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For a guide to IPA symbols, see Help: IPA.) is a North Germanic language spoken natively by 9.6 million people, predominantly in Sweden (as the sole official language), and in parts of Finland, where it has equal legal standing with Finnish.
Swedish is also notable for the voiceless dorso-palatal velar fricative, a highly variable consonant phoneme.
Sweden has also had historic use in Estonia, although the current status of the Estonian Swedish speakers is almost extinct.
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Standard Swedish, spoken by most Swedes, is the national language that evolved from the Central Swedish dialects in the 19th century and was well established by the beginning of the 20th century.
While distinct regional varieties descending from the older rural dialects still exist, the spoken and written language is uniform and standardized.
Adjectives have discrete comparative and superlative forms, and are also inflected according to gender, number and definiteness.