This visit to Sweden I’ve decided that rather than throwing my hands up in stunned amazement at the variety of sounds in the Swedish language, I will make some effort to understand them (it only took eight years for me to come to this!).
Yesterday’s revelation was that the letter k has two distinct pronounciations, which seems freaky to an English speaker.
I’ve been reading the signs in front of churches – kyrka – and saying (in my head), something like kirk-ah.
I have been wrong.
Kyrka is pronounced more like sheer-ka because the first k is pronounced “like ch in check, but without the initial t sound” when it comes before a “soft vowel” like y, and the second k is pronounced as one might in English.
As it is in kaffe (for “coffee”), which is pronounced as you think it might be: calf-eh.
All of which means that the Swedish for “church coffee,” which is kyrkkaffe, and which has a stunning number of ks, sounds something like sheer-calf-eh.
What wonders will I find today?
Thanks to Olle for turning me on to k’s wonders.