Chapter 4

Pronunciation

Norwegian consonants

The Norwegian alphabet contains twenty consonant letters:

B C D F G H J K L M N P Q R S T V W X Z

The letters < c, q, w, x, z > are quite rare and mostly used in loanwords (camping, quiz, watt, xylofon, pizza).

Norwegian
letter
English reference
b Like <b> in "buy"
c Before front vowels <i, e, y>  cf. /s/ in <circus>
Before back vowels <a, o, u>  cf. /k/ in <camping>
d Like <d> in "dog"
f Like <f> in "fine"
g Like <g>  in "girl"
h Like <h> in "hat"
j Like <y> in "yes"
k Like <k> in "kite"
l Like <l> in "live"
m Like <m> in "map"
n Like <n> in "now"
p Like <p> in "pen"
q In Norwegian, <qu> is pronounced as /kv/, cf. "quiz" - /kvis/
r Like Scottish "r". The tip of the tongue taps the alveolar ridge.
s Like <s> in "see"
t Like <t> in "tea"
v Like <v> in "violin"
w Like <v> in "violin"
x Like <x>  - /ks/ in "tax"
z Pronounced as /s/, cf. "zoom" - /su:m/

Silent letters

In Norwegian, several consonants may occur as so-called mute or silent letters; which means they are written, but not pronounced.
1) < d > is silent in < ld, nd, rd > and may be silent in the end of syllables after a vowel:

< kald > /'kɑl/ cold
< Trondheim > /'tronheim/ Trondheim
< bord > /'buːr/ table
< med > /'meː/ with

2) < g > is silent in < gj > and in adjectives ending in < ig >:

< gjøre > /'jøːre/  do
< hyggelig > /'hygeli/ nice

3) < h > is silent in < hj, hv >:

< hjelpe > /'jelpe/ help
< hvor > /'vur/ where

4) < t > is silent in definite form singular of neuter nouns:

< flyet >  /'flyːe/ the plane

5) < t > is also silent in one important word, < det >:

< det > /'deː/ it, that