Gothenburg Göteborg – Spelling & Pronunciation


Göteborg: Gothenburg
The only Swedish city with dual names
How to spell and pronounce the quadricentennial city of Scandinavia in Sweden?

Göteborg is the name of Sweden’s second largest city after Stockholm. Göteborg is the local name, but interestinglyit is the only city in Sweden which has an international (officially sanctified) name: Gothenburg!

Örebro is Örebro, Jönköping is Jönköping, Uppsala is Uppsala, Umeå is Umeå, Malmö is Malmö (with or without the diareses), and Stockholm is Stockholm but Göteborg is Gothenburg. Why?

HåkanStrömberg, the education officer at the City Museum (GöteborgsStadsmuseum: Swedish language precludes the usage of apostrophe), says Göteborg is the only city that has a local (national) and an international name. Because the city has had links to the northern Europe, and to other parts of the world since medieval times with China, Spain, the UK (England and Scotland). The city also had contacts in the 19th century with the USA and to South American countries as result of emigration from Sweden. The city is a reputable destination for tourism, trade and education; and it is imperative to have an international name.

Watch the video Göteborg: Gothenburg:

The dual names for Sweden’s came into being after a decade of uncertainty and inconsistency. The word Gothenburg has been around since 1621 but in 2003 officials called for Göteborg to be used as the official title in English-language literature about the city.They changed their minds and officially picked up Gothenburg again in 2009, for all international material on the place.

In Swedish, the place name called Goteborg is written with Latin letter ‘o’ with a diaeresis: Göteborgbut in English it is Gothenburg.

You use Göteborg in Swedish, and Gothenburg in English but you can use both in a text in order to make it clear to the reader that you are referring to the same city. In formal writings, it is imperative to write consistently either you use Göteborg or Gothenburg.

Gothenburg is celebrating its 400th anniversary in 2021.

Göteborg is pronounced as ‘yurtebor’, ‘yeh-the-bor-ee’, and some stress on yette-borg (g is almost silent ending with –ree): Yettebori!
Some say it as G-Burg.

Gothenburg is the headquarters of VästraGötalandRegionen: one of the 21 provinces of Sweden (län), and it is in the heart of Scandinavian and Baltic States.

According to the city officials, the region is “the gateway to a market of 190 million people. 70% of Scandinavia’s total industrial capacity is located within a 500 kilometeres radius of the Gothenburg region and 30% of Swedish trade passesthrough its port”.

Gothenburg is celebrating its 400th anniversary in 2021. Founded in 1621, today the city has more than half a million people. The city officials project the population to reach 700,000 by 2035.

Once a maritime city, in 21st century Gothenburg has reinvented itself as the business hub, educational town (Gothenburg University, Chalmers University of Technology), manufacturing centre (Volvo, SKF), and as the vacation town for many European countries, Chinese and Indians.

Välkomnen till Göteborg: Welcome to Gothenburg.

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