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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 am called...
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
Pronouns

I (pronounced 'ee') means 'I'


dö means 'you singular'.
Here are some of the other pronouns.

PijtmåLe English
I I
dö, duuw you (singular)
han he
hon she
hä it
vä we
jä you (plural)
döm they

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.
Basic words

djåoLa – the soil or farmland


handa – the hand
båoLe – the table
ka:rn – the man
åoL – word
sWårt – black or dark
bLöut - wet

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

Prepositions

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?

Samples

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 - my friend is good at fishing (crazy about fishing)
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
I ha djåRt hä – I have done it
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'.

Verbs

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.