Norway Languages

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Description[edit | edit source]

Most of the people in Norway speak Norwegian, a Scandinavian North Germanic language closely related to Danish. There are two variants of the language: official Norwegian [Bokmål or Riksmål] strongly influenced by Danish; and country speech [Landsmål] also called new Norwegian [Nynorsk] which is based on local dialects. There are also communities of Lapps or Laplanders and Finns who came to Norway thousands of years ago. Many minority languages are now found among the recent immigrants.

Most materials used in Norwegian research are written in Norwegian. Although you do not need to speak or read Norwegian to do research, you do need some knowledge of the language to understand the records. You may also find some Latin words in Norwegian records. A list of words in various local dialects found in local histories can be found at Norwegian Dialect Word List.

Word Lists[edit | edit source]

Alphabet and Pronunciation[edit | edit source]

Norwegian Alphabet[edit | edit source]

Letter Pronunciation
A [ a ] as in car
B [ b ] as in buy
C before i,e,y [ s ] as in circus
before a,o,u [ k ] as in camping
D [ d ] as in dog
E [ e ] as in get
F [ f ] as in fine
G [ g ] as in girl
H [ h ] as in hat
I [ i ] as in ski
J [ y ] as in yes
K [ k ] as in kite
L [ l ] as in live
M [ m ] as in map
N [ n ] as in now
O [ o ] as in school
P [ p ] as in pen
Q [ kv ] as in quiz
R [ ɽ ] like a Scottish r
S [ s ] as in see
T [ t ] as in tea
U [ u ] as in flu
V [ v ] as in violin
W [ v ] as in violin
X [ ks ] as in tax
Y [ y ] as in syrup
Z [ z ] as in zoom

Other Letters

Letter Pronunciation
Æ [ a ] as in sad
Ø [ u ] as in burn
Å [ aw ] as in saw

Language Aids and Dictionaries[edit | edit source]

Additional Resources[edit | edit source]