Estonian Swedish

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Estonian Swedish (Swed. Estlandssvenska , Estonian rannarootsi keel ) refers to a group ostschwedischer dialects that from that in Estonia -based Swedish-speaking population ( Estonia Sweden was spoken), including the Estonian islands Ormsö, Osel ( Saaremaa ) Dago ( Hiiumaa ) Runö ( Ruhnu ), small and large Rågö, Nuckö, Nargö and Odensholm as well as in small communities on the Estonian mainland. The term Aiboland is also used for these areas .

Language history

The Estonian Swedish dialects have developed unaffected by the standard Swedish language (rikssvenska) over hundreds of years. In the Estonian-Swedish dialects there are therefore many ancient language features, but at the same time there are also linguistic innovations, similar to that in Finland-Swedish. Examples of Estonian Swedish dialects are Rågömål and Nuckömål . Up until the resettlement of the Swedish-speaking population from Estonia to Sweden to protect them from the advancing Red Army in the summer of 1944, Swedish was the colloquial and official language on these islands alongside Estonian . After the suppression in the Soviet era, the linguistic minorities are encouraged again in Estonia, which was founded in 1991. The Estonian Swedish, which is on the verge of extinction, was given a new chance. There are courses in Estonian Swedish in elementary schools, especially on the islands of Ösel and Dagö, where the main language area of ​​Estonian Swedish was.

Language peculiarities in phonetics

The dialect-geographic relationships with the other Swedish dialects have not yet been clearly explored. The only thing that is certain is that Estonian Swedish was influenced by various Swedish dialect areas, and for a very long time. Many loanwords from German, Russian and Estonian, among others, play an important role in the academic study of languages ​​with other dialects, as this is the only way to find historical references to other Swedish dialects.

The phonetics of Estonian Swedish shows ancient features. These include the two falling Old Norse diphthongs as in steinn (ai) and lauss (au). Examples from the Swedish are Estonia / stain / or / stäin /, / ai /, or / ai /, and / lice / which are monophthongiert in Swedish Standard sten, lös . The third diphthong öy (Swedish ö ) coincided with the first two. There is a parallel language development from Estonian, for example Finnish löyly (sauna steam), Estonian leil . Diphthongs have also preserved the Finnish Swedish in Österbotten ( stäin, öi and löus ) and the Gutnian dialect on Gotland ( stain , åi and laus ).

Many standard Swedish words have a short / a / while Estonian Swedish has a long / å /. This is especially true before / nd /, for example: strå: nde [Swedish: stranden ] and lå: nd [Swedish: land].

Words that have / ö / in standard Swedish are de-rounded / e / pronounced: berja [börja], he: ste [Hösten], meda [möda] and kepa [köper]. The same goes for / y / pronounced / i /: ni [ny], liftar [lyktor] and ixe [yxa].

Initially, / þ /, which comes from Old Norse, is not pronounced voiced with / d /, but with voiceless / t /, Swedish du , Estonian / tʉ: /, Swedish dem , Estonian / taim /. There is no palatalization of the phonemes / k / and / g / as in the mainland Scandinavian languages ​​Danish, Swedish and Norwegian, e.g. gick / gik: /, kind / kind /.

Language examples

A text example from the Swedish encyclopedia "Nordisk familjebok:


Stick tälknin i stolpan o hälvtor stolpan topa kalkan, sown stalks o Hälma färe kalkan o ker te Nuckö toka.

Standard Swedish

Stick täljkniven i stolpen och vält stolpen på kälken, sätt Hjälmen och Hjälma för kälken och kör till Nuckö.


Put the carving knife in the stake and tip the stake on the sledge, put Hjälmen and Hjälma in front of the sledge and drive to Nuckö.

Individual evidence

  3. Nordisk familjebok , 2nd edition, published 1904–1926


Erkas, Mats: Holmbomålet: Analys av tal på estlandssvensk dialekt, Uppsala University 2013,