I can tell by your arse

No matter how natural Swedes sound when speaking English, their pronunciation often gives them away. One common example is the ‘z’ sound, which doesn’t exist in Swedish. It’s a dead giveaway when Swedes pronounce ‘muzic’ as ‘musssic’, say ‘pleasse’ instead of ‘pleaze’, ‘wass’ instead of ‘waz’. Their ‘s’ is pronounced as in the word sit.

It’s a classic mistake made by many international recording artists (Nina Persson, Marit Bergman, Abba, Moneybrother to name but a few) and it gives them away immediately.

This mispronunciation can lead to mísunderstandings too. One story I heard is about a Swede and an Irishman who met for the first time. The conversation went something like:

Swede: “You’re not English are you?”
Irish: “No, I´m from Ireland.”
Swede: “Yes, I thought I could tell from your R:s.”

The Irishman was confused and wondered how his nationality was obvious by looking at his arse.

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