Norwegian letter ‘å’ celebrates centennial

It’s been 100 years since the Norwegian language formally embraced the letter “å” to replace writing “aa” to form the sound that roughly sounds like “oh.” Now the country’s leading language expert thinks an appropriate birthday gift would be inclusion of the “å” in the accepted online alphabet. “The demand that only English letters can […]

Prime minister lauded for promoting ‘new word of the year’

Prime Minister Erna Solberg ended up getting credit for introducing and using what Norwegian language experts chose as the “the new word of the year” for 2016: hverdagsintegrering. That literally translates to “everyday integration,” and it’s something Solberg urged to help include new immigrants and especially refugees into daily life in Norway. While Solberg’s government minister in charge […]

Norwegian leaders struggle in English

Norwegians often think they speak and understand English well, but monotone delivery, poor pronunciation and a torrent of useless words can creep into their speech. That, in turn, can seriously undermine their message and their authority. That’s the conclusion of language coach Rick Salmon, an American entrepreneur who’s lived in Norway for 30 years. Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) […]

‘Mehr Deutsch, bitte’

As Germany celebrates the 25th anniversary of its reunification this week, also with a major reception in Oslo, Norwegian business leaders worry that far too few young Norwegians are studying German and other foreign languages. They want “mehr Deutsch, bitte” (more German, please), to avoid losing business contracts with foreign firms because they lack knowledge of language […]

Few children’s books published in ‘nynorsk’

Only 11 percent of Norwegian children’s books and 1.8 percent of children’s literature translated into Norwegian from other languages are published in nynorsk, one of Norway’s two official languages. The low level is prompting political reaction. “We can’t be well-served with so few books for children being published in nynorsk,” Hege Liadal, a spokesman for […]

Norwegians speak faster, less clearly

Linguists investigating the development of the Norwegian language have found that more Norwegians are speaking faster and less clearly than ever. That’s bad news for newcomers to Norway who already may be struggling to learn and comprehend the local language. Experts agreed that young Norwegians, particularly women, appear to speak faster than in earlier decades, […]

‘Time to clean up our language’

Jan Tore Sanner, dubbed by some as Norway’s new “super minister” because of his wide range of government responsibility, worries that confusing language is at the core of complaints over public sector service. He’s launching a new effort to clean up state and local government’s complicated bureaucratic communication that’s often difficult to understand  even for […]

Many immigrants beat the odds

After years of hearing how hard it is for immigrants to succeed in Norway, a new study indicates that many are actually thriving in the country. The study by a researcher at the University of Oslo hasn’t been published yet, but is expected to show some surprising and encouraging results. Newspaper Aftenposten reported on Tuesday […]

Debate over Sami ‘national’ day

Sami national day has been celebrated by indigenous people across Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia on February 6 since the Sami Conference adopted the date in 1992. The day was chosen to commemorate the first international Sami congress in Trondheim in 1917, but debate remains over what the day should actually be called. Directly translated […]

Metal band does well in US

The Norwegian metal band Kvelertak, which literally means the act of grabbing someone by the neck, has grabbed attention in the US. Its album Meir (which means “more” in the nynorsk version of the Norwegian language) was ranked as the next-best metal album of the year by Rolling Stone magazine. The album was acclaimed for being […]