Copyright © Hans Högman 2020-01-22
The Swedish alphabet is similar to the English
alphabet, but has three more letters: Å, Ä and Ö. In
alphabetical order, these letters are at the end of
the alphabet, after the letter Z and in that order).
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZÅÄÖ. For more
Since Å, Ä and Ö are letters with a distinct sound,
not an A or an O with an accent, it is best to keep it
when referring to Scandinavian words and names in
other languages. Otherwise you might end up with a
totally different word or a word that do not exist.
This is especially important with names of people or
names of places. If you type a name of a place that
do have dots above an A or an O without the dots
you might end up with another place that also
Å, Ä and Ö do not mark grammatical variation as the
umlaut does in the German alphabet, or separate
syllables, as does the dieresis; therefore it is not
correct to call them umlauts, despite the lack of a
better term in English.
Å, Ä and Ö
A with a ring. Pronounced as the English "o"
as in "for".
A with two dots. Pronounced as the English
"ai" as in "fair.
O with two dots. Pronounced roughly like
the English "u" as in "turn".
On the keyboard - PC:
Hold down Alt and press nnn or nnnn on the
numeric keypad (NumLock enabled) as shown
å: Alt key + 134 or Alt + 0229
Å: Alt key + 143 or Alt + 0197
ä: Alt key + 132 or Alt + 0228
Ä: Alt key + 142 or Alt + 0196
ö: Alt key + 148 or Alt + 0246
Ö: Alt key + 153 or Alt + 0214
On the keyboard - Mac:
å: Press Option and the letter "a" for lower case
Å: Press Option, Shift, and the letter "a" for a
ä: Press and release Option and the letter "U".
Press the letter "a" for a lower case ä
Ä: Press and release Option and the letter "U".
Press Shift and the letter "a" for an upper case Ä
ö: Press and release Option and the letter "U".
Press the letter "o" for a lower case ö
Ö: Press and release Option and the letter "U".
Press Shift and the letter o for an upper case Ö
Keep the spelling correct
Names of places
You can end up with a different name of a place if
you omit the dots/ring above the A and O.
For example, if you post a query about an ancestor
from Böda and in the query write Boda you might
lead the people that are trying to help you on the
wrong track since there are places called Boda as
well as Böda. If you are looking for information
about Böda you also must spell it Böda and not
Boda. Another example is the two places Hallaryd
and Hällaryd. Both these two places exist, but one is
spelled with an "ä" and the other with an "a".
A similar example is Lovön respective Lövön. There
is, as far as I know, no place called Lovon but it is
difficult to know if you by Lovon mean Lovön or
Names of people
There are several names in this category where you
get different names depending how you use the
umlauts. For example, Jonsson vs Jönsson, Mollberg
vs Möllberg, Hallberg vs Hällberg, Marta vs Märta,
There are many words with the same spelling except
for the dots/ring above the A:s and O:s but with a
totally different meaning.
How To Type
Acute Accent - é
The acute accent marks the stressed vowel of a
word in several languages. In Swedish the acute
accent is used to indicate that a terminal syllable
with the vowel e is stressed. Often this is used for
Swedish word with a French origin.
Filé – Fillet [of beef]
Café – Coffee bar
Paté - Paté
This is also the case with some names of people:
André (a first name)
Iréne (a first name)
Rahmé (a last name)
However, in some words the acute accent is also
needed to differentiate two words from each other.
Armen (first syllable stressed) – The arm (body
Armén – The Army
Ide (first syllable stressed) – A bear’s winter
Idé - Idea
Because keyboards have only a limited number of
keys, English keyboards do not have keys for
On Windows computers, letters with acute accents
can be created by holding down the Alt key and
typing in a three or a four-number code on the
number pad to the right of the keyboard before
releasing the Alt key.
é: Alt key + 130 or Alt + 0233
É: Alt key + 144 or Alt + 0201
Many laptops do not have a separate numeric
keypad; however, the Fn key can be used to turn
certain keys into a numeric keypad. There usually is
a key called [Num lock] to ‘shift’ certain keys to act as
if they were the numeric keypad keys.
é: Hold down the Option key and type an "e",
release the keys, and type another "e".
É: Hold down the Option key and type an "e",
release the keys, hold down the Shift key and
type another "e".
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