north germanic language spoken in sweden and finland
sweden, finland, estonia
10 million l2 speakers: 3.2 million (2018)
old east norse
latin (swedish alphabet) swedish braille
swedish sign language tecknad svenska (falling out of use)
official language in
sweden finland Åland islands (sole official language) european union nordic council
swedish language council (in sweden) swedish academy (in sweden) institute for the languages of finland (in finland)
52-aaa-ck to -cw
major swedish-speaking areas
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swedish (svenska[ˈsvɛ̂nːska](listen)) is a north germanic language spoken natively by 10 million people, predominantly in sweden (as the sole official language) and in parts of finland, where it has equal legal standing with finnish. it is largely mutually intelligible with norwegian and danish, although the degree of mutual intelligibility is largely dependent on the dialect and accent of the speaker. written norwegian and danish are usually more easily understood by swedish speakers than the spoken languages, due to the differences in tone, accent and intonation. swedish is a descendant of old norse, the common language of the germanic peoples living in scandinavia during the viking era. it has the most speakers of the north germanic languages.
standard swedish, spoken by most swedes, is the national language that evolved from the central swedish dialects in the 19th century and was well established by the beginning of the 20th century. while distinct regional varieties descending from the older rural dialects still exist, the spoken and written language is uniform and standardized.
the standard word order is, as in most germanic languages, v2, which means that the finite verb (v) appears in the second position (2) of a declarative main clause. swedish morphology is similar to english; that is, words have comparatively few inflections. swedish has two genders and is generally seen to have two grammatical cases – nominative and genitive (except for pronouns that, as in english, also are inflected in the object form) – although it is debated if the genitive in swedish should be seen as a genitive case or just the nominative plus the so-called genitive s, then seen as a clitic. swedish has two grammatical numbers – plural and singular. adjectives have discrete comparative and superlative forms and are also inflected according to gender, number and definiteness. the definiteness of nouns is marked primarily through suffixes (endings), complemented with separate definite and indefinite articles. the prosody features both stress and in most dialects tonal qualities. the language has a comparatively large vowel inventory. swedish is also notable for the voiceless dorso-palatal velar fricative, a highly variable consonant phoneme.
swedish has also had historic use in estonia, although the current status of the estonian swedish speakers is almost extinct. instead, it is used in the swedish diaspora, most notably in oslo, norway, with more than 50,000 resident swedes.
Swedish (svenska[ˈsvɛ̂nːska](listen)) is a North Germanic language spoken natively by 10 million people, predominantly in Sweden (as the sole official language) and in parts of Finland, where it has equal legal standing with Finnish. It is largely mutually intelligible with Norwegian and Danish, although the degree of mutual intelligibility is largely dependent on the dialect and accent of the speaker. Written Norwegian and Danish are usually more easily understood by Swedish speakers than the spoken languages, due to the differences in tone, accent and intonation. Swedish is a descendant of Old Norse, the common language of the Germanic peoples living in Scandinavia during the Viking Era. It has the most speakers of the North Germanic languages.
Standard Swedish, spoken by most Swedes, is the national language that evolved from the Central Swedish dialects in the 19th century and was well established by the beginning of the 20th century. While distinct regional varieties descending from the older rural dialects still exist, the spoken and written language is uniform and standardized.