, Early Old Swedish was markedly different from the modern language in that it had a more complex case structure and also retained the original Germanic three-gender system. In Finland as a whole, Swedish is one of the two "national" languages, with the same official status as Finnish (spoken by the majority) at the state level and an official language in some municipalities. , Verbs are conjugated according to tense. Think twice now – before we shove you away, For a list of words relating to Swedish language, see the, This page was last edited on 11 January 2021, at 22:12. It is called rikssvenska or standardsvenska ("Standard Swedish") in Sweden. The dialect groups are those traditionally used by dialectologists. , By many general criteria of mutual intelligibility, the Continental Scandinavian languages could very well be considered dialects of a common Scandinavian language. The typical methods of language reform are simplification and linguistic purism.Simplification regularizes vocabulary, grammar, or spelling. These three were later to evolve into the separate letters ä, å and ö. Abolition of the derogation means that all agency workers will be entitled to pay parity (see below). , In a poll conducted in 2005 by the Swedish Retail Institute (Handelns Utredningsinstitut), the attitudes of Swedes to the use of certain dialects by salesmen revealed that 54% believed that rikssvenska was the variety they would prefer to hear when speaking with salesmen over the phone, even though dialects such as gotländska or skånska were provided as alternatives in the poll. It was not until the 17th century that spelling began to be discussed, around the time when the first grammars were written. The sections of Language Characteristics , Key Words , and Additional Resources below are designed to help you find the words you need. , The Vasa Bible is often considered to be a reasonable compromise between old and new; while not adhering to the colloquial spoken language of its day, it was not overly conservative in its use of archaic forms. Because the number of runes was limited, some runes were used for a range of phonemes, such as the rune for the vowel u, which was also used for the vowels o, ø and y, and the rune for i, also used for e., From 1200 onwards, the dialects in Denmark began to diverge from those of Sweden. They are generally separated into six major groups, with common characteristics of prosody, grammar and vocabulary. is a very rare letter in Swedish since the spelling reform about a century ago. , The samples linked below have been taken from SweDia, a research project on Swedish modern dialects available for download (though with information in Swedish only), with many more samples from 100 different dialects with recordings from four different speakers: older female, older male, younger female and younger male. Previously, the proper way to address people of the same or higher social status had been by title and surname. A significant part of the religious and scientific vocabulary is of Latin or Greek origin, often borrowed from French and, lately, English. Instead, it is used in the Swedish diaspora, most notably in Oslo, Norway, with more than 50,000 resident Swedes. This was published in 1801 as Afhandling om Svenska stafsättet. Sweden - Sweden - Education: The education system is, with few exceptions, public and open to all without fees. A major spelling and grammar reform was introduced in Sweden in 1917. (Cf.  It is among the most important documents of the period written in Latin script and the oldest Swedish law codes. By the end of the period, these innovations had affected most of the Runic Swedish-speaking area as well, with the exception of the dialects spoken north and east of Mälardalen where the diphthongs still exist in remote areas. In other remote places, the Ni survived in its older form I (cognate with 'ye') as both the second person plural pronoun and the polite address to singular elders, including one's parents, unless classified with "better people". In this memorandum the National Immigration and Naturalization Board of Sweden has summarized recent legislative reforms providing home language training and home language lessons for immigrant children and children belonging to linguistic minorities. By the 16th century, the case and gender systems of the colloquial spoken language and the profane literature had been largely reduced to the two cases and two genders of modern Swedish. Swedish Dress Reform Association (Swedish: Svenska drägtreformföreningen) was a Swedish women's association, active from 1886 to 1903. It was subsequently enacted by the Riksdag, and entered into effect on 1 July 2009.. Some important changes in sound during the Modern Swedish period were the gradual assimilation of several different consonant clusters into /ɧ/ and the softening of /g/ and /k/ into /ʝ/ and /ɕ/ before front vowels. This typeface was in use until the mid-18th century, when it was gradually replaced with a Latin typeface (often antiqua). , A large number of French words were imported into Sweden around the 18th century. Finland Swedish has undergone a similar development, but slower and slightly less due to influence of the somewhat more conservative usage in Finnish. This entails relating the benefit , Swedish dialects have either 17 or 18 vowel phonemes, 9 long and 9 short. Swedish is one of the official languages of the European Union, and one of the working languages of the Nordic Council. Parts of this system began to erode around the Second World War or so, but the essentials held up into the late 1960s. Since about 1990, it has become somewhat more common for retail and restaurant staff to address customers as ni (second-person plural), although this was not formerly considered formal language. Swedish has two grammatical numbers – plural and singular. Swedish morphology is similar to English; that is, words have comparatively few inflections. , The period that includes Swedish as it is spoken today is termed nusvenska (lit., "Now-Swedish") in linguistics, and started in the last decades of the 19th century. The innovations spread unevenly from Denmark which created a series of minor dialectal boundaries, or isoglosses, ranging from Zealand in the south to Norrland, Österbotten and northwestern Finland in the north. (herr, fru or fröken) before the title, often omitting both surname and given name. Find more Swedish words at wordhippo.com! Nouns are of common gender (en form) or neuter gender (ett form). The percentage of Swedish speakers in Finland has steadily decreased since then. In the province of Dalarna, however, and in a some other remote places with few upper-class people, the du/ni distinction had remained one of number only; although children addressed their parents with Father/Mother (Far/Mor) rather than a grammatically logical du. With the industrialization and urbanization of Sweden well under way by the last decades of the 19th century, a new breed of authors made their mark on Swedish literature.  The use of ni as a polite form of address is sometimes encountered today in both the written and spoken language, particularly among older speakers. , The Swedish alphabet is a 29-letter alphabet, using the 26-letter ISO basic Latin alphabet plus the three additional letters Å/å, Ä/ä, and Ö/ö constructed in the 16th century by writing "o" and "e" on top of an "a", and an "e" on top of an "o". In recent years, a gender-neutral pronoun hen has been introduced, particularly in literary Swedish. What does the removal of the Swedish derogation mean? The largest populations were in the United States (up to 100,000), the UK, Spain and Germany (c. 30,000 each) and a large proportion of the remaining 100,000 in the Scandinavian countries, France, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Canada and Australia. Sweden - Sweden - The welfare state: The coalition government that was formed in 1939 was replaced shortly after the end of the war in 1945 by a Social Democratic government under the leadership of Per Albin Hansson. To start at the top The Swedish way is to start at the very top — firstly, to make the language and structure used in legislation as clear as possible and secondly, to influence the government authorities at all levels, central, regional and local, to start their own plain language activities. The use of du (cognate with English thou, French tu, and German du) replaced an intricate former system where people chiefly addressed each other in third person, with or without a preceding Mr./Mrs./Ms. With exceptions in dialectal usage, the second-person plural pronoun Ni had long been considered degrading when used to address a single person.  The Finland Swedish minority is concentrated in the coastal areas and archipelagos of southern and western Finland. As of 2004, 5.53% of the total population speak Finland-Swedish as their first language, according to official statistics. The first is fair treatment of persons with different contribution histories. In particular, the use of second-person plural (Ni) to address an unknown person is considered respectful or neutral rather than degrading. One or several examples from each group are given here. Though each example is intended to be also representative of the nearby dialects, the actual number of dialects is several hundred if each individual community is considered separately. Excerpt from Barfotabarn (1933), by Nils Ferlin (1898–1961):, North Germanic language spoken in Sweden and Finland, Language minorities in Estonia and Ukraine, Lars-Erik Edlund, "Språkhistorisk översikt" in, The oldest dated fragments are from 1250 and the oldest complete manuscript is from c. 1280, Mikael Parkvall & Gunvor Flodell, "Sveriges språk ute i världen" in, The number of registered Swedes in Zmeyovka (the modern Ukrainian name of, Research Institute for the Languages of Finland, Main outlines of Finnish History – thisisFINLAND, "The Contribution of Linguistic Factors to the Intelligibility of Closely Related Languages", "Konvention mellan Sverige, Danmark, Finland, Island, och Norge om nordiska medborgares rätt att använda sitt eget språk i annat nordiskt land", "20th anniversary of the Nordic Language Convention", "Domain names with characters like å, ä, ö (IDN)", "Hur många dialekter finns det i Sverige?  It was a major step towards a more consistent Swedish orthography. /r/ has a guttural or "French R" pronunciation in the South Swedish dialects; consequently, these dialects lack retroflex consonants. Even so, the vocabulary is standardized to a level that make dialects within Sweden virtually fully mutually intelligible. It is largely mutually intelligible with Norwegian and Danish, although the degree of mutual intelligibility is largely dependent on the dialect and accent of the speaker.  Capitalization during this time was not standardized. With the liberalization and radicalization of Swedish society in the 1950s and 1960s, these class distinctions became less important, and du became the standard, even in formal and official contexts. Language and education for adults Improvements in Swedish language teaching All new arrivals in Sweden are entitled to basic education in the Swedish language, but the standards of teaching vary considerably. Swedish has also had historic use in Estonia, although the current status of the Estonian Swedish speakers is almost extinct. Only a handful of speakers remain.  Swedish is also one of two official languages of Finland. By no later than 30 April 2020 TWAs must provide workers whose existing contracts contain a Swedish derogation provision with a written statement telling them that with effect from 6 April 2020, those provisions no longer apply. All Swedish dialects with the exception of the highly diverging forms of speech in Dalarna, Norrbotten and, to some extent, Gotland can be considered to be part of a common, mutually intelligible dialect continuum. They can double as demonstrative pronouns or demonstrative determiners when used with adverbs such as här ("here") or där ("there") to form den/det här (can also be "denna/detta") ("this"), de här (can also be "dessa") ("these"), den/det där ("that"), and de där ("those"). The use of herr ("Mr" or "Sir"), fru ("Mrs" or "Ma'am") or fröken ("Miss") was considered the only acceptable way to begin conversation with strangers of unknown occupation, academic title or military rank. The differences are today more accurately described by a scale that runs from "standard language" to "rural dialect" where the speech even of the same person may vary from one extreme to the other depending on the situation. Although the dictionaries have a prescriptive element, they mainly describe current usage. Swedish is a language with a relatively high vowel-to-consonant ratio. The velar fricative [ɣ] was also transformed into the corresponding plosive [ɡ].  Compound nouns take their gender from the head, which in Swedish is always the last morpheme. New government support for better language development in preschool Preschool participation is important for learning Swedish language for children who do not speak Swedish at home. A spelling reform in 1948 eliminated the capitalization of nouns and introduced the letter å for aa, thereby making the spelling more similar to that of Norwegian and Swedish. With the rise of Hanseatic power in the late 13th and early 14th century, Middle Low German became very influential. , The German ü is treated as a variant of y and sometimes retained in foreign names and words, e. g., müsli ("muesli/granola"). The Hanseatic league provided Swedish commerce and administration with a large number of Low German-speaking immigrants. Written Norwegian and Danish are usually more easily understood by Swedish speakers than the spoken languages, due to the differences in tone, accent and intonation. Less respectfully, people could be addressed with Mr./Mrs./Ms. It is considered to be the ending point of the Swedish … Hon, for example, has the following nominative, possessive, and object forms:. This language underwent more changes that did not spread to all of Scandinavia, which resulted in the appearance of two similar dialects: Old West Norse (Norway, the Faroe Islands and Iceland) and Old East Norse (Denmark and Sweden). The Swedish-speaking minority was represented in parliament, and entitled to use their native language in parliamentary debates. Link: www.lagrummet.se . , Standard Swedish is the language used by virtually all Swedes and most Swedish-speaking Finns. Many of the genuine rural dialects, such as those of Orsa in Dalarna or Närpes in Österbotten, have very distinct phonetic and grammatical features, such as plural forms of verbs or archaic case inflections. Those influenced by German capitalized all nouns, while others capitalized more sparsely. The main translators were Laurentius Andreæ and the brothers Laurentius and Olaus Petri. Language reform is a kind of language planning by widespread change to a language. , Swedish is an Indo-European language belonging to the North Germanic branch of the Germanic languages. Adjectives precede the noun they modify. , The Swedish Language Council (Språkrådet) is the regulator of Swedish in Sweden but does not attempt to enforce control of the language, as for instance the Académie française does for French. , There is considerable migration between the Nordic countries, but owing to the similarity between the cultures and languages (with the exception of Finnish), expatriates generally assimilate quickly and do not stand out as a group. The verb system was also more complex: it included subjunctive and imperative moods and verbs were conjugated according to person as well as number. The informal du had been used for addressing children, siblings, close friends and possibly for cousins, but hardly for elder relatives. After the loss of Estonia to the Russian Empire in the early 18th century, around 1,000 Estonian Swedish speakers were forced to march to southern Ukraine, where they founded a village, Gammalsvenskby ("Old Swedish Village"). '; Så det är till att resa?, approximately 'So, it is about travelling? , Rinkeby Swedish (after Rinkeby, a suburb of northern Stockholm with a large immigrant population) is a common name among linguists for varieties of Swedish spoken by young people of foreign heritage in certain suburbs and urban districts in the major cities of Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö. The dialects of Old East Norse spoken in Sweden are called Runic Swedish, while the dialects of Denmark are referred to as Runic Danish. The fact that the listener should preferably be referred to in the third person tended to further complicate spoken communication between members of society. It depended on the authors and their background. As the twentieth century progressed, this circumlocutive system of addressing, with its innumerable ambiguities and opportunities for unintentional offence, was increasingly felt as a nuisance. As of 2006, it was the first or sole native language of 7.5 to 8 million Swedish residents. Swedish: The last major reform of Swedish orthography occurred in 1906. The language has a comparatively large vowel inventory. As in modern German, prepositions formerly determined case in Swedish, but this feature can only be found in certain idiomatic expressions like till fots ("on foot", genitive). The universal ers majestät ('Your Majesty'), etc. The actual reform had started earlier, including the amended language in the major newspaper Dagens Nyheter. Language and Spelling Reforms Swedish is a North Germanic language closely related to Danish, Icelandic and Norwegian. Swedish (Swedish: [ˈsvɛ̂nːska] (listen)) is a North Germanic language spoken natively by 10 million people, predominantly in Sweden (as the sole official language) and in parts of Finland, where it has equal legal standing with Finnish. The idea that only rural variants of Swedish should be considered "genuine" is not generally accepted by modern scholars. Swedish nouns and adjectives are declined in genders as well as number. Before du-reformen, it was considered impolite to address most people without an appropriate title, although a subordinate could be addressed by name, or less respectfully as Ni or han/hon.  Although there are no certain numbers, some 40,000 Swedes are estimated to live in the London area in the United Kingdom. The League also brought a certain measure of influence from Danish (at the time much more similar than today's language). Swedish has two genders and is generally seen to have two grammatical cases – nominative and genitive (except for pronouns that, as in English, also are inflected in the object form) – although it is debated if the genitive in Swedish should be seen as a genitive case or just the nominative plus the so-called genitive s, then seen as a clitic. This change is shown in runic inscriptions as a change from tauþr into tuþr. Swedish is the sole official language of Åland (an autonomous province under the sovereignty of Finland), where the vast majority of the 26,000 inhabitants speak Swedish as a first language. In standard Swedish, that form had become archaic and solemn well before the 20th century. Again, the custom could be slightly more relaxed among women—at least the toast itself was usually dispensed with. Its primary instruments are the glossary Svenska Akademiens ordlista (SAOL, currently in its 14th edition) and the dictionary Svenska Akademiens Ordbok, in addition to various books on grammar, spelling and manuals of style. The growth of a public school system also led to the evolution of so-called boksvenska (literally, "book Swedish"), especially among the working classes, where spelling to some extent influenced pronunciation, particularly in official contexts. The Swedish Reformation meant the break with the Roman Catholic Church, and the foundation of the Swedish Church. Hint: there are far fewer Swedish speakers than IKEA shoppers in the world. Most of them are distinguished by a "French accent", characterized by emphasis on the last syllable. Learn how and when to remove this template message, "How the Swedish language lost its formality", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Du-reformen&oldid=1000511868, Articles needing additional references from September 2012, All articles needing additional references, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, If two persons were somewhat acquainted and not too far apart in rank and age, they could then drop the name and use the, Below that on the social scale, both among peers and from above, was the, Simple folks of venerable age could be properly addressed, A master could address his servant, and a farmer his farmhand, by, This page was last edited on 15 January 2021, at 11:43. The gender system resembled that of modern German, having masculine, feminine and neuter genders. The combination "ao" was similarly rendered ao, and "oe" became oe. , Swedish is the official main language of Sweden. The Swedish reform has four main goals. Subjunctive mood is occasionally used for some verbs, but its use is in sharp decline and few speakers perceive the handful of commonly used verbs (as for instance: vore, månne) as separate conjugations, most of them remaining only as set of idiomatic expressions.  Over 3 million people speak Swedish as a second language, with about 2,410,000 of those in Finland. Before the release of the 13th edition of Svenska Akademiens ordlista in April 2006, w was treated as merely a variant of v used only in names (such as "Wallenberg") and foreign words ("bowling"), and so was both sorted and pronounced as a v. Other diacritics (to use the broader English term usage referenced here) are unusual in Swedish; é is sometimes used to indicate that the stress falls on a terminal syllable containing e, especially when the stress changes the meaning (ide vs. idé, "winter lair" vs. "idea") as well as in some names, like Kastrén; occasionally other acute accents and, less often, grave accents can be seen in names and some foreign words. The sound of "qu" or "qv" is equivalent to Swedish "kv". Published 9 April 2014 Last updated 16 December 2015 + show all updates. Nouns, adjectives, pronouns and certain numerals were inflected in four cases; besides the extant nominative, there were also the genitive (later possessive), dative and accusative.  Källström (Chapter 12) and Knudsen (Chapter 13). This is reflected in runic inscriptions where the older read stain and the later stin.  With the exception of plural forms of verbs and a slightly different syntax, particularly in the written language, the language was the same as the Swedish of today. Evidence of Denmark’s political power and influence can be seen in the stamp of the Danish language on the Norwegian, Swedish, and Icelandic languages. In addition, there is the European level which has acquired increasing importance following Sweden's entry into the EU. How many people speak Swedish? Many scholars, politicians and other public figures had a great influence on the emerging national language, among them prolific authors like the poet Gustaf Fröding, Nobel laureate Selma Lagerlöf, and radical writer and playwright August Strindberg. The definiteness of nouns is marked primarily through suffixes (endings), complemented with separate definite and indefinite articles. For example, nivå (fr. Ni wound up being used as a slightly less familiar form of du, the singular second person pronoun, used to address people of lower social status. The reform was called ”stafningsukasen” and it provoked a large number of protests in many circles. In the Swedish of Sweden, the polite ni was known from earlier epochs, but had come to be considered careless, bullying or rude; instead, an intricate system had evolved in order to prudently step around pronouns almost altogether.. In certain cases, the definite form indicates possession, e. g., jag måste tvätta håret ("I must wash my hair"). The greatest difficulty proved to be identifying the speech of a boy speaking Rinkeby Swedish whose parents were both Swedish; only 1.8% guessed his native language correctly.. A proper diaeresis may very exceptionally be seen in elaborated style (for instance: "Aïda"). In many dialects, sequences of /r/ (pronounced alveolarly) with a dental consonant result in retroflex consonants; alveolarity of the pronunciation of /r/ is a precondition for this retroflexion. In the established classification, it belongs to the East Scandinavian languages, together with Danish, separating it from the West Scandinavian languages, consisting of Faroese, Icelandic, and Norwegian. Swedish is an official language also in the rest of Finland, though, with the same official status as Finnish. , From 1918 to 1940, when Estonia was independent, the small Swedish community was well treated. The phrase hvarken af silfver eller rödt guld … ) commissioned Carl Gustaf Leopold to create rules for modern Swedish ( Swedish: fornsvenska is... Circles had tried rehabilitating the Ni in a place–manner–time order, as dauðr! So you sit on the last morpheme en form ) or neuter gender en! 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