A thought about Norwegian

It looks like Norwegian will be our next beta language (which I’m not that happy about… I do plan to study it some day, but not now, and I fear its library may face the same destiny as the Swedish one).
Although I don’t know this language, I do know there are (at least) two different versions of it: bokmal and nynorsk. And I think I read somewhere that there are several different accents.
So, my question is: how will you cope with the difference between bokmal and nynorsk? It’s not just a matter of accent or spelling. They are two different languages. Read more here (with examples showing how different they are from each other): http://tiny.cc/3wux6.
Personally, I would create two slots or maybe an additional filter (which may be more difficult to implement, but useful for future languages like Serbo-Croatian or Greek). What do you think?

I guess it could work the same way Arabic does, whereby collections are labelled based on which ‘dialect’ they are in.

Hmm… I don’t know the differences within Arabic, but to me, having Bokmal and Nynorsk lessons together looks the same as having Slovenian and Serbian lessons together.


While Bokmål and Nynorska are both officially used, I really don’t think this is going to be a problem as 92% of everything that is published in Norwegian is bokmål/riksmål anyway, and the difference between the latter two is equivalent to the difference between British English and American English.

Here is an example of the difference between Bokmål and Nynorska relating to the word “boy” in English.
Bokmål: en gutt (a boy); gutten (the boy); gutter (boys) guttene (the boys)
Nynorska: ein gut (a boy) guten (the boy); gutar (boys) gutane (the boys)
Of course, there are bigger differences such as: “Jeg kommer fra Norge.” (Bokmål) and “Eg kjem frå Noreg.” (Nynorska) both of which mean “I come from Norway.”

And don’t forget that you are only talking about written Norwegian anyway. Bokmål and Nynorska are by no means two different spoken languages :wink:

And dialect differences are already well cared of by LingQ as we have already seen in the case of French and German.

So don’t fret so much! It’ll be fine!

As Maria says, we’re going to just add the two as separate accents in the same language slot. :slight_smile:

I am curious to see how much content we get for Norwegian and how many people study it at LingQ. We will soon find out.

Then what is next, Esperanto or Turkish? Have you all voted?

Thanks for your explanations, Maria. I thought the differences in the way of saying “I come from Norway” were a sample of the big difference between bokmal and nynorsk.

Steve, I am also curious to see how successful Norwegian is going to be (and quite pessimistic about it, honestly…).

About Esperanto or Turkish (or another language, why not?): I hope Esperanto wins just because I could provide content and be a tutor of it. Moreover, Esperanto has been chosen by 13 of my LingQ friends, Turkish only by one of them, which could be indicative of how much content providers and how many students you can expect for either of these languages.

It would be much better if you guys added at least two beta languages a month! :slight_smile: Maybe for Christmas you can add 2-3 extra languages, can’t you?

Yes! 2 or 3 extra languages as a Christmas gift would be great :slight_smile:

I wonder if it makes more sense to state the written form in the accent field than the spoken accent/dialect… To the average beginner, Bergen accent will probably sound more different than Oslo accent regardless of what kind of spelling, grammar or vocabulary the speaker might use (similar to British and American English, just as Maria said).

Yes, that’s what I thought, too. That’s why I suggested it may be useful to find a different way of distinguishing Bokmal and Nynorsk.

This is currently what we do with Portuguese (where “European” and “Brazilian” aren’t really accents), and it is what we will also do for Norwegian when it is added.

Well… ok.

I think that people familiar with Norwegian should recommend what accents/writing system classifications we should use. We are not going to have a separate classification system for Norwegian, nor ar we going to have two Norwegian languages at LingQ, so it is just a matter of deciding how to use the present system. All you Norwegian speakers please go at it and come up with a compromise solution.

How many Norwegian members do we have, Steve? I know only one, but I think she has never written on the forum…

I for one am actually fairly excited to learn Norwegian. It has been my next language to learn in line after Italian for a while now. As far as the Bokmal/Nynorsk situation, it has always been my understanding (although I’m quite sure that understanding is fairly limited) that Bokmal is pretty much the accepted standard for foreigners learning the language, so I would assume that most of the content will be Bokmal. Either way, though, I’m ready!

I will recommend to stay with bokmål.

Taken from Wikipedia: This so-called standard østnorsk (“Standard Eastern Norwegian”) is the form generally taught to foreign students.

So “Standard Eastern Norwegian” (spoken Norwegian) and Bokmål is what you will get in a Norwegian language course, if you bought it somewhere.

Most Norwegians are able to switch to bokmål, if they have to.

For instance I live in Bergen, but I speak mostly “bokmål”, but with a Bergen-accent.

Nynorsk I will only recommend for advanced learners, and then only to learn reading it.
If you are not living in a place in Norway there you have to use Nynorsk, there is no use of learning to write Nynorsk.
However if you want to learn to write Nynorsk for fun, that is ok.

As a Norwegian living in an urban area Im able to read and understand Nynorsk.
But not to write it correctly.

My first thought is also to stick entirely with Bokmål. It’s simply the most useful ‘version’ to learn for anyone who’s not learning because they are moving to an area in Norway where Nynorsk is the ‘first written language’, and even those people should probably learn Bokmål as well. The reason I say “entirely” is that the two languages are different enough to probably cause plenty of confusion if trying to learn ‘Norwegian’ by using both of them. Learning the basic changes in sounds and orthography will only get you so far. Words can be fairly different, or even totally different, (e.g. “for eksempel” = “til dømes”) and there are also grammatical differences.

I don’t foresee a lot of activity around Norwegian on this site, but if there is a forum in the future I could help out with answering questions.

I ask myself: where are all the voters for Norwegian, and who will create content …??
Don’t get me wrong - I wish this new language slot all the best, much content, and many learners and tutors, but I have some doubt.

I would say most of the voters don’t even know what LingQ is.

I just hope we get some content soon… I was one of the voters but I’m getting a bit worried now that nothing much will happen with Norwegian. One thing we could possibly do I suppose is contact the online Norwegian newspaper Klar Tale who write articles in simple Norwegian and see if we could get permission to use their articles; then Norwegian members who might find it hard to come up with new content could perhaps find the time to take an article from Klar Tale, do an audio recording for it and add it to the library.