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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 {{IPA-no}} 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 huge
d dag day
ɖ sardin[1] retroflex /d/
f fot foot
ɡ god good
h hatt hat
j jojo yoyo
k kafé coffee
l lake, Karl, anleg, Hordaland[2][3][4] lack
Abel little, but without velarization; German Esel
ɫ falsk[2][3][4] pull
m man man
n natt night
natten chosen
ɳ barn[1] retroflex /n/
ɳ̍ baren no English equivalent
ŋ ting thing
p pappa papa
r år[1][3] GA latter
ɽ About this soundlerenga GA latter, but retroflex
s sabel sabre
ʂ sjø, torsdag[1] shoe, but retroflex
t tirsdag time
ʈ parti[1] retroflex /t/
v vaktel vat
IPA Examples Nearest English equivalent
ɑ fast art
ɑː mat bra, RP car
æ fersk[3][5] trap
æː ære[3][5] Australian mad
ɛ helle[5] set
hel[5] Scottish save
ɪ sill hill
i need
ɔ åtte[6] off
mål[6] story
œ nøtt[6] roughly like bet, but with rounded lips; German Röcke
øː dø[6] roughly like Scottish save, but with rounded lips; German schön
ʊ ond[6] put
bot[6] fool
ʉ full[6][7] Australian goose; German müssen
ʉː ful[6][7] Australian choose; German üben
ʏ nytt[6][7] roughly like hit, but with rounded lips; Swedish syll
syl[6][7] roughly like leave, but with rounded lips; Swedish syl
ɑɪ kai[8] Australian price
æɪ bein Australian day
æʉ hauk[6] Australian now
ɛɪ tape[8] day
ɔʏ boikott[6][8] boy
œʏ røyk[6] Scottish house
ʉɪ hui[6][9] to eternity
Reduced vowels
ə påle about
Stress and tone
IPA Examples Explanation
ˈ◌̀ bønder
Low tone / Tone 1 / acute accent[10]
ˈ◌̂ bønner
Falling tone / Tone 2 / grave accent[10]


  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 is no difference between the historical /rl/ and the simple /l/; both are realized as non-velarized apical alveolar [l]. The laminal [] (in this guide transcribed the same as [l]) occurs after /n, t, d/ and also after back vowels (though not always in the case of the close /ʊ, uː/), where it can contrast with the apical alveolar [l]. The laminal variant is velarized [ɫ̪] (transcribed in this guide without the diacritic) after back vowels but not after the central /ə/ (Kristoffersen (2000:25)).
  3. ^ a b c d e The lack of distinction between the consonants traditionally transcribed with ⟨l⟩ and ⟨ɭ⟩ in the literature leaves no trace of the historical /r/ after some vowels, most notably the close front /ɪ, iː, ʏ, yː/ and the close central /ʉ, ʉː/. After the mid front /ɛ, eː/ the contrast is maintained by lowering the vowels to [æ, æː] before the historical /rl/, whereas after the back vowels (the mid /ɔ, oː/ and the open /ɑ, ɑː/ in particular) the contrast often surfaces as a contrast between a plain apical [l] (which corresponds to historical /rl/) and a velarized laminal [ɫ] (which corresponds to historical /l/).
  4. ^ a b When the lateral is followed by a stressable vowel (i.e. any vowel other than /ə/) in a compound word, it is realized as non-velarized [l] regardless of the backness of the preceding vowel (as in Hordaland About this sound[ˈhɔ̂rdɑlɑn]), except when it occurs in a morpheme-final position. This means that the non-velarized allophone is more common than the velarized one.
  5. ^ a b c d Before /r/, the quality of non-high front vowels is changed: /eː/ and /ɛ/ lower to [æː] and [æ].
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ 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 German compressed [ʏ] (as in müssen About this sound[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 About this sound[sʏlː]).
    • Norwegian compressed [ʉː] sounds very close to German compressed [] (as in üben About this sound[ˈyːbn̩]).
    • 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 About this sound[syːl]).
  8. ^ a b c [ɑɪ, ɛɪ, ɔʏ] appear only in loanwords. [ɛɪ] is used only by some younger speakers, who contrast it with [æɪ]; speakers who do not have [ɛɪ] in their diphthong inventory replace it with [æɪ] (Kristoffersen (2000:19)).
  9. ^ [ʉɪ] appears only in the word hui (Kristoffersen (2000:19)).
  10. ^ a b The rise that often follows is only realized at the end of an intonational phrase. It is non-phonemic.


  • 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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