What writing system(s) does this language use? edit

Norwegian uses all 26 letters in English, along with the letters Æ, Ø, and Å. However, the letters c, q, w, x, and z are only used in loanwords.

There are two standards of written Norwegian: Bokmål, which is based on a Norwegianised Danish, and Nynorsk, based on the rural western dialects of Norwegian. In 2005, about 86.3% of native Norwegians use Bokmål, 5.5% use both Bokmål and Nynorsk, and 7.5% only use Nynorsk. This means that about 91.8% of Norwegians use Bokmål, while only 15% use Nynorsk.


loanword — a word in a language that comes from a word that is not from that language. For English, café is a loanword, since it was originally from French.

How many people speak this language? edit

About 4.7 million, or 4,700,700, people speak Norwegian, making it the 144th highest language in number of speakers.

Where is this language spoken? edit

Norwegian is an official language of Norway and the Nordic Council. The Nordic Council is a group of countries from Northern Europe. It is similar to the European Union.

What is the history of this language? edit

Norwegian comes from an ancient language called Old Norse. In 782, King Harald Fairhair united Norway. Christianity came to Norway around 1030. Christianity brought with it the Latin alphabet, which is the one used today. Before then, a runic alphabet was used. In the 800s, Old Norse began to separate into Eastern and Western dialects. Eventually, Western Norse changed and changed until it became Old Icelandic and Old Norwegian around the year 1300. From 1350 to 1525, Old Norwegian changed more until it turned into Middle and then Modern Norwegian, the kind used today.


runic — having to do with runes. One letter of runic origin that still exists in use today is the Icelandic letter Þ. This letter is not used in Norwegian, however.


dialect — a variety of a language. Standard Østnorsk is the kind of Norwegian taught to people who are learning it as a second language.

For around 300 years from 1524 to 1814, Norway was under Danish rule, and Danish was the official language, used by the upper class. Following the end of Danish rule, there was a debate in the country about how to standardise the Norwegian language, which gave rise to two written standards. Some thought the Norwegian language should be based on a Norwegianised Danish, while others wanted to use the rural western dialects to build a "pure" Norwegian language. The Danish-based standard became Bokmål, whilst the pure standard became Nynorsk.

Who are some famous authors or poets in this language? edit

Some famous Norwegian writers are Henrik Wergeland, Henrik Ibsen, Knut Hamsun, and Sigrid Unset. Hamsun and Unset even got Nobel Prizes for their works!

What are some basic words in this language that I can learn? edit

Hilsener Greetings
Hallo Hello
Hei Hi
God dag Good day
God kveld Good night
God morgen Good morning
Hvordan har du det? How are you?
Ha det bra Good-bye
Vi snakkes i morgen See you tomorrow
Grunnfraser Basic phrases
Takk skal du ha Thank you
Ingen årsak You are welcome
Beklager Sorry
Unnskyld Excuse me
Snakker du engelsk/norsk? Do you speak English/Norwegian?
Hvor er toalettet? Where is the bathroom?
Jeg liker... I like...
Jeg liker ikke... I don't like...
Jeg heter... My name is...

What is a simple song/poem/story that I can learn in this language? edit

Kongesangen (The Norwegian royal anthem)
Norwegian English
Gud sign vår konge god!

Sign ham med kraft og mot sign hjem og slott! Lys for ham ved din Ånd, knytt med din sterke hånd hellige troskapsbånd om folk og drott!

God bless our good king!

Bless him with strength and courage, bless home and palace! Guide him with Your Spirit, tie with Your strong Hand holy bands of allegiance around people and sovereign!

Høyt sverger Norges mann

hver i sitt kall, sin stand, troskap sin drott. Trofast i liv og død, tapper i krig og nød, alltid vårt Norge lød Gud og sin drott.

Loudly swear men of Norway

each in his calling, his station, loyalty to the sovereign. Loyal in life and death, courageous in war and need, always our Norway obeyed God and its sovereign.

References edit

  1. Norwegian language on the English Wikipedia.
  2. Nordic Council on the English Wikipedia.
  3. Norwegian literature on the English Wikipedia.
  4. Kongesangen on the English Wikipedia.