Aid can be tied to language skills

Labour and Social Affairs Minister Torbjørn Røe Isaksen wants to cut welfare aid payments to needy young immigrants if they don’t take part in Norwegian language classes.  He’s sending a proposed law to Parliament aimed at boosting proficiency in Norwegian, and getting more immigrants into the labour market. “Norwegian is the entry ticket to the […]

Somalians most satisfied among immigrants

After years of struggling to integrate and being branded as a “problem” group among immigrants in Norway, Somalians now rank as among those most satisfied with their quality of life. A new study by state statistics bureau SSB (Statistics Norway) placed them at the top of the list, followed by immigrants from Sri Lanka and […]

‘Too much English’ for language council

Norway’s national council charged with strengthening the Norwegian language (Språkrådet) is worried that children and youth are being assailed with far too much English in the modern media world. They’re confronted mostly with English, for example, when they’re online or playing computer games. “We need to make sure they can also get a good cultural offering […]

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 […]