A language of Sweden

Alternate Names

8,840,000 (European Commission 2012). 5,000 speakers of Gutniska (1998 S. Håkansson), and 30,000 of Jamska. Total users in all countries: 12,362,250 (as L1: 9,244,250; as L2: 3,118,000).


Widespread. Göta dialect: south, including parts of Småland, Värmland, Västergötland, parts of Östergötland, Bohuslän and Dalsland; Svea dialect: central, including Västmanland, Södermanland, Gästrikland, Dalarna, south Hälsingland, parts of Östergötland and Uppland; Southern Swedish: Skåne, Blekinge, south Småland, south Halland; Northern Swedish: north Hälsingland and north; Jamska: mainly Jämtland; Eastern Swedish: Finland, Estonia, and Gammalsvenskby, Ukraine; Gutniska: Isle of Gotland and Fårö; Elfdalian dialect: northern Dalarna, southeastern Älvdalen municipality.

Language Status

1 (National). Statutory national language (2009, Language Act. No. 600, Articles 4,5,6).


Dalecarlian, Eastern Swedish (Estonian Swedish, Finland Swedish), Gutniska (Gotlandic, Gutamal, Gutnic), Northern Swedish (Norrland), Southern Swedish (Scanian, Skåne, Skånska), Svea, Jamska, Elfdalian (Älvdalska, Övdalian, Övdalsk). Standard Swedish considered spoken in Svealand. Dialect investigation needed in Gutniska, Överkalixmål, Närpes, Pitemål, provinces around the Bothnic Sea (Norbotten in Sweden and Österbotten in Finland), and the island of Gotland. Gutniska descended from Forngutniska (Old Gotlandic). Dalecarlian spoken in northern Dalarna Province by about 10,000 speakers. Many would actually consider this variety a language in its own right, with its own literary standard and features that are markedly different from standard Swedish. Elfdalian is considered the most archaic vernacular within Dalecarlian, preserving many features of Old Norse.


SVO; prepositions; noun head final; gender (common, neuter); definite and indefinite articles; passives (active, middle, passive); comparatives; 19 consonant and 17 vowel phonemes; tonal (2 tones).

Language Use

Most also use English [eng] (European Commission 2006). Some also use French [fra] (European Commission 2006), Standard German [deu] (European Commission 2006).

Language Development
Fully developed. Bible: 1541–1999.

Braille script [Brai], used since 1917. Latin script [Latn], primary usage.

Also spoken in:

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