English equivalent
ɑ fast art
ɑː mat bra, RP car
æ fersk, æsj trap
æː ære Australian mad
ɛ helle, ætt set
hel, græle Scottish save
ɪ sill hill
i need
ɔ åtte[8] off
mål[8] story
œ nøtt[8] roughly like bet, but with rounded lips; German Röcke
øː dø[8] roughly like Scottish save, but with rounded lips; German schön
ʊ ond[8] put
bot[8] fool
ʉ full[8][9] Australian goose; German müssen
ʉː ful[8][9] Australian choose; German üben
ʏ nytt[8][9] roughly like hit, but with rounded lips; Swedish syll
syl[8][9] roughly like leave, but with rounded lips; Swedish syl
ɑɪ kai price
æɪ bein Australian day
æʉ hauk[8] have
ɛɪ mail[10] day
ɔʏ boi[8] boy
œʏ røyk[8] Canadian ice
ʉɪ hui[8][11] fluid
Reduced vowels
ə påle about


  1. ^ a b c d e Clusters of /r/ and laminal consonants /rd/, /rn/, /rs/, /rt/ produce retroflex realizations in a recursive Sandhi process: [ɖ], [ɳ], [ʂ], [ʈ].
  2. ^ a b In contemporary Urban East Norwegian, there are two lateral approximant phonemes: apical /l/ and laminal /l̻/. There is no longer a difference between the historical /rl/ and the simple /l/ when not preceded by /oː/ or /ɑː/. The most common lateral is the non-velarized apical alveolar [l]. Only the laminal [] occurs after /t, d, n/ (in this guide transcribed the same as [l]) and after /ɔ/ and /ɑ/. After /oː/ and /ɑː/, the two phonemes contrast. The laminal phoneme is velarized [ɫ̻] (transcribed in this guide without the diacritic) after back vowels but not after the central /ə/ (Kristoffersen 2000:25).
  3. ^ a b When a lateral approximant occurs between two stressable vowels (i.e. any vowels other than /ə/) in a compound word, the coloring of the lateral depends on whether it occurs in a morpheme-final position or not. If there is a morpheme boundary between the vowel and /l/ (as in Hordaland [ˈhɔ̂rdɑlɑn]), the lateral is clear [l] regardless of the preceding vowel.
  4. ^ /ɽ/ often alternates with /l/ (sometimes with /r/), but there is a small number of words in which only /ɽ/ occurs (Kristoffersen 2000:24, 90).
  5. ^ This sound occurs in native words across word boundaries.
  6. ^ Stressed short vowels usually trigger the gemination of the following consonant before another vowel or at the end of a word.
  7. ^ a b The rise that often follows is only realized at the end of an intonational phrase. It is non-phonemic.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n [ɔ, , œ, øː, ʏ, , ɔʏ, œʏ] are protruded vowels, while [ʉ, ʉː, ʊ, ] (including the [ʉ] element in [æʉ] and [ʉɪ]) are compressed.
  9. ^ a b c d The distinction between compressed [ʉ] and protruded [y] is particularly difficult to hear for non-native speakers:
    • Norwegian compressed [ʉ] sounds very close to many German speakers' compressed [ʏ] (as in müssen [ˈmʏsn̩]).
    • Norwegian protruded [ʏ] sounds more similar to English unrounded [ɪ] (as in hit) than to German compressed [ʏ], and it is very close to Swedish protruded [ʏ] (as in syll [sʏlː]).
    • Norwegian compressed [ʉː] sounds very close to many German speakers' compressed [].
    • 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 [syːl]).
  10. ^ [ɛɪ] appears only in recent loanwords. Speakers who do not have [ɛɪ] in their diphthong inventory replace it with [æɪ] (Kristoffersen 2000:19).
  11. ^ [ʉɪ] appears only in the word hui (Kristoffersen 2000:19).


  • 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

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