The Swedish month of Mash

We are currently in the month of March, and this brings up an interesting aspect of Swedish pronunciation. The month March is spelled ‘mars’ and pronounced ‘mash’. The same goes for the planet Mars and the chocolate bar – ‘mash’.

In fact, whenever an ‘r’ is followed by an ‘s’ in Swedish, the sound of the ‘s’ changes to ‘sh’ – with some dialectical differences, of course. So, for example, cross – ‘kors’- is pronounced ‘kosh’. Färs (mince) is ’fesh’, Lars (the name Lars) is ‘Larsh’, Vers (verse) is ’vesh’.

In fact, I can’t think of a word that is an exception to this pronunciation. Can you?

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