Norwegian is the official and the widely spoken language in Norway. The language is spoken all over the country. Norwegian belongs to the North Germanic family of languages. Norwegian is closely related to Swedish and Danish, all which are descendants of Old Norse. Norwegian has two writing standards, Bokmal and Nynorsk. Bokmal is used officially whereas Nynorsk is more common in casual contexts. The Norwegian alphabet has got 29 letters. The letters c, q, w, x, and z are only used in loanwords.

95% of the people living in Norway use Norwegian as their first language. In 2014, there were approximately 5 million Norwegian native speakers. Apart from Norway, there are native Norwegian mostly located in places like Minnesota and North Dakota. As per the studies carried out in 2013, approximately 4.5 million people out of the 5.1 million Norwegian had the ability to sustain a conversation in English.

The largest part of Norwegian vocabulary is attributed to the Old Norse. Most of the loanwords used in Norwegian have their origin from the Middle Low German. Currently, Norwegian has been borrowing vocabulary from the English language. Some of the English words used in Norwegian include bag, juice, catering, and rapper. The language has also been borrowing heavily from French, Danish, and Swedish. Some of the loanwords are Norwegianised in order to match the spelling rules of Norwegian. Norwegian nouns have been categorized into three genders, feminine, masculine and neuter, like most Indo-European languages.

Apart from Norwegian, there are other minority languages spoken in the country. A small number of people in Norwegian still speak sami-languages such as Kven and Finish. A large number of Norwegian natives can sustain a conversation in English. There are also approximately ,7000 people living in Norway who are native speakers of the Romani language, an Indo-European language.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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