Norwegian (norsk) is a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Norway, where it is the official language. Together with Swedish and Danish, Norwegian forms a continuum of more or less mutually intelligible local and regional variants (see Danish language).

These Scandinavian languages together with the Faroese language and Icelandic language, as well as some extinct languages, constitute the North Germanic languages (also called Scandinavian languages). Faroese and Icelandic are forms of Old Norwegian, and have been well-preserved due to the isolation of both lands from mainland scandinavia, which has had language integration, such as how Norwegian Bokmål is more like Danish due to the Danish crown over Norway for 400 years. The western dialects of Norwegian are more closer to Icelandic than the rest.

550px-Norway (orthographic projection).svg

As established by law and governmental policy, there are two official forms of written Norwegian –Bokmål (literally "book tongue") and Nynorsk(literally "new Norwegian"). The Norwegian Language Council 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: Riksmål ("national language"), which is to a large extent the same language as Bokmål, but somewhat closer to the Danish language, is regulated by the Norwegian Academy, which translates it as "Standard Norwegian". Høgnorsk ("High Norwegian") is a more purist form of Nynorsk that rejects most of the reforms from the 20th century, but is not widely used.

There is no officially sanctioned standard of spoken Norwegian, and most Norwegians speak their own dialect in all circumstances. The sociolect of the urban upper and middle class in East Norway can be regarded as a de facto spoken standard for Bokmål because it adopted many characteristics from Danish when Norway was under Danish rule.[1] This so-called standard østnorsk ("Standard Eastern Norwegian") is the form generally taught to foreign students. The thousands of Norwegian dialects are very varied, and some of them are not mutually intelligble with østnorsk/austnorsk  (Jærsk, Setesdalsk) Immigrants with permanent residence always learn the local dialect of where they live.

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 the unofficial Høgnorsk more conservative than Nynorsk.

Norwegians are educated in both Bokmål and Nynorsk. 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.[citation needed] Thus 13% are frequently writing Nynorsk, though the majority speakdialects that resemble Nynorsk more closely than Bokmål.[2] 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 south part of Northern Norway (Nordland county). Today, not only is Nynorsk the official language of 4 of the 19 Norwegian counties (fylker), but also of many municipalities in 5 other counties. The Norwegian broadcasting corporation (NRK) 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, Nynorsk in 8% (2000).[citation needed]

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 anyinterpretation or translation costs.[3][4]

Bokmål is much more used throught Norway as the written language, as almost every book, newspaper and Norwegian post on the internet is on Bokmål. Nynorsk is not needed to learn at all, as you won't find use for it. One argument for learning Nynorsk is that written Nynorsk is closer to most dialects from other parts of Norway than the east, making them easier to understand.


Download this firstEdit


Rosetta Stone

  • Not available



Norwegian On the Web

Teach Yourself - Complete Norsk

Colloquial Norwegian

Mango Languages


  1. Grammar Sparrer
  2. ShortGrammar.pdf
  3. St Olaf grammar index
  4. Ordnett Dictionary
    • pretty much the best; has idioms and stuff too
  5. Norwegian Wiktionary
    • has conjugations for verbs, adjectives, nouns, everything. not as easy to navigate as Verbix but if you can't find it there, you'll find it here.
  6. wie sagt man noch
  7. Glosbe
  8. Easytrans Dictionary Now with pronunciations!
  9. Ultralingua Dictionary (offline executable)
  10. Verbix verb conjugator
  11. List of common verbs
  12. Big Damn List of verbs
    • NB: Verb groups/numbers/categories are not a standardised thing so don't really bother with that.
  13. Quizzes & Exercises
  14. More exercises
  15. Norword Archives
  16. Native pronunciations (user-submitted, sparse)
    • Sometimes catches slang that Ordnett doesn't have; very last resort


Native MediaEdit


  • NRK
  • Klar Tale (simple language)
  • P3 (Music, movies, TV, videogames. Some longer magazine-type articles about all kinds of things from urban exploration to hating Christmas)



  • #norge on Quakenet


Andakten - all of these have written transcripts so you can practice discerning spoken words (click the header)
Some parts don't match exactly, but nothing in Norwegian ever does, including same-language subtitles, so get used to it.
Nyhetsmorgen - what it says.
P3morgen - morning talk show, the hosts don't speak Oslo dialect but they're understandable. Pretty fun.
Radioteatret - legal drama



Those give different results, so try both.


  • Lilyhammer




Resource IndexersEdit

If you're lucky you might find a link that hasn't been smacked by the copyright cops and dead for 2 years already

Germanic Languages
West Afrikaans Dutch English German Old English

North Danish Faroese Icelandic Norwegian Swedish

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