Language - Nynorsk

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Nynorsk (translates to New Norwegian ) is one of the two written standards of the Norwegian language, the other being Bokmål. Nynorsk was established in 1929 as one of two state sanctioned fusions of Ivar Aasen's standard Norwegian language (Landsmål) with the Dano-Norwegian written language (Riksmål), the other such fusion being called Bokmål. Nynorsk is a variation which is closer to Landsmål, whereas Bokmål is closer to Riksmål.

In local communities, one quarter of Norwegian municipalities have declared Nynorsk as their official language form, and these municipalities account for about 12% of the Norwegian population. Nynorsk is also being taught as a mandatory subject in both high school and elementary school for all Norwegians who don't have it as their own language form. Of the remaining municipalities that don't have Nynorsk as their official language form, half are neutral and half have adopted Bokmål as their official language form.

Four of Norway's eighteen counties, Rogaland, Hordaland, Sogn og Fjordane and Møre og Romsdal, have Nynorsk as their official language form. These four together comprise the region of Western Norway.

Danish had been the written language of Norway until 1814, and Danish with Norwegian intonation and pronunciation was on occasion spoken in the cities (see Dano-Norwegian). With the independence of Norway from Denmark, Danish became a foreign language and thus lost much of its prestige, and a conservative, written form of Norwegian, Landsmål, had been developed by 1850. By this time, however, the Danish language had been gradually reformed into the written language Riksmål, and no agreement was reached on which of the two forms to use. In 1885, the parliament declared the two forms official and equal.

Efforts were made to fuse the two written forms into one language. A result was that Landsmål and Riksmål lost their official status in 1929, and were replaced by the written forms Nynorsk and Bokmål, which were intended to be temporary intermediary stages before their final fusion into one hypothesised official Norwegian language known at the time as Samnorsk. This project was later abandoned and Nynorsk and Bokmål remain the two officially sanctioned standards of what is today called the Norwegian language.

Both written languages are in reality fusions between the Norwegian and Danish languages as they were spoken and written around 1850, with Nynorsk closer to Norwegian and Bokmål closer to Danish. The official standard of Nynorsk has been significantly altered during the process to create the common language form Samnorsk. A minor purist fraction of the Nynorsk population has stayed firm with the historical Aasen norm where these alterations of Nynorsk were rejected, which is known as Høgnorsk (High Norwegian, analogous to High German). Ivar Aasen-sambandet is an umbrella organization of associations and individuals promoting the use of Høgnorsk, whereas Noregs Mållag and Norsk Målungdom advocate the use of Nynorsk in general.

The Landsmål(Landsmaal) language standard was constructed by the Norwegian linguist Ivar Aasen during the mid-19th century, to provide a Norwegian-based alternative to Danish, which was commonly written, and to some extent spoken, in Norway at the time.

The word Nynorsk also has another meaning. In addition to being the name of the present, official written language standard, Nynorsk can also refer to the Norwegian language in use after Old Norwegian, 11th to 14th centuries, and Middle Norwegian, 1350 to about 1550. The written Norwegian that was used until the period of Danish rule (1536-1814), closely resembles Nynorsk (New Norwegian). A major source of old written material is Diplomatarium Norvegicum in 22 printed volumes.



Norway (Norwegian: (Bokmål) or (Nynorsk); Norga; ; ), officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic country in Northwestern Europe whose territory comprises the western and northernmost portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula; the remote island of Jan Mayen and the archipelago of Svalbard are also part of the Kingdom of Norway. The Antarctic Peter I Island and the sub-Antarctic Bouvet Island are dependent territories and thus not considered part of the kingdom. Norway also lays claim to a section of Antarctica known as Queen Maud Land.

Norway has a total area of 385207 km2 and a population of 5,312,300 (as of August 2018). The country shares a long eastern border with Sweden (1,619 km or 1,006 mi long). Norway is bordered by Finland and Russia to the north-east, and the Skagerrak strait to the south, with Denmark on the other side. Norway has an extensive coastline, facing the North Atlantic Ocean and the Barents Sea.


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