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The Pite dialect of the Bondska or Westrobothnian language, Sven Isaksen

Pite Bondska is a dialect of the Bondska or Westrobothnian dialect group, the Bondska dialects spoken along the Pite älv valley are called Pitebondska or Pitemål. To the south the closely related Skelleftemål dialects are spoken, actually several distinct dialects of Bondska. Pite Bondska has several thousand speakers, older speakers of the language speak variants of the traditional language, modern speakers speak it with Swedish influence or speak a form of Swedish influenced by Pite Bondska.

Bondska is not a Swedish dialect, a dialect of Norse within Sweden but not a Swedish dialect. The Bondska language has no official regional or minority status in Sweden, probably because minority non-standard Nordic languages have been treated as dialects of their respective national language and not treated as traditional dialects of Scandinavian which were around before the standard languages existed. Bondska is a traditional Nordic dialect group that shares a lot in common with its neighbour East Bothnian on the other side of the Baltic. Bondska borders other Scandinavian dialect groups like Jamtlandic and Northern Norwegian, Jamtlandic especially is sometimes similar to Bondska.

Pite Bondska has internal variations between different areas and also depending on the speaker. The digraph tj can sound like sch for some speakers, there is also a tendency for some people to write j at the start of a word as dj, more pronounced by some speakers than others. The s becomes sch commonly in this dialect, usually before another consonant. Where this happens can vary from one speaker to another. The same happens with w and v.

First phrases:

vo häjt dö? - what are you called?

I häjt

I jär än kWiinn – I am a woman

I jär än kar – I am a man

vöre jär e vä dä? - how are you?

vöre ha dö ne? - how are you?

tack dö, hä jär fint vä mä – I am good, thanks

- I am called


I (pronounced 'ee') means 'I'

dö means 'you singular'.

Here are some of the other pronouns.





dö, duuw

you (singular)







you (plural)



Unlike Swedish and Norwegian, Pitemål has different verb forms in the plural.

I jär – I am

hä jär – it is

skåogen jär – the forest is

naggän jär – someone is

And in the plural våra is used, similarly I ha (or I hav) – I have, but vä håva – we have.

jä våra – you lot are

döm våra et – they are not

I jär än kar å döm våra ine skåogen (older dative form skåogom) – I am a man and they are in the forest.

djåoLa – the soil or farmland

handa – the hand

båoLe – the table

ka:rn – the man

åoL – word

sWårt – black or dark

bLöut - wet

Basic words

And in examples.

handa men jär et opa båoLe – my hand is not on the table

skåogen jär sWårt å båoLe jär ine skåogen – The forest is dark, and the table is in the forest

hä jär mört ine skåogen å båoLe jär dä:r – it is dark in the forest and the table is there

åt (stan) – to, towards

del - to

dellbax - back

vä - with

uuwt – out of

åtvä – beside


åte - beside

opa, ope – on, upon, in

ine – in

måot – towards

förbij – past

djunning - through

milla – between

bake - behind

ötan – without

ötaför – outside

om – about

kregom – around

bakerom/bakera - behind

We have also been introduced to the dative case, still used by many speakers of Pitemål. This involves adding -om to the ending of a noun (when masculine).

än skåog – a forest

skåogen – the forest

skåogom – forest (dative)

han dråog åt skåogom - he went to the forest to stay

Masculine nouns, take the definite ending of -en, -n.

Feminine nouns, take -a

Neuter nouns, take -e

skåog – skåogen

hand - handa

åoL - åoLe

Interrogative pronouns

vo? - what?

vors? - where?

voda? - from where?

vöre – how?


I jär än kar å i joobb/arbäjt ine skåogen – I am a man and I work in the forest

vors kan I joobb ikWeel? - where can I work this evening?

voda kåm dö? - where do you come from?

I kan vijs dä vöre vä pråta – I can show you how we speak

vo ha dö vä´dä? - what did you bring?

vä nögges tjööp så mötje – we must buy so much

jä vaL håva e gott nojår, I ha tjöft mötje i`sta:n – good New Year to you, I have bought much in town

kWinna var ötaför – the woman was outside

hä tåo än dag å räjs åt Finnland – it took one day to travel to Finland

nö sko I skrijv åt dä – now I shall write to you

vo häjt hundn den? - what is your dog called?

hä jär tjent övär Norrland – It is well known over Norrland.

I djick åt Piijt – I went (walked) to Piteå

jä våra väLkömmen åt Piijt – you lot are welcome to Piteå

hä var åolovLit å bruut opp tjista – it was not okay to break the box

sko I gå uut? - shall I go out?

ha dö vöre åt sta:n? - have you been in the city?

hundn jär nåjd ine huse – the dog is content in the house

sko vä fåLe hundn åt sta:n?- shall we follow the dog to the town?

hä jär et gott å tjöör vä ijsn opa vägen – it is not good to drive with ice on the road

I ha köme häjm – I have come home

först fåor I åt Piijt – I went to Piteå first

I sko läsa båoka – I shall read the book

vors sko I gräva? – where should I dig? (gråw is used also)

båoka jen jär bra – this book is good.

kompisn men jär göudat öta å fiisk

I tåLa båra boNschka – I speak only Bondska

I ha et vöre ötomhuus ida – I have not been outside today

vä håva tåLase vä opa schWäNska ida – we have spoken together in Swedish today

voda kåm tåge jena? – where did this train come from?

häjn jär et men – this is not mine

kan dö sääjj/övärsätte hädden opa PijtmåLe? - Can you translate this into Pitemål?

I ha vöre ine skåogen ida män nö sko vä skrijv opa PijtmåLe – I have been in the forest today but now we will write in the Pite language

I väjt att vä fåor förbij stan jena – I know that we went past this town.

nö sko vä betåLa – now we should pay

dö ha då än dojre stäjn, jär´e granitn? - you really have an expensive stone, is it granite?

bråorn jär dena – there is the brother/the brother is there

stäjna våra naggerst addärsch - the stones are somewhere else

I bö et höv å djiva båoka åt dä – I don't have to give you the book

han jär båårt ida – he is away today

han sko fåå än noj bi:l – he is going to get a new car

I sko fåra del skåogs– I shall go to the forest

I kan tåLa PijtmåLe – I can speak Pitemål

hä var jena igår– it was here yesterday

- my friend is good at fishing (crazy about fishing)

ka:rn sko lär sä PijtmåLe sedda – the man is going to learn Pitemål later

döm kona et tåLa måLe – they cannot speak the language

Pitemål, as well as other Westro-Bothnian dialects, has apocope, the loss of final vowels. This also occurs in much of Northern Norway. For example I häjt (I am called), standard Swedish:

jag heter. Often pronounced with two vowels which are both pronounced as separate vowels and not as a long vowel, hääjt and rääjs. The future tense is most often expressed using the forms of 'shall' and 'will'.


dö tjööp – you buy

dö tjöft – you bought

dö ha tjöft – you have bought.

I waaL – I become

I wart – I became

han jär – he is

han var – he washan ha vöre – he has been

Further reading

Corrections were made to my Pite Bondska work by Brith F. and Tommy Oscarsson. The book Pitemålet: ållt mila àagg å ööx by Gun Lidström is an extensive dictionary of the Pite dialect as a traditional local language.