There seems to be a special L sound in Swedish, I've tried to find what consonant/vowel it is for a long time, but eventually I decided to ask here

Two videos with the sound in it:
Video 1, at 3:19, the word "filen"
Video 2, 0:57~0:58, 1:07~1:08, and many others


  • It sounds like a normal L, except for those that sound like a hybrid of L and R,and this sound is known as the retroflex flap en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retroflex_flap - and it appears in some dialects of Swedish Commented May 13, 2016 at 6:29
  • @Vijejoslagc I don't think its the "L" thats special I think its the "I" before the "L". Listen to the word "fint" and tell us if you hear the same sound you are referring to: forvo.com/search/fint/sv
    – Baz
    Commented May 15, 2016 at 6:57
  • Seems like it really is the I before L. Commented May 16, 2016 at 16:06
  • Sounds like a dental /l/, ie [ l̺ ]. Commented Jun 14, 2016 at 0:46

1 Answer 1


In the first video, the sound is simply /l/, spelled in Swedish. This is the same as L in German or French.

The timecodes in the second video all lack L so I'm assuming you mean R. In this case I'm analyzing it as /ɹ/ but it's most commonly analyzed as /ɾ/. Depending on the dialect or person, it can also be pronounced /r/ or /ʀ/.

As Luboš mentioned in the comments, L in some dialects is also /ɽ/. This is however not the case in either of these videos as they are both in Central Standard Swedish.

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