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Norwegian is in fact not one language but two:
Nynorsk (New Norwegian) and Bokmål (Literary Norwegian).
Although Nynorsk means “New Norwegian”, it is in fact the older of the two variants.
Nynorsk is closely related to Icelandic and Faroese.
Although many Norwegians speak Nynorsk day to day, very few use its written form.
Bokmål is used as the written form of the language by the majority of the Norwegian population.
This variant of Norwegian is more widespread than Nynorsk and developed later with strong influences from Danish.
This variant is also dominant in everyday use, the professions and in the media.
In the Norwegian course from 17 Minute Languaes you will learn Bokmål.
Norwegian belongs to the Germanic group of languages and belongs with Danish, Icelandic and Swedish to the Scandinavian group of languages.
English and German also have their roots in the Germanic group of languages.
The origin of modern Norwegian is Old Norse (Nor Norse) that was spread by the Vikings and whose legacy is strongest in Modern Icelandic.
From the 12th Century it was influenced by Danish, Dutch and Swedish.
From the 14th Century onwards Norway belonged to Denmark for over four hundred years and was ruled and administered from Copenhagen.
In the year 1814 was awarded to Sweden as reparations following the Napoleonic wars.
The geography of Norway has, like its history had a strong influence on the language.
Because of the large distances and difficult transport numerous dialects arose and so national standard pronunciation developed.
As well as the two biggest written languages there are today also many important dialects that are used in day to day life.
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