You may have read Nordstjernan for many years and appreciated it for its content or cultural connection or..? But despite all our efforts to provide information on all things Swedish and Swedish-American, we may have neglected an important piece of information. Namely, exactly how does one pronounce the name Nordstjernan?

The letter from Patric L. below explains the pronunciation of the number seven, "sju" in Swedish, one of the most difficult sounds of the Swedish language. This is the same sound as the "stj" sound in Nordstjernan. The "o" in Nordstjernan is pronounced like the double o's in too. The "e" sounds similar to the "a" in carry, and the "a" is similar to the open sound of the vowel in father.
Take the idea, use it on Nordstjernan and you will be able to explain to your friends how the title of this paper is pronounced.


How to pronounce "sju"
by Patric L.

Knowing how difficult this particular sound is to pronounce for a non-native, I will try to build my way to the sound as follows:

Start by saying SHOE in English. You notice how your tongue is cupped towards the front of your palate and remains there for the entire word. The OE part of SHOE will closely resemble the U in SJU if you move your tongue during the pronunciation of OE so that the tip of your tongue touches the inside base of the teeth in your lower jaw by the end of the word.

So, you flip the tip of your tongue from top palate to bottom lower jaw teeth exactly when the OE begins, and now your SHOE will begin to sound like SJU instead. Remember not to try to change anything else, as that flip of the tongue should suffice.

To make the sound even closer, pout with your lips at the same moment you flip your tongue. Starting with your mouth and tongue back, you should end up pouting and touching the tip tongue in front.
And there you have the pronunciation of "sju."