The two Norwegian languages are both used in public administration, in schools, churches, and on radio and television. Books, magazines and newspapers are published in both languages.
Everyone who speaks Norwegian, whether it is a local dialect or one of the two standard official languages, can be understood by other Norwegians.
The Sami language of Norway’s indigenous people has equal status with Norwegian in parts of the northern counties of Troms and Finnmark.
Norwegian is a North Germanic language of the West Scandinavian branch, existing in the two norms – Bokmål (Dano-Norwegian) and Nynorsk (New Norwegian).
Bokmål stems from the written Danish introduced during the union of Denmark and Norway (1380–1814). Nynorsk was created as a written language by the language scholar Ivar Aasen during the mid-19th century, primarily from the dialects of the western and central rural districts, in order to carry on the tradition of Old Norse.
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There are three languages in Norway. Two of them are similar and the Sami language is of a totally different origin.
The Norwegian languages
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