Pronunciation Chapter 5

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).

Some consonant clusters

1) The /∫/ sound
In Norwegian some consonant sounds are represented by consonant clusters. The sound // is represented in several ways.

/ʃ/ may be written < sj >:     
< stasjon > /stɑ'ʃuːn/ station
     
/ʃ/ may be written < skj >:    
< skjema > /'ʃeːmɑ/ form
     
/ʃ/ may be written < sk> in front of < i, y, ei, øy >:  
< skinke > /'ʃiŋke/ ham
     
/ʃ/ may be written < rs >:    
< kurs > /kʉ:ʃ/ course

2) The /ç/ sound
The sound /ç/ is represented in several ways:

/ç/ may be written < kj>:    
< kjøpe > /'çøːpe/ buy
     
/ç/ may be written < k > in front of < i, y, ei, øy >:  
< kino > /'çiːnu/ cinema
< kylling > /'çyliŋ/ chicken
     
/ç/ may be written < tj >:    
< tjue > /'çʉːe/ twenty

3) The sounds /ʈ/, /ɖ/ /ɳ/ /ɭ/ /ʃ/
In Norwegian there are a set of consonant sounds that are pronounced with the tip of the tongue curled upwards and a little bit backwards. The bottom part of the tip of the tongue is touching the ridge behind the upper front teeth. The sounds /ʈ/, /ɖ/ /ɳ/ /ɭ/ /ʃ/ are represented by letter combinations:

/ʈ/ may be written < rt >:  
< fortelle > /fo'ʈele/ tell
     
/ɖ/ may be written < rd >:  
< hvordan > /'vuɖɑn/ how
     
/ɳ/ may be written < rn >:  
< gjerne > /'jæːɳe/ gladly
     
/ɭ/ may be written < rl >:  
< ærlig > /'æːɭi/ honest
     
/ʃ/ may be written < rs >  
< norsk > /'noʃk/ Norwegian

4) The /ŋ/ sound

The velar sound /ŋ/ is written < ng>   
< lang > /'lɑŋ/ long
< mange > /'mɑŋe/ many
     
<n> in front of <k> is in general pronounced /ŋ/   
< bank > /'bɑŋk/ bank