Swedish in America

From the late 1800s throughout the early 1900s, 1.3 million people emigrated from Sweden to America. This means that a large proportion of the Swedish-speaking world at that time were actually living in America, and even today many Swedes are moving to the United States. Despite this we know very little about both older and present-day American Swedish. There are plenty of 50 year-old recordings of American Swedish, but these have been studied very sparingly, and current Swedish in America has not been documented at all. The project Swedish in America is a study of the Swedish language in the United States today and aims to reveal how today's American Swedish differs from the varieties spoken 50 years ago. Our plan is to obtain recordings and other language studies with Swedish Americans of the first, second and third generation. We visited Minnesota in June 2011 for a first set of recordings, and in 2012 made recordings in Illinois.

One purpose for collecting this material is to create a solid database for researchers worldwide with an interest in the Swedish language. The new data provides the project participants and other researchers with the possibility to investigate for instance code-switching – in this case the switch between English and Swedish – and dialectal variation, and also to study how the speakers perceive their linguistic identity and how words and word order are influenced by language contact.

Please follow the project on Facebook and in the calendar.

Maia Andréasson, University of Gothenburg,
Ida Larsson, University of Stockholm,
Benjamin Lyngfelt, 
University of Gothenburg,
Jenny Nilsson, the Institute for Language and Folklore
, and
Sofia Tingsell, 
University of Gothenburg.

Karta: Wikimedia Commons


  • More research this year! Torsten Söderbergs stiftelse has granted us money for another trip to the US! We are so very grateful for this and we are now in the planning stage of this ...
    Posted Jan 23, 2012, 10:21 AM by Maia Andréasson
  • We have problems with the blog site. Please, check our page on Facebook
    Posted Jun 15, 2011, 4:23 AM by Maia Andréasson
  • We are (practically) on our way! Sunday we leave for Minneapolis and we are currently madly busy checking of items on lists, filling electronic forms to get into the US, contacting language consultants, arranging for meetings ...
    Posted Jun 10, 2011, 3:21 AM by Maia Andréasson
  • Datum (nästan) klara! – Dates (almost) set! Om allt går väl kommer vi att vara i Minnesota mellan den 12 och den 21 juni 2011.If everything goes well, we will be in Minnesota June 12th – June ...
    Posted Mar 24, 2011, 3:14 AM by Maia Andréasson
  • Call for papers: Second Workshop on Immigrant Languages in America "The Second Workshop on Immigrant Languages in America will be held at Fefor Høifjellshotell in Norway 21-24. September 2011.Call for papers: We still have some vacant slots for ...
    Posted Mar 16, 2011, 1:42 PM by Maia Andréasson
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