Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Swedish player name pronounciation guide

The horrible Norwegian flag from the time we were in a union with the Swedes (1814-1905). *Puke*

I'm starting to have a long list of things I should be writing, and today I got one of them done. Natalie from TSO gave me the excellent idea of making a Swedish pronounciation guide. So I found my 8-track recorder and recorded a piece where I pronounce all the names of the Swedes currently on the Red Wings, the ones of a few former Red Wings and some noteable non-Wings. Keep in mind that the names are normally spoken fater, I kept it slow so it'd be easy to grasp. Also switching between English and Swedish really fucks up your pronounciation of both, but it shuld be a helpful guide for the Swedophiles among you. Enjoy!

Click here


  1. Yes, yes, yes! I can't wait to listen to this at lunch.

  2. Hehe, at the end there's a special just for you!

  3. Good stuff, Andy!
    Thanks for the lesson.

    (Now my head is spinning trying to remember my English, work on Herm's Portugese and not forget how to pronounce Swedish-Finnish names.

  4. hehe. You're welcome. Now start learning french

  5. This is the greatest thing ever recorded. I just want you to know that I spent the last 6.5 minutes with my crappy work speakers up to my ears so I could listen closely. Please enjoy that ridiculous image at my expense.

    I suppose the one we Americans are closest to pronouncing authentically would be Andreas Lilja, probably because his name is short and it doesn't mimic any of our own sounds/words; it's interesting to hear "-berg" pronounced without the final sound being the "g" we Americans put into it. It's almost as if there's an extra "y" or "e" or something at the end of it. Very awesome.

    My favorite name, now hearing it in Swedegian, is by far Tomas Holmstrom. Again, our pronunciation doesn't stray too far from the way you said it, but I love that the emphasis is on the second syllable, so it sounds like HolmSTROM. It's such an appropriate way to convey his awesomeness. I'm going to type it that way henceforth.

    P.S. I so very much appreciate the shoutout. Now I can imagine exactly how Homer would pronounce my name if we ever got to meet. Oh, and Americans--myself included--butcher the pronunciation of Hauger. We pronounce it awfully, like HOW-ger. I always think European accents are so much more interesting and pleasing to the ear than American accents; how do you deal with us over here butchering your names all the time?

  6. Haha, I can actually imagine that.

    The-g thing actually is funny to me too, because we in Norway would pronounce it with a "g" and not that "j"-sound.

    Yeah the emphasis on the word in Swedish is quite cool. The Norwegian pronounciation would have the emphasis somewhere in between actually, but the Swedish version is so much better.

    Haha. Homer would probably pronounce it a little differently, so I guess I'll have to include that if I ever do a follow up. (I intended to also pronounce the names of the five Norwegians that have ever played in the NHL, but forgot).

    I like European accents, but they are very, very varying. On one hand German is ridiculously ugly, Norwegian is somewhere in the middle, and Swedish is probably the most beautiful language ever. If a girl has a Gothenburg (Göteborg)-accent, I'm sold.

    I deal with American mispronounciation by generally just being a stupid Americanized fuck and pronouncing them excactly the same way as you do when I speak or think in English (somehow my inner monologue often turns to English. Listen to me mentioning Forsberg for an example of that. The only thing that really bugs me is the pronounciation of Franzén. It totally ignores the fact that there's an "´" over the "é" and that that letter should be drawn out.

  7. I am trying to say this without sounding stalker-ish, but I'll probably fail miserably. This has to be one of the most awesome posts ever. I've watched the Team Sweden goal highlights from the '06 Olympic games on YouTube many times and tried to study from those how to really say our players' names, which managed to just confuse me more. Considering I studied Spanish in school, which is a "pronounce it just how it's written on paper," Swedish has kind of baffled me, so thank you! Also, I had to listen to this about 2 or 3 times before I could actually focus on what was being said because I was mesmerized by listening to you talk... Yeah, I know, stalker-ish. Sorry! But seriously, I've heard a lot of people say they could listen to Z talk all day cuz they loved his accent. I think you beat him fair & square, dude. I'll still probably butcher their names because let's face it, I'm an "ignorant" American, but at least I'll know how they're pronounced in my head!

  8. The Scandinavian accents are beautiful things. Though I must say, without bragging, that I prefe hearing decent english speakers, like Z or me, than people like Homer or Norwegian Rally star Petter Solberg, who butcher the langauge.

    And damn, I should probably learn spanish, since my stepmom and stepsister speak spanish only.

  9. I threw Petrella props earlier today for his "Goodburger" reference in TPL's poultry pre-game post, but honestly, much as I hate to slight the home cooking, this audio is the finest work yet in the young year. A few observations...

    1. I like how you almost forgot about Lilja. Makes me feel like I'm less alone on that front.
    2. Dick is Dick is Dick, no matter what language or pronunciation you're dealing with. Comforting.
    3. Spot on with your "final verdict" on Samuelsson...good on ya to set the record straight.

    I see it as no coincidence that this bit of GREATNESS came out the same day we became eternally linked on facebook.

  10. LOL, yeah, you're right, it does help when a player speaks English decently & you can actually understand what they're saying. It amazes me that someone like King Lidas can speak English so well that at times, he sounds more Canadian than he does Swedish. But I do love it when he says certain words that remind you that, yes, he isn't from around here...

    As for Homer, honestly, I think he's better than most people say he is. I think we've gotten so used to his "Swenglish" around here that him butchering the language is kind of endearing...and expected. I still laugh at when Lidas went up to the podium with Homer at the '08 Cup parade to help "translate" his Swenglish. I could be completely wrong too, I thought I heard somewhere that Pitea kind of has their own dialect? I just remember reading the '97-98 Wings Yearbook that I found while getting out Christmas decorations this year that sometimes Lidas had remind him if he was speaking English or Swedish. And according to Maltby, it seems like the guy doesn't have the best grasp of his own language. Granted, if I ever had to be on the phone with someone like him getting tech support, I'd probably get extremely frustrated.

    Honestly, though, I think if I had a choice between Homer English and Dastyukian English, I'd choose Homer English anyday.

    As for learning Spanish, I think that if you've learned to master a effed-up language like English so well, Spanish should be a breeze. At least the grammatical rules are pretty consistent. Then again, it's completely different structure/language basis than English is, so maybe it's harder than it looks. If all else fails, just add an "o" onto the end of everything, LOL.

    And I agree with you, German is ridiculously ugly-sounding language. Given that my heritage is German, I should probably be a bit kinder, but the whole spitting to get your words out thing is just kind of a turn-off...

  11. Rob: Thanks man.

    1.I was reading their names off a stats list and as Lilja hasn't played this year he wasn't on it.
    2. When has Dicks ever not been comforting?
    3. I think Sammy even ruined his own chances of being an injury replacement.

    The Facebook-connection and this was both meant to be.

    Nick is ridivulously good in English and so is Z. And it impresses me to death, seeing as Swedes normally have a harder time than us Norwegians grasping English pronounciation. I should probably do a segment pronouncing American names like Swedish announcers do. Haha. It's pretty bad.

    Sweden and Norway are both full of dialects so you might be right. But Homer's English makes me embarassed for the guy. Malts just misses a few teeth :D

    Well, I had French in school, so I should have a basis there too, but the differences between learning English and Spanish are:
    1. Except for child programming everything is texted instead of dubbed over here
    2. We start with English early in school
    3. The internet and the music we listen to is in English.
    4. Most of the books I read are in English.
    5. Norwegian and English are probably the two most fucked up western languages. The rulebooks are thrown out the window in both and you need to hear a word to know how to pronounce it. We even have words where a slight change of emphasis makes it mean a whole different thing. (Fun fact: Norwegian has two sets of writing, both are similar to each other, but one draws from Danish (we were under the Danes for ca. 400 years) while one draws from dialects and was entirely created in the 1800s. I like most other people use the first one).
    6. 20-30 percent of English comes from Norwegian, or well old norse. Window, knife and lamp are examples of words drawn from Norse. York in England was originally called Jorvik by the Vikings and then it morphed into York, so New York is New Jorvik.
    7. Norwegians have in the later years imported a lot of English words.

  12. Wow, I had no idea what a dumb American I am. And I always complain about play-by-play guys who mispronounce names, when I'm no better than they are. This was awesome, thanks!

    I remember seeing a story somewhere at the start of the season about why Canadian hockey players are bigger stars than European hockey players, and they claimed it was because of language. They said Z's English was "adequate," which I think is pretty unfair. He has more of an accent than Nick, but still.

    I also agree on Samuelsson, no way he makes the Olympic team no matter what happens to anyone else. But I still like that he said it.

  13. you're welcome. And Canadien stars are the biggest because they uphold Canada's confidence in them being the superior hockey nation

  14. I hear what you all are saying about the beauty of Scandinavian accents/languages, and I have to agree, but I will tell you this right now: Nothing is more elegant and moving to my soul than Homer's speech. He is beautiful in ALL languages, especially the ones he completely makes up.

  15. Homer is just beautiful and we'll all just have to learn to deal with it

  16. I agree, Natalie, Swenglish is pretty much the most awesome language ever.