Old Norse Pronunciation Key

The material here is from a handful of papers that I had jotted Old Norse notes onto. My collection is incomplete, and will need to be worked on over time. As for citing those who I gathered the information from, it is hard to say. I had never written them down, nor do I recall where I got this knowledge from (this was written down several years go). What I do know is that once I find a proper source for Old Norse key’s, I will utilize it, and cite it respectively. For now, here are my notes.

~Thengill

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Old Norse Pronunciation Guide

Vowels:

A – Is pronounced like an a in German.

Á- The long ‘á’ would be pronounced like ‘car’ is in English.

E – Is short, like it is in Engl; pronounced like the e in ‘bed’.
É – The long ‘é’ is prounced with a double e ‘ee’, like the word Beer in Engl.

I and Í – are pronounced like the I in Engl. word ‘hit’, and ‘ea’ in the word ‘beat’ (You may also use I in place of J in ON)

O – Is prounced almost similarly to the ‘o’ in the Engl. word ‘lock’.

Ó – The long ‘o’ is pronounced like the Engl. word ‘for’.

U – Is pronounced like the double o ‘oo’ in the Engl. word ‘look’.

Ú – The long ‘u’ is pronounced like the ‘o’ in the Engl. word ‘who’.

Y and Ý – are pronounced like the ‘ü’ in the Germ. word ‘Fürher’.

Æ – Is pronounced like ‘ea’ in the Engl. word ‘bear’. It will always be spoken ‘long’, as its short counterpart is spoken like ‘e’, and is written as such.

Ø and Œ – Are pronounced like a short, and long Germ. ‘ö’ (long œ/ø)

The hooked ‘o’, known as an ‘open o’ is spelled with the letter ‘ö’ just like in German. It can be spelled with an accent on top, or can be interchanged using ‘á’; both are pronounced the same.

Diftongs:

Au – Is pronounced as ‘ow’, like in the English word ‘how’.

Ei – Is pronounced as ‘ay’, like in the English word ‘way’.

Ey – Is pronounced more like ‘øy’ (Island in Norwegian) and sounds like ‘oy’ in the English word ‘boy’. You will follow the sound of the last two letters out.

Consonants:

B – Spoken as an ordinary ‘b’ in Engl.

D – Spoken as an ordinary ‘d’ in Engl.

Ð and ð – Are pronounced like the ‘th’ in the Engl. word ‘there’.

F – Spoken as a normal ‘f’ in Engl. when infront of an ‘s,k, and t’. Anywhere else, ‘f” becomes a ‘v’.

G – Spoken as an oridinary ‘g’ in Engl. If after ‘n’ it becomes fricative; ‘ng’ will be pronounced with the ‘g’ heard.

H – Spoken as an ordinary ‘h’ in Engl, unless it lay before a ‘v’. If before a ‘v’ then H is spoken as a harsh ‘ch’, like in Bach.

J – Spoken as an ordinary ‘y’ in Engl. You will not pronounce this letter like an Engl. ‘j’.

K through P – Will be spoken as they are in Engl.

R – Will be rolled, as is done in Swedish. The ON ‘r’ is never to be syllabic, no matter how many consonants precede it.

S – Is never voiced

T – Spoken as an ordinary ‘t’ in Engl.

Þ and þ – Are pronounced like the ‘th’ in the Engl. word ‘thing’. Alternatively you can use ‘Ð’ or ‘ð’.

V – Can be pronounced like an Engl. ‘w’ or as a ‘v’.

X – Is pronounced like the ‘ks’ in the Engl. word ‘spark’.

Z – Is pronounced like the ‘ts’ in the Engl. word ‘starts’.

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