‘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 […]

Dialects remain a big talking point

A popular new TV series that’s been running on state broadcaster NRK this fall has sparked new debate over Norway’s many dialects and how they’re used. The dialects can confuse newcomers to Norway and make learning Norwegian even more difficult – but they’re rich in culture and regional pride. “Placing dialects is almost a national […]

Language creator hailed and decried

Ivar Aasen would have been 200 years old on Monday, and his bicentennial was being both celebrated and pilloried. That’s because Aasen created or “found” Norway’s second official language, nynorsk, seen as both a cultural enrichment and a pest for uninterested teenagers forced to study it. Aasen is the son of a small-time farmer in […]

Oslo’s ‘nynorsk’ theater turns 100

Norway’s national theater dedicated to the nynorsk form of the Norwegian language is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year with a special program boasting 30 different plays, brisk ticket sales and a string of theatrical awards. Det Norske Teatret, which debuted amidst violent conflicts over the use of nynorsk, is still pushing boundaries and defining a new […]

‘English is a Scandinavian language’

New linguistic research has concluded that residents of the British Isles didn’t just borrow words and expressions from Norwegian and Danish Vikings and their descendants. Rather, claim two professors now working in Oslo, the English language is in fact Scandinavian. Jan Terje Faarlund, a professor of linguistics at the University of Oslo (UiO), told research […]

‘Nynorsk’ said to boost creativity

Learning to write in both of the Norwegian language’s two official forms (bokmål and nynorsk) boosts creativity and helps when learning other languages, a new survey shows. The two forms are different enough to be like learning two separate languages and confer the same benefits as being bilingual. The survey results, however, were only welcomed by […]

Language studies vary by region

A new survey of which foreign languages Norwegian students choose to study reveals marked differences depending on where in the country they live. Students in Oslo seem to favour French, while those in the county of Sogn og Fjordane sign up for German classes and those in Rogaland are keen on Spanish. The findings in the study […]