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Pronunciation guide

Here's a rough description of how to pronounce some of the names mentioned on this site. Letters which are not explained are more or less like in English.

Skellefteå, Linköping

Sk is a single sound, pronounced in northern Sweden almost as English sh or German sch, and in southern Sweden almost as German ch in Bach (but weaker). All three e in Skellefteå are short, like in let. The å sounds like o in boring, but shorter. In fact, people in northern Sweden tend to omit word endings, so this å is often silent. (In any case, it is not like ow in grow.) The stress in Skellefteå is on the second syllable.

The k in Linköping is something like German ch in ich, while ö is like in German schön or French eu. (Alternatively, if you want to sound like someone from the Linköping region, you should say it more like i in bird, but that sounds kind of funny to the rest of Sweden's population). The stress in Linköping is on the first syllable (or, if you come from Linköping, on all three syllables!).

Claes Waksjö

Claes sounds like British (not American) class, i.e., with the a sound of father (well, actually not quite, but that's as close as it gets in English). The a in Waksjö is the same, while w is just like English v. Sj is the same as the sk sound in Skellefteå explained above, and ö is also as above.

Hans Lundmark

The a in Hans is long, like in father, while the a in Lundmark is short and sounds like u in up. The u i Lundmark, on the other hand, does not occur in any foreign language I know of (except maybe Norwegian?), so I can't explain that one. But it's short, so if you substitute any vowel and say it quickly, it will be almost right! The r is trilled, like in Spanish. The s is unvoiced, as always in Swedish. (This detail about the s is actually the only question about pronunciation that I have ever received from readers of my web site. A much more frequent question that I get is whether I know anything about the family name "Halun". (Answer: No, I don't, that just used to be my email address once upon a time: HAns+LUNdmark.))

Stefan Rauch-Wojciechowski, Krzysztof Marciniak, Jacek Szmigielski

These names are actually very easy to say. Ask any child in Poland!

The sound ch is the same as in German Bach, while sz and (here, in Krzysztof) rz are pronounced like German sch.

The c in Wojciechowski is like English ch, since it's followed by the letter i, but the c in Jacek is pronounced ts.

Degasperis, Procesi

These are Italian names. The stress is on the second syllable in both cases: De-GAS-peris, Pro-CE-si. The c in Procesi is like English ch, since it's followed by the letter e.


This is a simplified(!) form of the Cree name for the Saskatchewan River, "kisiska-ciwani-si-piy". The stress is on the second syllable: Sas-KAT-che-wan.

Last modified 2019-12-25. Hans Lundmark (