5 Pronunciation

5 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).

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