Swedish language

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Swedish language,

member of the North Germanic, or Scandinavian, group of the Germanic subfamily of the Indo-EuropeanIndo-European,
family of languages having more speakers than any other language family. It is estimated that approximately half the world's population speaks an Indo-European tongue as a first language.
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 family of languages. It is the official language of Sweden and one of the official languages of Finland, and it is spoken by about 9 million people: 8,500,000 in Sweden and 500,000 elsewhere, chiefly in Finland, Norway, and Estonia. A descendant of Old Norse (see Germanic languagesGermanic languages,
subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages, spoken by about 470 million people in many parts of the world, but chiefly in Europe and the Western Hemisphere.
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; NorseNorse,
another name for the North Germanic, or Scandinavian, group of the Germanic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Germanic languages). The modern Norse languages—Danish, Faeroese, Icelandic, Norwegian, and Swedish—all stem from an earlier
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), the Swedish language falls into two major periods historically: Old Swedish, the early form of the language (usually dated from the 9th cent. to the early 16th cent.), and New Swedish, the modern form of the language (since the early 16th cent.). The Swedish language underwent many changes during the Middle Ages but began to be standardized in the 16th cent. as a result of such events as the throwing off of Danish domination, the Reformation, and the translation of the Bible into Swedish. In 1786 the Swedish Academy was established to oversee the development of the language. Swedish absorbed a number of words from Low German in the Middle Ages, from High German in the 16th and 17th cent., from French in the 18th cent., and from English in the 20th cent. On the whole, Swedish grammar is simple. The noun has only the singular, possessive, and plural forms. There are two genders for nouns, a nonneuter (or common) class and a neuter class. The former includes masculine, feminine, and common nouns; the latter, nouns for such categories as countries and substances and also many abstract nouns. Swedish is noted for its musical quality. This results partly from the use of pitch accents, which sometimes serve to differentiate the meanings of homonyms. There is considerable difference between the spoken and written forms of Swedish. For example, a number of inflections used in literary Swedish are not employed in the spoken language. Until the early 13th cent., runesrunes,
ancient characters used in Teutonic, Anglo-Saxon, and Scandinavian inscriptions. They were probably first used by the East Goths (c.300), who are thought to have derived them from Helleno-Italic writing.
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 were used for recording Swedish, but thereafter (as Christianity took hold in Scandinavia) they began to be replaced by the Roman alphabet, to which three symbols, å, ä, and ö, have been added.


See G. Bergman, A Short History of the Swedish Language (tr. 1947); I. Björkhagen, Modern Swedish Grammar (9th ed. 1962); F. Frauchiger and W. R. van Buskirk, Spoken Swedish (1980).

References in periodicals archive ?
The executive-like interior is a nice blend of modern Swedish styling and quality materials with leather faced upholstery and tailored instrument panels and door tops in saddle stitched leather.
They cover restless dead or peaceful cadavers: preparation for death and afterlife in medieval Iceland, Bishop William Wykeham of Winchester (1366-1404) and his preparations for death, the authority of deathbed confessions in medieval and early modern Swedish law, the concern for salvation in the cities of Lesser Poland in the 16th century, death with an agenda: preparing for an aristocratic death in Reformation Sweden, dying unprepared in early modern Swedish funeral sermons, and scriptural preparations for suicide in early modern Sweden.
Interior styling is appropriately modern Swedish, and therefore tasteful and widely appealing - with lots of natural wood, unpolished chrome and pale shades.
Rounding out this illustrious collection are the vintage Moroccan rugs, mid-century modern Swedish carpets from Marta Mass Fjetterstorm, as well as Pop Art Tapestry rugs by one of the most important artist of the 20th century - Roy Lichtenstein.
We see this agreement as the beginning of a long-term partnership, where we work together with Trafikverket contribute to the development of a modern Swedish rail infrastructure , says Rick Johansson, Sales and Marketing Director for Telecom & Infrastructure Projects at Nexans Sweden AB.
Housed in converted military barracks built around 1700, Hotel Skeppsholmen offers chic rooms with modern Swedish decor and shares its tranquil island with the Moderna Museet and the Arkitekturmuseet.
Those primitive hunter gatherers, at age 30, had the same odds of dying as a modern Swedish or Japanese man would face at 72.
In the summertime, she likes eating outside at its restaurant, Langa Raden, which serves modern Swedish cuisine made from fresh, local produce.
Predictability of the First Modern Swedish Financial Crisis
Sweden enacted its modern Swedish Arbitration Act (SAA) in 1999.
The night of modern Swedish poetry and music is a memorable event in the minds of all those who attended the artistic performance at Sofia City Art Gallery on June 1 2011.
The book seeks to encapsulate various analyses of modern Swedish society.