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He may well have been, given how terribly the English, me included, render Wallander. I also wondered about the naming of the character Hakan (von Ecke) - was this a nod to Hakan Nesser, author of another ten-novel Swedish police detective series? (though not set in a particular country).


PS did you read that Guardian interview with Sophie Gabrol of The Killing, in which she says her surname rhymes with "trouble"?


I suspect you probably can say Wallander fairly well, Maxine! Not sure about your Håkan theory in that it is quite a common name. I have a feeling that Mankell discusses the writers he likes in the documentary on the Branagh DVD set - I will check.

I haven't dared read the Guardian Killing feature. I have yet to finish and don't think I could forgive anyone who gave away the ending!

Trouble sounds a reasonable rhyme for Gråbøl - but I suppose it depends on how you pronounce trouble!

One thing to bear in mind, of course, is that I am a Northerner and if you asked me to say "bath" it would sound rather different than if I was born in Bath! Sweden is a big country and Skåne has quite a strong accent. If you remember, in the Martin Beck novels people laugh at Kvant(?) because he has a strong Skånian accent and the difference is quite noticeable, even to me.

Danish is hard, though. Danes swallow a lot of consonants and there are "Disgusted of Tonbridge Wells" discussions that predict that if they continue to disappear at the present rate soon even Danes won't be able to understand each other.

Dorte H

WE swallow consonants? But we haven´t turned ´barnevogn´ into bram or køleskab into ølskb ;)

I like Gråbøl = trouble.


Ok, we say pram and fridge. But when Kurt goes to Copenhagen he drives across Amager, which is pronounced...?

Then again, near where I come from in Cheshire there is a village called Cholmondeley, which as every Dane knows is pronounced Chumly. It is near Featherstonehaugh, which is pronounced Fanshaw.

And we have easy place names like Leicester and Worcester...!


I'm from the north, too, Philip so am unfazed by "bath and buns" as my parents used to say. ;-)
I remember being told once by a New Zealander who was always asked if she was Australian, that the way to distinguish is to ask the person to say "fish and chips".
I remember the joke about the accents in Sjowall and Wahloo, and this exact theme is also present in Mankell (including the Troubled Man). Wallander seems to notice not only Swedish dialects but also those of people from elsewhere whom he meets.

Dorte H

Ah, I didn´t know about Featherstonehaugh - I´d better store that titbit away (brilliant name for a cosy character).

And surely Amager doesn´t count - it was inhabited by Dutch immigrants! Amar! ;)

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