Norwegian (norsk) is a North Germanic language spoken mainly in Norway, where it is the official language. Along with Swedish and Danish, Norwegian forms a dialect continuum of more or less mutually intelligible local and regional varieties, and some Norwegian and Swedish dialects, in particular, are very close. These Scandinavian languages, together with Faroese and Icelandic as well as some extinct languages, constitute the North Germanic languages. Faroese and Icelandic are hardly mutually intelligible with Norwegian in their spoken form because continental Scandinavian has diverged from them. While the two Germanic languages with the greatest numbers of speakers, English and German, have close similarities with Norwegian, neither is mutually intelligible with it. Norwegian is a descendant of Old Norse, the common language of the Germanic peoples living in Scandinavia during the Viking Era.
Today there are two official forms of written Norwegian, Bokmål (literally "book tongue") and Nynorsk ("new Norwegian"), each with its own variants. Bokmål developed from the Dano-Norwegian koiné language that evolved under the union of Denmark-Norway in the 16- and 17-centuary, while Nynorsk was developed based upon a collective of spoken Western Norwegian dialects. Norwegian is one of the two official languages in Norway. The other is Sami, spoken by some members of the Sami people, mostly in the Northern part of Norway. Norwegian and Sami are not mutually intelligible, as Sami belongs to the Finno-Ugric group of languages. Sami is spoken by less than one percent of people in Norway.
Norwegian is one of the working languages of the Nordic Council. Under the Nordic Language Convention, citizens of the Nordic countries who speak Norwegian have the opportunity to use their native language when interacting with official bodies in other Nordic countries without being liable to any interpretation or translation costs.
|Pronunciation||[nɔʂk] (East and North)|
|5.2 million (2015)|
written Bokmål (official)
• written Riksmål (unofficial)
written Nynorsk (official)
• written Høgnorsk (unofficial)
|Latin (Norwegian alphabet)|
|Norwegian Sign Language|
Official language in
|Regulated by||Language Council of Norway (Bokmål and Nynorsk)|
Norwegian Academy (Riksmål)
Ivar Aasen-sambandet (Høgnorsk)
Like most of the languages in Europe, the Norwegian language descends from the Proto-Indo-European language spoken about 5500 years ago on the Pontic–Caspian steppe north of the Black Sea. As early Indo-Europeans spread across Europe, they became isolated and new languages evolved. In the northwest of Europe, the West Germanic languages evolved, which would eventually become English, Dutch, German, and the North Germanic languages, of which Norwegian is one.
Proto-Norse is thought to have evolved as a northern dialect of Proto-Germanic during the first centuries AD. It is the earliest stage of a characteristically North Germanic language, and the language attested in the Elder Futhark inscriptions, the oldest form of the runic alphabets. A number of inscriptions are memorials to the dead, while others are magical in content. The oldest are carved on loose objects, while later ones are chiseled in runestones. They are the oldest written record of any Germanic language.
Around 800 AD, the script was simplified to the Younger Futhark, and inscriptions became more abundant. At the same time, the beginning of the Viking Age led to the spread of Old Norse to Iceland, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands. Viking colonies also existed in parts of the British Isles, France (Normandy), and Kievan Rus. In all of these places except Iceland and the Faroes, Old Norse speakers went extinct or were absorbed into the local population.
Around 1030, Christianity came to Scandinavia, bringing with it an influx of Latin borrowings and the Roman alphabet. These new words were related to church practices and ceremonies, although many other loanwords related to general culture also entered the language.
The Scandinavian languages at this time are not considered to be separate languages, although there were minor differences among what are customarily called Old Icelandic, Old Norwegian, Old Gutnish, Old Danish, and Old Swedish.
The economic and political dominance of the Hanseatic League between 1250 and 1450 in the main Scandinavian cities brought large Middle Low German-speaking populations to Norway. The influence of their language on Scandinavian is similar to that of French on English after the Norman conquest.
In the late Middle Ages, dialects began to develop in Scandinavia because the population was rural and little travel occurred. When the Reformation came from Germany, Martin Luther's High German translation of the Bible was quickly translated into Swedish, Danish, and Icelandic. Norway entered a union with Denmark in 1397. Danish was the language of the elite, the church, literature, and the law. When the union with Denmark ended in 1814, the Dano-Norwegian koiné had become the mother tongue of many Norwegians.
From the 1840s, some writers experimented with a Norwegianised Danish by incorporating words that were descriptive of Norwegian scenery and folk life, and adopting a more Norwegian syntax. Knud Knudsen proposed to change spelling and inflection in accordance with the Dano-Norwegian koiné, known as "cultivated everyday speech." A small adjustment in this direction was implemented in the first official reform of the Danish language in Norway in 1862 and more extensively after his death in two official reforms in 1907 and 1917.
Meanwhile, a nationalistic movement strove for the development of a new written Norwegian. Ivar Aasen, a botanist and self-taught linguist, began his work to create a new Norwegian language at the age of 22. He traveled around the country collecting words and examples of grammar from the dialects and comparing the dialects among the different regions. He examined the development of Icelandic, which had largely escaped the influences under which Norwegian had come. He called his work, which was published in several books from 1848 to 1873, Landsmål, meaning "national language". The name "Landsmål" is sometimes interpreted as "rural language" or "country language", but this was clearly not Aasen's intended meaning.
The name of the Danish language in Norway was a topic of hot dispute through the 19th century. Its proponents claimed that it was a language common to Norway and Denmark, and no more Danish than Norwegian. The proponents of Landsmål thought that the Danish character of the language should not be concealed. In 1899, Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson proposed the neutral name Riksmål, meaning national language like Landsmål, and this was officially adopted along with the 1907 spelling reform. The name "Riksmål" is sometimes interpreted as "state language", but this meaning is secondary at best. (Compare to Danish rigsmål from where the name was borrowed.)
After the personal union with Sweden was dissolved in 1905, both languages were developed further and reached what is now considered their classic forms after a reform in 1917. Riksmål was in 1929 officially renamed Bokmål (literally "book language"), and Landsmål to Nynorsk (literally "new Norwegian"). A proposition to substitute Danish-Norwegian (dansk-norsk) for Bokmål lost in parliament by a single vote. The name Nynorsk, the linguistic term for modern Norwegian, was chosen to contrast with Danish and emphasis on the historical connection to Old Norwegian. Today, this meaning is often lost, and it is commonly mistaken as a "new" Norwegian in contrast to the "real" Norwegian Bokmål.
Bokmål and Nynorsk were made closer by a reform in 1938. This was a result of a state policy to merge Nynorsk and Bokmål into a single language, to be called Samnorsk. A 1946 poll showed that this policy was supported by 79% of Norwegians at the time. However, opponents of the official policy still managed to create a massive protest movement against Samnorsk in the 1950s, fighting in particular the use of "radical" forms in Bokmål text books in schools. In the reform in 1959, the 1938 reform was partially reversed in Bokmål, but Nynorsk was changed further towards Bokmål. Since then Bokmål has reverted even further toward traditional Riksmål, while Nynorsk still adheres to the 1959 standard. Therefore, a small minority of Nynorsk enthusiasts use a more conservative standard called Høgnorsk. The Samnorsk policy had little influence after 1960, and was officially abandoned in 2002.
While the sound systems of Norwegian and Swedish are similar, considerable variation exists among the dialects.
|Stop||p b||t d||ʈ ɖ||k ɡ|
The retroflex consonants only appear in East Norwegian dialects as a result of sandhi, combining /ɾ/ with /d/, /l/, /n/, /s/, and /t/.
The realization of the rhotic /ɾ/ depends on the dialect. In Eastern, Central, and Northern Norwegian dialects, it is a tap [ɾ], whereas in Western and Southern Norway, and for some speakers also in Eastern Norway, it is rendered more gutturally as [χ] or [ʁ]. And in the dialects of North-Western Norway, it is realized as [r], much like the trilled R of Spanish.
|a||/ɑ/||Open back unrounded|
|e (short)||/ɛ/, /æ/||open mid front unrounded|
|e (long)||/e/, /æ/||close-mid front unrounded|
|e (weak)||/ə/||schwa (mid central unrounded)|
|i (short)||/ɪ/||close front unrounded|
|i (long)||/i/||close front unrounded|
|o||/u, o, ɔ/||close back rounded|
|u||/ʉ/, /u/||close central rounded (close front extra rounded)|
|y (short)||/ʏ/||close front rounded (close front less rounded)|
|y (long)||/y/||close front rounded (close front less rounded)|
|æ||/æ/, /ɛ/||near open front unrounded|
|ø||/ø/||close-mid front rounded|
|å||/ɔ/||open-mid back rounded|
Norwegian is a pitch-accent language with two distinct pitch patterns, like Swedish. They are used to differentiate two-syllable words with otherwise identical pronunciation. For example, in many East Norwegian dialects, the word "bønder" (farmers) is pronounced using tone 1, while "bønner" (beans or prayers) uses tone 2. Though spelling differences occasionally differentiate written words, in most cases the minimal pairs are written alike, since written Norwegian has no explicit accent marks. In most eastern low-tone dialects, accent 1 uses a low flat pitch in the first syllable, while accent 2 uses a high, sharply falling pitch in the first syllable and a low pitch in the beginning of the second syllable. In both accents, these pitch movements are followed by a rise of intonational nature (phrase accent)—the size (and presence) of which signals emphasis or focus, and corresponds in function to the normal accent in languages that lack lexical tone, such as English. That rise culminates in the final syllable of an accentual phrase, while the utterance-final fall common in most languages is either very small or absent.
There are significant variations in pitch accent between dialects. Thus, in most of western and northern Norway (the so-called high-pitch dialects) accent 1 is falling, while accent 2 is rising in the first syllable and falling in the second syllable or somewhere around the syllable boundary. The pitch accents (as well as the peculiar phrase accent in the low-tone dialects) give the Norwegian language a "singing" quality that makes it easy to distinguish from other languages. Accent 1 generally occurs in words that were monosyllabic in Old Norse, and accent 2 in words that were polysyllabic.
The Norwegian alphabet has 29 letters.
The letters c, q, w, x and z are only used in loanwords. As loanwords are assimilated into Norwegian, their spelling might change to reflect Norwegian pronunciation and the principles of Norwegian orthography, e.g. zebra in Norwegian is written sebra. Due to historical reasons, some otherwise Norwegian family names are also written using these letters.
Some letters may be modified by diacritics: é, è, ê, ó, ò, and ô. In Nynorsk, ì and ù and ỳ are occasionally seen as well. The diacritics are not compulsory, but may in a few cases distinguish between different meanings of the word, e.g.: for (for/to), fór (went), fòr (furrow) and fôr (fodder). Loanwords may be spelled with other diacritics, most notably ü, á and à.
As established by law and government policy, the two official forms of written Norwegian are Bokmål (literally "book tongue") and Nynorsk ("new Norwegian"). The official Norwegian Language Council (Språkrådet) is responsible for regulating the two forms, and recommends the terms "Norwegian Bokmål" and "Norwegian Nynorsk" in English. Two other written forms without official status also exist, one, called Riksmål ("national language"), is today to a large extent the same language as Bokmål though somewhat closer to the Danish language. It is regulated by the unofficial Norwegian Academy, which translates the name as "Standard Norwegian". The other is Høgnorsk ("High Norwegian"), a more purist form of Nynorsk, which maintains the language in an original form as given by Ivar Aasen and rejects most of the reforms from the 20th century; this form has limited use.
Nynorsk and Bokmål provide standards for how to write Norwegian, but not for how to speak the language. No standard of spoken Norwegian is officially sanctioned, and most Norwegians speak their own dialects in all circumstances. Thus, unlike in many other countries, the use of any Norwegian dialect, whether it coincides with the written norms or not, is accepted as correct spoken Norwegian. However, in areas where East Norwegian dialects are used, a tendency exists to accept a de facto spoken standard for this particular regional dialect, Urban East Norwegian or Standard East Norwegian (Norwegian: Standard Østnorsk), in which the vocabulary coincides with Bokmål. Outside Eastern Norway, this spoken variation is not used.
From the 16th to the 19th centuries, Danish was the standard written language of Norway. As a result, the development of modern written Norwegian has been subject to strong controversy related to nationalism, rural versus urban discourse, and Norway's literary history. Historically, Bokmål is a Norwegianised variety of Danish, while Nynorsk is a language form based on Norwegian dialects and puristic opposition to Danish. The now-abandoned official policy to merge Bokmål and Nynorsk into one common language called Samnorsk through a series of spelling reforms has created a wide spectrum of varieties of both Bokmål and Nynorsk. The unofficial form known as Riksmål is considered more conservative than Bokmål and is far closer to Danish while the unofficial Høgnorsk is more conservative than Nynorsk and is far closer to Faroese, Icelandic and Old Norse.
Norwegians are educated in both Bokmål and Nynorsk. The language form that is not registered as the main language form of a Norwegian student will be a mandatory school subject in both high school and elementary school for the student, which is called Sidemål. For instance, a Norwegian with Bokmål as its main language form has Nynorsk as a mandatory school subject throughout both high school and elementary school. A 2005 poll indicates that 86.3% use primarily Bokmål as their daily written language, 5.5% use both Bokmål and Nynorsk, and 7.5% use primarily Nynorsk. Thus, 13% are frequently writing Nynorsk, though the majority speak dialects that resemble Nynorsk more closely than Bokmål. Broadly speaking, Nynorsk writing is widespread in western Norway, though not in major urban areas, and also in the upper parts of mountain valleys in the southern and eastern parts of Norway. Examples are Setesdal, the western part of Telemark county (fylke) and several municipalities in Hallingdal, Valdres, and Gudbrandsdalen. It is little used elsewhere, but 30–40 years ago, it also had strongholds in many rural parts of Trøndelag (mid-Norway) and the southern part of northern Norway (Nordland county). Today, not only is Nynorsk the official language of four of the 19 Norwegian counties, but also of many municipalities in five other counties. NRK, the Norwegian broadcasting corporation, broadcasts in both Bokmål and Nynorsk, and all governmental agencies are required to support both written languages. Bokmål is used in 92% of all written publications, and Nynorsk in 8% (2000).
Like some other European countries, Norway has an official "advisory board"— Språkrådet (Norwegian Language Council)— that determines, after approval from the Ministry of Culture, official spelling, grammar, and vocabulary for the Norwegian language. The board's work has been subject to considerable controversy throughout the years.
Both Nynorsk and Bokmål have a great variety of optional forms. The Bokmål that uses the forms that are close to Riksmål is called moderate or conservative, depending on one's viewpoint, while the Bokmål that uses the forms that are close to Nynorsk is called radical. Nynorsk has forms that are close to the original Landsmål and forms that are close to Bokmål.
Opponents of the spelling reforms aimed at bringing Bokmål closer to Nynorsk have retained the name Riksmål and employ spelling and grammar that predate the Samnorsk movement. Riksmål and conservative versions of Bokmål have been the de facto standard written language of Norway for most of the 20th century, being used by large newspapers, encyclopedias, and a significant proportion of the population of the capital Oslo, surrounding areas, and other urban areas, as well as much of the literary tradition. Since the reforms of 1981 and 2003 (effective in 2005), the official Bokmål can be adapted to be almost identical with modern Riksmål. The differences between written Riksmål and Bokmål are comparable to American and British English differences.
Riksmål is regulated by the Norwegian Academy, which determines acceptable spelling, grammar, and vocabulary.
There is also an unofficial form of Nynorsk, called Høgnorsk, discarding the post-1917 reforms, and thus close to Ivar Aasen's original Landsmål. It is supported by Ivar Aasen-sambandet, but has found no widespread use.
In 2010 86.5% of the pupils in the primary and lower secondary schools in Norway receive education in Bokmål, while 13.0% receive education in Nynorsk. From the eighth grade onwards pupils are required to learn both. Out of the 431 municipalities in Norway, 161 have declared that they wish to communicate with the central authorities in Bokmål, 116 (representing 12% of the population) in Nynorsk, while 156 are neutral. Of 4,549 state publications in 2000 8% were in Nynorsk, and 92% in Bokmål. The large national newspapers (Aftenposten, Dagbladet, and VG) are published in Bokmål or Riksmål. Some major regional newspapers (including Bergens Tidende and Stavanger Aftenblad), many political journals, and many local newspapers use both Bokmål and Nynorsk.
A newer trend is to write in dialect for informal use. When writing an SMS, Facebook update, or fridge note, most younger people write the way they talk rather than using Bokmål or Nynorsk.
There is general agreement that a wide range of differences makes it difficult to estimate the number of different Norwegian dialects. Variations in grammar, syntax, vocabulary, and pronunciation cut across geographical boundaries and can create a distinct dialect at the level of farm clusters. Dialects are in some cases so dissimilar as to be unintelligible to unfamiliar listeners. Many linguists note a trend toward regionalization of dialects that diminishes the differences at such local levels; there is, however, a renewed interest in preserving dialects.
Below are a few sentences giving an indication of the differences between Bokmål and Nynorsk, compared to the conservative (closer to Danish) form Riksmål, Danish, as well as Old Norse, Swedish, Faroese, Icelandic (the living language grammatically closest to Old Norse), Old English and some modern West Germanic languages:
|Modern English||I come from Norway||What is his name?||This is a horse||The rainbow has many colours|
|Danish||Jeg kommer fra Norge||Hvad hedder han?||Dette er en hest||Regnbuen har mange farver|
|Norwegian Riksmål||Hva heter han?|
|Norwegian Bokmål||Regnbuen har mange farger|
|Norwegian Nynorsk||Eg kjem frå Noreg||Kva heiter han?||Dette er ein hest||Regnbogen har mange fargar/leter |
= Regnbogen er mangleta
|Norwegian Høgnorsk||Regnbogen hev mange leter |
= Regnbogen er manglìta
|Swedish||Jag kommer från Norge||Vad heter han?||Detta är en häst||Regnbågen har många färger|
|Old Norse||Ek kem frá Noregi||Hvat heitir hann?||Þetta er hross /
Þessi er hestr
|Regnboginn er marglitr|
|Icelandic||Ég kem frá Noregi||Hvað heitir hann?||Þetta er hestur/hross||Regnboginn er marglitur|
|Faroese||Eg komi úr Noregi/Norra||Hvussu eitur hann?||Hetta er eitt ross / ein hestur||Ælabogin hevur nógvar litir /|
Ælabogin er marglittur
|Old English||Ic cume fram Norwegan||Hwat hāteþ he?||Þis is hors||Se regnboga hæfð manige hiw|
|German||Ich komme aus Norwegen||Wie heißt er?||Das ist ein Pferd||Der Regenbogen hat viele Farben|
|Dutch||Ik kom uit Noorwegen||Hoe heet hij?||Dit is een paard||De regenboog heeft veel (vele) kleuren|
|Afrikaans||Ek kom van Noorweë||Wat is sy naam?
Hoe heet hy? (more archaic and formal)
|Dit is 'n perd||Die reënboog het baie kleure|
|West Frisian||Ik kom út Noarwegen||Hoe hjit er?||Dit is in hynder||De reinbôge hat in protte kleuren|
|Low Saxon||Ik kom üüt Noorwegen||Ho hit e?||Dit is een peerd||De regenboge hev völe klören|
Norwegian nouns belong to three noun classes: masculine, feminine and neuter. Adjectives and determiners agree in gender with the noun they modifiy. Riksmål and conservative Bokmål traditionally have two genders like Danish, but Nynorsk and most speakers of Norwegian regional dialects use three genders to different extents.
|a boat||the boat||boats||the boats|
|a girl||the girl||girls||the girls|
|a house||the house||houses||the houses|
The inflection of feminine words like jente using morphemes from the masculine noun class is common in the Bergen and Oslo areas. However, feminine noun class morphology tends to be restricted in most Eastern and Northern dialects to the uses of the definite article.
In general, almost all nouns in Bokmål follow these patterns (like the words in the examples above):
In contrast, almost all nouns in Nynorsk follow these patterns (the noun gender system is more pronounced than in Bokmål):
|a boat||the boat||boats||the boats|
|a girl||the girl||girls||the girls|
|a house||the house||houses||the houses|
Unlike in Bokmål, in Nynorsk feminine nouns cannot be inflected using masculine noun class morphology. Feminine nouns must be written using the prescribed inflection patterns.
There is no way in general to infer what gender a specific noun has, but there some patterns of nouns where the gender can be inferred. For instance, all nouns ending in -nad will be masculine in both Bokmål and Nynorsk (for instance the noun jobbsøknad, which means job application). Most nouns ending in -ing will be feminine, like the noun forventning (expectation).
There are some common irregular nouns, many of which are irregular in both Bokmål and Nynorsk, like the following:
|English:||a foot||the foot||feet||the feet|
In Nynorsk, even though the irregular word fot is masculine, it is inflected like a feminine word in the plural. Another word with the same irregular inflection is son - søner (son - sons).
In Nynorsk, nouns ending in -ing typically have masculine plural inflections, like the word dronning in the following table. But they are treated as feminine nouns in every other way.
|Gender||Nouns ending with -ing||English|
|Plurals with umlaut (these irregularities also exist in Bokmål)|
|Plurals with no ending (these irregularities also exist in Bokmål)|
In general, the genitive case has died out in modern Norwegian and there are only some remnants of it in certain expressions: til fjells (to the mountains), til sjøs (to the sea). To show ownership, there is an enclitic -s similar to English -'s; Sondres flotte bil (Sondre's nice car, Sondre being a personal name). There are also reflexive possessive pronouns, sin, si, sitt, sine; Det er Sondre sitt (It is Sondre's). In both Bokmål and modern Nynorsk, there is often a mix of both of these to mark possession, though it is more common in Nynorsk to use the reflexive pronouns; in Nynorsk use of the reflexive possessive pronouns is generally encouraged to avoid mixing the enclitic -s with the historical grammatical case remnants of the language. The reflexive pronouns agree in gender and number with the noun.
The enclitic -s in Norwegian evolved as a shorthand expression for the possessive pronouns sin, si, sitt and sine.
|Norwegian (with pronoun)||Norwegian (with enclitic 's)||English|
|Jenta sin bil||Jentas bil||The girl's car|
|Mannen si kone||Mannens kone||The man's wife|
|Gutten sitt leketøy||Guttens leketøy||The boy's toy|
|Kona sine barn||Konas barn||The wife's children|
|Det er statsministeren sitt||Det er statsministerens||It is the prime minister's|
Norwegian adjectives inflect for gender, number, definiteness and for comparison (affirmative/comparative/superlative). Most adjectives in all Norwegian dialects and written forms follow the pattern below.
In most dialects, some verb participles used as adjectives have a separate form in both definite and plural uses, and sometimes also in the masculine-feminine singular:
In some Southwestern dialects, the definite adjective is also declined in gender and number with one form for feminine and plural, and one form for masculine and neuter.
In Norwegian, a definite noun has a suffixed article (cf. above). However, when a definitive noun is preceded by an adjective (or a numeral), an additional definite article is placed in front of the adjective in the beginning of the noun phrase, so that definiteness is marked twice  since the adjective is inflected as definite as well. In Bokmål, though, the suffixed noun article may be dropped in formal or literary styles.
Definiteness is also signaled by using possessive pronouns or any uses of a noun in its genitive form in either Nynorsk or Bokmål: mitt grønne hus ("my green house"), min grønne bil ("my green car"), mitt tilbaketrukne tannkjøtt ("my pulled gums"), presidentens gamle hus ("the president's old house").
Examples of comparative and superlative inflections in Bokmål: "et hvitere hus" (a whiter house), "den grønneste bilen" (the greenest car); "hvitere hus" (whiter house), "grønnest bil" (greenest car).
In all dialects of Norwegian and in the written languages, unlike related languages like German, there is also predicative agreement of adjectives.
This means that nouns will have to agree with the adjective when there is a copula verb involved, like in Bokmål: «være» (to be), «bli» (become), «ser ut» (looks like), «kjennes» (feels like) etc.
|Feminine||Døra er blå||The door is blue|
|Masculine||Gutten blir stor||The boy will be tall|
|Neuter||Flagget er blått/stort||The flag is blue/big|
|Plural||Blåbærene blir store||The blueberries will be big|
Norwegian finite verbs are inflected or conjugated according to mood: indicative/imperative/subjunctive. The subjunctive mood is constrained to only a handful of verbs. Indicative verbs are conjugated for tense: present / past / future. The infinitive, present and past tense also have a passive form. In a few dialects, indicative verbs are also conjugated according to number. Agreement with person is lost in Norwegian.
The participles are verbal adjectives. The imperfective participle is not declined, whereas the perfect participle is declined for gender (though not in Bokmål) and number like strong, affirmative adjectives. The definite form of the participle is identical to the plural form.
|Indicative||Subjunctive||Imperative||Verbal nouns||Verbal adjectives (Participles)|
|Indicative||Subjunctive||Imperative||Verbal nouns||Verbal adjectives (Participles)|
|Active||lever||levde/ levet||leve||lev||leve||levende||levd||levde/ levet|
|fins/ finnes||fantes||finnes||(har funnes)|
There are ergative verbs in both Bokmål and Nynorsk, where there is two different conjugation patterns depending on if the verb takes an object or not. In Bokmål, there are only two different conjugations for the preterite tense for the strong verbs, while Nynorsk has different conjugations for all tenses, like Swedish and a majority of Norwegian dialects. Some weak verbs are also ergative and are differentiated for all tenses in both Bokmål and Nynorsk, like «ligge»/«legge» that both means to lie down, but «ligge» does not take an object while «legge» requires an object. «legge» corresponds to the English verb «lay», while «ligge» corresponds to the English verb «lie». There are however many verbs that do not have this direct translation to English verbs.
|Nøtta knakk||The nut cracked|
|Jeg knekte nøtta||I cracked the nut|
|Jeg ligger||I'm lying down|
|Jeg legger det ned||I'll lay it down|
Norwegian personal pronouns are declined according to case: nominative / accusative. Like English, pronouns in Bokmål and Nynorsk are the only class that has case declension. Some of the dialects that have preserved the dative in nouns, also have a dative case instead of the accusative case in personal pronouns, while others have accusative in pronouns and dative in nouns, effectively giving these dialects three distinct cases.
In the most comprehensive Norwegian grammar, Norsk referansegrammatikk, the categorization of personal pronouns by person, gender, and number is not regarded as inflection. Pronouns are a closed class.
|Subject form||Object form||Possessive|
|jeg (I)||meg (me)||min, mi, mitt (mine)|
|du (you)||deg (you)||din, di, ditt (yours)|
det, den (it/that)
det, den (it/that)
|vi (we)||oss (us)||vår, vårt (our)|
|dere (you, plural)||dere (you, plural)||deres (yours, plural)|
|de (they)||dem (them)||deres (theirs)|
|Subject form||Object form||Possessive|
|eg (I)||meg (me)||min, mi, mitt (mine)|
|du (you)||deg (you)||din, di, ditt (yours)|
|vi/me (we)||oss (us)||vår, vårt (our)|
|de/dokker (you, plural)||dykk/dokker (you, plural)||dykkar/dokkar (yours, plural)|
|dei (they)||dei (them)||deira (theirs)|
The words for «mine», «yours» etc. are dependent on the gender of the noun it describes. Just like adjectives, they have to agree in gender with the noun.
Bokmål has two sets of 3rd person pronouns. Han and hun refer to male and female individuals respectively, den and det refer to impersonal or inanimate nouns, of masculine/feminine or neutral gender respectively. In contrast, Nynorsk and most dialects use the same set of pronouns han (he), ho (she) and det (it) for both personal and impersonal references, just like in German and Icelandic. Det also has expletive and cataphoric uses like in the English examples it rains and it was known by everyone (that) he had travelled the world.
|Kor er boka mi? Ho er her||Hvor er boka mi? Den er her||Where is my book? It is here|
|Kor er bilen min? Han er her||Hvor er bilen min? Den er her||Where is my car? It is here|
|Kor er brevet mitt? Det er her||Hvor er brevet mitt? Det er her||Where is my letter? It is here|
Unlike Swedish and Danish, the ordering of possessive pronouns are a bit more free. When there is no adjective, the most common word order is the one used in the examples in the table above, where the possessive comes after the noun, while the noun is in its definite form; «boka mi» (my book). If one wishes to emphasize the owner of the noun, the possessive pronoun usually come first. In Bokmål however, due to its Danish origins, one could choose to always write the possessive first «min bil» (my car), but this may sound very formal. Some dialects that have been very influenced by Danish do this too, some speakers in Bærum and the west of Oslo may always use this word order. When there is an adjective describing the noun, the possessive pronoun will always come first; «min egen bil» (my own car).
|Det er mi bok!||It is my book! (owner emphasized)|
|Kona mi er vakker||My wife is beautiful|
Norwegian has five closed classes without inflection, i.e. lexical categories with grammatical function and a finite number of members that may not be distinguished by morphological criteria. These are interjections, conjunctions, subjunctions, prepositions, and adverbs. The inclusion of adverbs here requires that traditional adverbs that are inflected in comparison be classified as adjectives, as is sometimes done.
In Norwegian compound words, the head, i.e. the part determining the compound's class, is the last part. If the compound word is constructed from many different nouns, the last noun in the compound noun will determine the gender of the compound noun. Only the first part has primary stress. For instance, the compound tenketank (think tank) has primary stress on the first syllable and is a masculine noun since the noun «tank» is masculine.
Compound words are written together in Norwegian, which can cause words to become very long, for example sannsynlighetsmaksimeringsestimator (maximum likelihood estimator) and menneskerettighetsorganisasjoner (human rights organizations). Other examples are the title høyesterettsjustitiarius (Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, originally a combination of supreme court and the actual title, justiciar) and the translation En midtsommernattsdrøm for A Midsummer Night's Dream.
If they are not written together, each part is naturally read with primary stress, and the meaning of the compound is lost. Examples of this in English are the difference between a green house and a greenhouse or a black board and a blackboard.
This is sometimes forgotten, occasionally with humorous results. Instead of writing, for example, lammekoteletter (lamb chops), people make the mistake of writing lamme koteletter (lame, or paralyzed, chops). The original message can even be reversed, as when røykfritt (lit. "smoke-free" meaning no smoking) becomes røyk fritt (smoke freely).
Other examples include:
These misunderstandings occur because most nouns can be interpreted as verbs or other types of words. Similar misunderstandings can be achieved in English too. The following are examples of phrases that both in Norwegian and English mean one thing as a compound word, and something different when regarded as separate words:
Norwegian syntax is predominantly SVO with the subject of the sentence coming first, then the verb coming second and finally the object. However, like many other Germanic languages such as Dutch, it has a V2 rule, which means that the finite verb will be placed as the second element within a sentence. No matter what, the finite/conjugated verb will always be the second element of a sentence. E.g.:
•"Jeg spiser fisk i dag" (I eat fish today)
•"I dag spiser jeg fisk" (Today, I eat fish)
•"Jeg vil drikke kaffe i dag" (I want to drink coffee today)
•"I dag vil jeg drikke kaffe" (Today, I want to drink coffee)
Any piece of the sentence could be placed first to highlight its importance, but the finite verb must always come second.
Adjectives always precede the noun that they modify.
By far the largest part of the modern vocabulary of Norwegian dates back to Old Norse. The largest source of loanwords is Middle Low German, which had a huge influence on Norwegian vocabulary from the late Middle Ages onwards partially even influencing grammatical structures, such as genitive constructions. Bokmål and many dialects have these loanwords, while Nynorsk is more puristic and has many of these words replaced with words that are derived from Old Norse, Nynorsk thus shares more vocabulary with Icelandic and Faroese. There are Middle Low German vocabulary in Nynorsk too, but to a lesser extent than Bokmål. At present, the main source of new loanwords is English e.g. rapper, e-mail, catering, juice, bag (originally a loan word to English from Old Norse).
Some loanwords have their spelling changed to reflect Norwegian pronunciation rules, but in general Norwegianised spellings of these words tend to take a long time to sink in: e.g. sjåfør (from French chauffeur) and revansj (from French revanche) are now the common Norwegian spellings, but juice is more often used than the Norwegianised form jus, catering more often than keitering, service more often than sørvis, etc.
Norwegian has also and continues to borrow words and phrases from both Danish and Swedish to a relatively large extent. And though there are very often related, similar- or identical-sounding words in those languages, the spelling in Norwegian is often less conservative and, arguably, closer to the pronunciation, and thus different from the others, and four of the letters most shunned in Norwegian in comparison to the other Scandinavian languages are "c", "d", "j" and "x". Norwegian hei is hej in Swedish and Danish; the words "sex" and "six" are sex and seks in Norwegian, but in Swedish they are both sex; Danish words ending in -tion end in -sjon to reflect pronunciation and many traditional Danish spellings with d preceded by another consonant are changed to double consonants, such as in the Danish for water, vand, versus Norwegian (Bokmål) spelling vann, but "sand" is spelled sand in both languages (Norwegian was standardized this way because in some dialects a "d" was pronounced in sand, whereas Norwegian speakers pronounced vann without a "d"-sound). (The word for water in Nynorsk is vatn.)
The biathlon is a winter sport that combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting. It is treated as a race where the contestant with the shortest total time wins. Depending on the competition, missed shots result in extra distance or time being added to the contestant's total.Bibsys
BIBSYS is an administrative agency set up and organized by the Ministry of Education and Research in Norway. They are a service provider, focusing on the exchange, storage and retrieval of data pertaining to research, teaching and learning – historically metadata related to library resources.
BIBSYS are collaborating with all Norwegian universities and university colleges as well as research institutions
and the National Library of Norway. Bibsys is formally organized as a unit at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), located in Trondheim, Norway. The board of directors is appointed by Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research.
BIBSYS offer researchers, students and others an easy access to library resources by providing the unified search service Oria.no and other library services.
They also deliver integrated products for the internal operation for research and special libraries as well as open educational resources.
As a DataCite member BIBSYS act as a national DataCite representative in Norway and thereby allow all of Norway's higher education and research institutions to use DOI on their research data.
All their products and services are developed in cooperation with their member institutions.Bokmål
Bokmål (literally "book tongue") is an official written standard for the Norwegian language, alongside Nynorsk. Bokmål is the preferred written standard of Norwegian for 85% to 90% of the population in Norway. Unlike for instance the Italian language, there is no nationwide standard or agreement on the pronunciation of Bokmål.
Bokmål is regulated by the governmental Norwegian Language Council. A more conservative orthographic standard, commonly known as Riksmål, is regulated by the non-governmental Norwegian Academy for Language and Literature. The written standard is a Norwegianised variety of the Danish language.
The first Bokmål orthography was officially adopted in 1907 under the name Riksmål after being under development since 1879. The architects behind the reform were Marius Nygaard and Jacob Jonathan Aars. It was an adaptation of written Danish, which was commonly used since the past union with Denmark, to the Dano-Norwegian koiné spoken by the Norwegian urban elite, especially in the capital. When the large conservative newspaper Aftenposten adopted the 1907 orthography in 1923, Danish writing was practically out of use in Norway. The name Bokmål was officially adopted in 1929 after a proposition to call the written language Dano-Norwegian lost by a single vote in the Lagting (a chamber in the Norwegian parliament).The government does not regulate spoken Bokmål and recommends that normalised pronunciation should follow the phonology of the speaker's local dialect. Nevertheless, there is a spoken variety of Norwegian that, in the region of South-Eastern Norway, is commonly seen as the de facto standard for spoken Bokmål. In The Phonology of Norwegian, Gjert Kristoffersen writes that
Bokmål [...] is in its most common variety looked upon as reflecting formal middle-class urban speech, especially that found in the eastern part of Southern Norway [sic], with the capital Oslo as the obvious centre. One can therefore say that Bokmål has a spoken realisation that one might call an unofficial standard spoken Norwegian. It is in fact often referred to as Standard Østnorsk ('Standard East Norwegian').
Standard Østnorsk (Standard East Norwegian) is the pronunciation most commonly given in dictionaries and taught to foreigners in Norwegian language classes. Standard Østnorsk as a spoken language is not used and does not have any particular prestige outside South-Eastern Norway. All spoken variations of the Norwegian language are used e.g. in the Storting and in Norwegian national broadcasters such as NRK and TV 2, even in cases where the conventions of Bokmål are used. The spoken variation typically reflects the region the person grew up in.Centre Party (Norway)
The Centre Party (Norwegian: Senterpartiet, Sp) is an agrarian centrist political party in Norway. Founded in 1920 as a Nordic agrarian party, the Centre Party's policy is not based on any of the major ideologies of the 19th and 20th century, but has a focus on maintaining decentralised economic development and political decision-making.From its founding until 2000, the party joined only governments not led by the Labour Party (although it supported a Labour-government in the 1930s), but in 2005 turned around and joined the Red-Green coalition government led by the Labour Party. Governments headed by prime ministers from the party include the short-lived Kolstad and Hundseid's Cabinet between 1931 and 1933, and the longer-lasting Borten's Cabinet from 1965 until 1971.
The Centre Party has maintained a hardline stance against Norwegian membership in the European Union, successfully campaigning against Norwegian membership in both the 1972 and 1994 referendums, during which time the party saw record-high election results, which the party subsequently has extended to advocating Norway's withdrawal from the European Economic Area and the Schengen Agreement. The party favours an economically protectionist policy to protect Norwegian farmers with toll tariffs, and has more recently declared Norwegian nationalism a "positive force".Counties of Norway
Norway is divided into 18 administrative regions, called counties (singular Norwegian: fylke, plural Norwegian: fylker (Bokmål) / fylke (Nynorsk) from Old Norse: fylki from the word "folk"); until 1918, they were known as amter. The counties form the first-level subdivisions of Norway and are further divided into 422 municipalities (kommune, pl. kommuner / kommunar). The island territories of Svalbard and Jan Mayen are outside the county division and ruled directly at the national level. The capital Oslo is considered both a county and a municipality.
In 2017 the government decided to abolish some of the counties and to merge them with other counties to form larger ones.Dagbladet
Dagbladet (lit.: The Daily Magazine) is one of Norway's largest newspapers and has 1,400,000 daily readers on mobile, web and paper.
The paper edition had a circulation of 46,250 copies in 2016, down from a peak of 228,834 in 1994. The editor in chief is Alexandra Beverfjord.
Dagbladet is published six days a week and includes the additional feature magazine Magasinet every Saturday. Part of the daily newspaper is available at Dagbladet.no, and more articles can be accessed through a paywall. The daily readership of Dagbladet's online newspaper was 1.24 million in 2016.Districts of Norway
The country Norway is historically divided into a number of districts. Many districts have deep historical roots, and only partially coincide with today's administrative units of counties and municipalities. The districts are defined by geographical features, often valleys, mountain ranges, fjords, plains, or coastlines, or combinations of the above. Many such regions were petty kingdoms up to the early Viking age.KulturNav
KulturNav is a Norwegian cloud-based software service, allowing users to create, manage and distribute name authorities and terminology, focusing on the needs of museums and other cultural heritage institutions. The software is developed by KulturIT ANS and the development project is funded by the Arts Council Norway.KulturNav is designed to enhance access to heritage information in archives, libraries and museums, working across institutions with common metadata. Thus many institutions can collaborate to build up a list of standard naming and terminology. The metadata is published as linked open data (LOD), which can be linked further against other LOD resources. The application programming interface (API) currently supports HTTP GET requests to read data. API calls are currently not authenticated or authorized. This means that the system returns only published content that is readable by any user. The system was developed within Play Framework together with Solr and jQuery.The company KulturIT, launched in 2013, is owned by five Norwegian and one Swedish museum. It is a non-profit organisation with all surplus going to development.The website was launched on 20 January 2015 and is currently being used by approximately 130 museums in Norway, Sweden and Åland. In March 2015 the Swedish national register of photography was in the process of being transferred to the KulturNav site. A register of Swedish architects is also available through Kulturnav.Lillehammer
Lillehammer (Urban East Norwegian: [²lɪlːəhɑmər]) is a town and municipality in Oppland county, Norway. It is part of the traditional region of Gudbrandsdal. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Lillehammer. As of 2018, the population of the town of Lillehammer was 28 034. The city centre is a late nineteenth-century concentration of wooden houses, which enjoys a picturesque location overlooking the northern part of lake Mjøsa and the river Lågen, surrounded by mountains. Lillehammer hosted the 1994 Winter Olympics and 2016 Winter Youth Olympics.
Before Oslo's withdrawal from consideration, it was included as part of a bid to host events in the 2022 Winter Olympics if Oslo were to win the rights to hold the Games.NRK
Template:Infobox the reminder
NRK (an abbreviation of the Norwegian: Norsk rikskringkasting AS, generally expressed in English as the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation) is the Norwegian government-owned radio and television public broadcasting company, and the largest media organisation in Norway. NRK broadcasts three national TV channels and three national radio channels on digital terrestrial television, digital terrestrial radio and subscription television. All NRK radio stations are being streamed online at NRK.no, which also offers an extensive TV service. NRK is a founding member of the European Broadcasting Union.Nobel Peace Prize
The Nobel Peace Prize (Swedish, Norwegian: Nobels fredspris) is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Swedish industrialist, inventor, and armaments manufacturer Alfred Nobel, along with the prizes in Chemistry, Physics, Physiology or Medicine, and Literature. Since March 1901, it has been awarded annually (with some exceptions) to those who have "done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses".Per Alfred Nobel's will, the recipient is selected by the Norwegian Nobel Committee, a five-member committee appointed by the Parliament of Norway. Since 1990, the prize is awarded on 10 December in Oslo City Hall each year. The prize was formerly awarded in the Atrium of the University of Oslo Faculty of Law (1947–1989), the Norwegian Nobel Institute (1905–1946), and the Parliament (1901–1904).
Due to its political nature, the Nobel Peace Prize has, for most of its history, been the subject of numerous controversies.Norwegian krone
The krone [ˈkruːnə] (sign: kr; code: NOK), plural kroner, is the currency of Norway and its dependent territories. It is subdivided into 100 øre, which have existed only electronically since 2012. The name translates into English as crown.
The krone was the thirteenth most traded currency in the world by value in April 2010, down three positions from 2007.Nynorsk
Nynorsk (translates to New Norwegian) is one of the two written standards of the Norwegian language, the other being Bokmål. Nynorsk was established in 1929 as one of two state-sanctioned fusions of Ivar Aasen's standard Norwegian language (Landsmål) with the Dano-Norwegian written language (Riksmål), the other such fusion being called Bokmål. Nynorsk is a variation which is closer to Landsmål, whereas Bokmål is closer to Riksmål.
In local communities, one quarter of Norwegian municipalities have declared Nynorsk as their official language form, and these municipalities account for about 12% of the Norwegian population. Nynorsk is also being taught as a mandatory subject in both high school and elementary school for all Norwegians who don't have it as their own language form. Of the remaining municipalities that don't have Nynorsk as their official language form, half are neutral and half have adopted Bokmål as their official language form.Four of Norway's eighteen counties, Rogaland, Hordaland, Sogn og Fjordane and Møre og Romsdal, have Nynorsk as their official language form. These four together comprise the region of Western Norway.Statistics Norway
Statistics Norway (Norwegian: Statistisk sentralbyrå, abbreviated to SSB) is the Norwegian statistics bureau. It was established in 1876.
Relying on a staff of about 1,000, Statistics Norway publish about 1,000 new statistical releases every year on its web site. All releases are published both in Norwegian and English. In addition a number of edited publications are published, and all are available on the web site for free.
As the central Norwegian office for official government statistics, Statistics Norway provides the public and government with extensive research and analysis activities. It is administratively placed under the Ministry of Finance but operates independently from all government agencies. Statistics Norway has a board appointed by the government. It relies extensively on data from registers, but are also collecting data from surveys and questionnaires, including from cities and municipalities.Store norske leksikon
Store norske leksikon (Great Norwegian Encyclopedia), abbreviated SNL, is a Norwegian language online encyclopedia.Storting
The Storting (Norwegian: Stortinget [²stuːʈɪŋə], "the great thing" or "the great assembly") is the supreme legislature of Norway, established in 1814 by the Constitution of Norway. It is located in Oslo. The unicameral parliament has 169 members, and is elected every four years based on party-list proportional representation in nineteen plurinominal constituencies. A member of the Storting is known in Norwegian as a stortingsrepresentant, literally "Storting representative".The assembly is led by a president and, since 2009, five vice presidents: the presidium. The members are allocated to twelve standing committees, as well as four procedural committees. Three ombudsmen are directly subordinate to parliament: the Parliamentary Intelligence Oversight Committee and the Office of the Auditor General.
Parliamentarianism was established in 1884. In 2009, qualified unicameralism was replaced by unicameralism, through the dissolution of the two chambers: the Lagting and the Odelsting.
Following the 2017 election, nine parties are represented in parliament: the Labour Party (49 representatives), the Conservative Party (45), the Progress Party (27), the Centre Party (19), the Christian Democratic Party (8), the Liberal Party (8), the Socialist Left Party (11), the Green Party (1), and the Red Party (1). Since 2018, Tone Wilhelmsen Trøen has been President of the Storting.Verdens Gang
Verdens Gang ("The course of the world"), generally known under the abbreviation VG, is a Norwegian tabloid newspaper. In 2016, circulation numbers stood at 93,883, having declined from a peak circulation of 390,510 in 2002. VG is nevertheless the most read online newspaper in Norway, with about 2 million daily readers.Verdens Gang AS is a private company wholly owned by the public company Schibsted ASA. Somewhere between 30% and 60% of Schibsted is owned by international institutional investors such as Goldman Sachs and Northern Trust. Norwegian owners held a mere 42% of the shares in Schibsted at the end of 2015; VG is thus foreign-owned.Vest-Agder
Vest-Agder [²vɛstˌɑɡdər] (listen) (West Agder) is a county in Norway, bordering Rogaland to the West and Aust-Agder to the East. In 2016, there were 182,701 inhabitants, which is about 3.5% of the total population of Norway. Its area is about 7,277 square kilometres (2,810 sq mi). The county administration is located in its largest city, Kristiansand.
Shipping, commerce, and recreation are the main industries here. Compared to other counties of Norway, Vest-Agder is noted for having the highest level of foreign exports. Another international dimension linked to the county is the large-scale emigration to North America that took place from the 1850s and onwards, which resulted in many Americans returning to the county after Norway became prosperous. This feature is particularly predominant in Kvinesdal and Farsund, which maintains strong cultural links with the United States.
According to contemporary philology