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About Norwegian

Norwegian is a Germanic language spoken in the Northern European country of Norway, a country with a population of just over 5 million. It is not a language spoken very widely outside of Scandinavia but it is very similar to two of its neighbours — Swedish and Danish.

All these three Scandinavian languages share many linguistic features and are to a large extent mutually intelligible. Norwegian also shares many features with other Germanic languages, such as English and Dutch, both grammatically and in vocabulary. In fact, many words that we use on a daily basis in English originate from Old Norse, or the Norwegian (or Scandinavian) language spoken during the Viking era. This includes words such as husband, bag, and freckle — and many, many more!

In Norway, we are very proud of our many different dialects, which is in part reflected in the fact that Norway has two official written languages — bokmål and nynorsk. Bokmål is closer to the Danish language, reflecting the time in history when Norway was ruled by Denmark, while nynorsk is based entirely on dialects that, at the time of its creation, were considered to be more «authentically» Norwegian. However, bokmål is the most widely used variety in school, media, and social life.

Norwegian might not be a language that is very international or widely spoken, but it is the native language of composer Edvard Grieg, whose piece 'In the Hall of the Mountain King' you have undoubtedly heard at some point in your life, as well as Henrik Ibsen, for whose stage play Peer Gynt, the piece was originally written.

Whether it is for the purpose of travel, business, or to read 'A Doll's House' in its original language, I hope you find your study of the Norwegian language to be fun and rewarding!