Å is the 27th letter of the Swedish alphabet, and a surprisingly versatile word. Hear how to pronounce it in the clip below:
En å is the word for a river, stream or brook. The plural is åar.
Å is also common in place names. There are a total of 12 locations in Sweden called Å, and several others that use -å as a suffix, such as Skogså (literally 'forest brook') in Norrbotten and Luleå, Piteå and Skellefteå in northern Sweden. The use of å in place names usually means the location is near a river.
It can also be an interjection, similar to 'oh!', and usually expresses joy or surprise, but can sound slightly affected or old-fashioned. For example: Å, vad jag är glad! (Oh, how happy I am!)
In older Swedish, å was a preposition equivalent to 'on' in English. Today it has been mostly replaced by på, but you will still see å in some set phrases such as å ena sidan… å andra sidan (on the one hand… on the other hand) or å någons vägnar (on someone's behalf). In the latter phrase, you can also use på.
And in dialect or informal Swedish, å can be used to replace the preposition att, especially when att is being used with a verb in the infinitive, for example jag glömde å göra det (I forgot to do it).
Jag ser en å
I can see a stream
Hon var å andra sidan jätteduktig
On the other hand, she was very competent