Om J-ljudet (about the J sound)

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Om J-ljudet (about the J sound)

Post by Giovanni on Sun Mar 15, 2015 6:54 pm

According with what we discussed in the lessons, i understood that, as it works for the TJ and SJ sounds, the semivowel J (pronounced as in the english yes) can be written in several ways:

  • J in front of any vowel (e.g., jag, jäsa)
  • GJ
  • HJ
  • DJ
  • LJ
  • G in front of soft vowels, as in genom, gärna, göra

G in front of hard vowels is instead the "voiced velar plosive" consonant, as in the English goal (e.g., in Gamla Stan).

I think, but I'm not sure, that the above works both at the beginning and in the middle of a word for the isolated J and G (e.g., G is semivowel in torget and full consonant in jagar).

G, H, D and L are also completely silent in front of J in the beginning of a word. Not sure about what happens to the GJ, HJ, DJ and LJ groups in the middle of a word.


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Reply: Om J-ljudet (about the J sound)

Post by Vanja on Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:34 am


My apologies for delayed reply.

You have understood and guessed everything quite correctly, Giovanni.

Now, regarding GJ, HJ, DJ and LJ in the middle of words:

It is safe to say that these four letter combinations are always part of a compound word, for instance:

ett varghjärta (a wolf's heart)
en avgjutning (a cast (of something))
en aphjärna (a monkey's brain)
att avgöra (to decide)
att vara fastgjuten (to be cast/stuck/fastened (in something))
att avhjälpa (to remedy (a problem))

Hence, the letter combinations GJ, HJ, DJ and LJ in the middle of words mark the beginning of the second word in a compound word, and they are thus treated and pronounced in the same way as we have practised them, i.e. as the semivowel J (the y in yes).

I hope this answers your questions, but if anything is unclear, do let me know and I will do my best to explain further.

Kind regards,


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