Swedish, Elfdalian


  • Language: Swedish, Elfdalian
  • Alternate names: Övdalsk, Övdalską, Älvdalska, Älvdalsmål
  • Language code:
  • Language family: Indo-European, Germanic, North, East Scandinavian, Danish-Swedish, Swedish, Dalecarlian
  • Number of speakers: 3000
  • Script: Latin script


Elfdalian is a linguistic variety of the Scandinavian language branch spoken in the old parish of Övdaln, which is located in the south-eastern part of Älvdalen Municipality in Northern Dalarna, Sweden.

Traditionally regarded as a Swedish dialect, Elfdalian is today regarded by several linguists as a separate language. As some other Dalecarlian vernaculars spoken north of the Lake Siljan, Elfdalian retains numerous old grammatical and phonological features that have not changed considerably since Old Norse and is considered to be the most conservative and best preserved vernacular within the Dalecarlian branch.

The Elfdalian alphabet

The Elfdalian alphabet consists of the following letters: Aa Ąą Bb Cc Dd Đð Ee Ęę Ff Gg Hh Ii Įį Jj Kk Ll Mm Nn Oo Pp Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu Ųų Vv Ww Xx Yy Y̨y̨ Zz Åå Ą̊ą̊ Ää Öö

Besides letters occurring in the Swedish alphabet, Elfdalian has letters with ogonek, denoting nasal vowels: Ąą, Ęę, Įį, Ųų, Y̨y̨ and Ą̊ą̊. Additionally, it contains the letter Ðð for the voiced dental fricative.

The verb

Elfdalian has a highly complex morphological structure, partially inherited from its Old Norse ancestor. Verbs are conjugated in the indicative and imperative moods, active and passive voice, present, imperfect and perfect tense. They are further conjugated in the singular, 1st person plural, 2nd person plural and plural 3rd persons.

Sample verb: dalska

Person Present Imperfect Imperative
Sg.1 dalsker dalskeð -
Sg.2 dalske!
Sg.3 -
Pl.1 dalskum dalskeðum -
Pl.2 dalskið dalskeðið dalskið!
Pl.3 dalska dalskeð -
Present participledalskend
Past participledalskað

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