4 Pronunciation

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