It’s the native language of about 5 million people. There are 2 forms, the bokmål and the nynorsk. It’s originated from Old Norse. Norway was under Danish rule for about 500 years. They were writing in Danish, but Norwegians still used their own dialects. After the Norwegian independence in the 19th century, the language started to prosper, people were looking for fragments of the language spoken before the occupation. in 1850, Ivar Aasen created New Norwegian (nynorsk). The other form has more speakers, though. English has several Norwegian loanwords. Words like berserk and slalom. They say that if you know English, you will learn Norwegian more easily. Norwegians understand 90% of Swedish and 70% of Danish. Norwegian is one of the most exotic languages of Europe. Since they use different tones for stressing a vowel, for a non-Norwegian speaker it might sound like singing. Although Norwegian is a very polite language, there’s no equivalent of “please”. Writing compound words in separate often changes their meaning. For example, smoking not allowed is “røykfritt”, and smoking allowed is „røyk fritt”.
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