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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Conservatives expel ‘nynorsk’

A majority within the Conservative Party (Høyre) surprised observers and even their own leaders by voting to make studies of the Norwegian language known as nynorsk an elective subject, not obligatory.

By a vote of 164-87 at a major party meeting over the weekend, the majority decided that Norwegian junior high school students should no longer be forced to take classes in written nynorsk if they don’t want to. Nynorsk is a form of Norwegian based on local dialects and often used in rural areas, whereas the bokmål form of Norwegian is heavily influenced by Danish from the time Norway was under Danish rule. Both nynorsk and bokmål are considered official versions of the Norwegian language.

The proposal to make nynorsk studies elective as opposed to obligatory was launched by the youth faction of the party, Ung Høyre, and became the only “disobedient” measure approved by party members at their otherwise harmonious spring gathering. Party leader Erna Solberg did not support the measure, and wound up in the minority, as did her deputy leader Jan Tore Sanner.

The measure was only handled by the party, though, which doesn’t mean it will become law. It only would presumably become part of the Conservatives’ platform, and be put into force only if the party wins government power or support in parliament.

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