Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The sound of Scandinavian languages

John McWhorter writes that the Scandinavian languages are dialects of a common language.  I know from personal experience that Norwegian and Swedish speakers can easily communicate.  To me Danish was quite a bit more difficult to understand because it is very guttural.  The Swedes even call it “a throat desease.”

But Sweden has its own “throat speakers”, those from Skåne, the area around Malmö, across the channel from Denmark.  Listening to some Skånsker reporters on a Swedish podcast led me to “Skånska is understandable Danish.”