Norwegian Language Facts

Interesting Norwegian Language Facts

If you’re thinking about learning Norwegian it’s always good to know a little about the origins and history of the language you are learning. Here, Cactus Language offers up our most interesting Norwegian language facts:

1. Norwegian is a North Germanic language

Norwegian is originally derived from Old Norse. It differentiated itself from Danish in the 19th century, as part of the independence movement in Norway. Norwegian is mutually intelligible with Danish and Swedish.

2. There are around 5 million native Norwegian speakers

Norwegian is primarily spoken in Norway, where it is an official language.

3. Norwegian has two official forms of written language

The two forms of Norwegian language are Bokmål (literally “book tongue”) and Nynorsk (literally “new Norwegian”):

  • Bokmål is the most widely used form of written Norwegian;
  • Nynorsk is used by around 10% of Norway’s population.

Both forms are regulated by the Norwegian Language Council. Other forms of Norwegian include Riksmal (“national language”) and Hognorsk (“High Norwegian”).

4. Norwegian shares similarities with Danish and Swedish

On one hand, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish are mutually intelligible owing to their common history. Icelandic, on the other hand, is not mutually intelligible with Norwegian, despite the two languages being related. If both Iceland and Norway have been dominated by the Danish for centuries, Iceland was less influenced by Danish due to its isolation.

5. Norwegian is a tonal language

Tones are rare in Indo-European languages, and are more commonly found in Asian languages such as Chinese.

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Norwegian Courses

An excellent way to improve your Norwegian language skills is by taking a group Norwegian language course with Cactus. We offer Norwegian languages courses online and face-to-face in over 10 locations across the UK.

Private Tuition

Cactus offers a range of options for Norwegian private tuition. You can choose one-to-one classes if you prefer online and tailored Norwegian lessons that suit your schedule and location. For more information please visit our private tuition and corporate language training division.

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