English

Did you land at this website only to find that it is incomprehensible because of your poor Norwegian skills? Despair no more.

So, what is this site?

That is a rather long story, but it can be made short. In Norway today, there are two official written standards: Nynorsk and Bokmål. Nynorsk is based on the Norwegian dialects, while Bokmål is based on Danish.

Naturally, not all Norwegians are happy with the fact that we have an official written standard that is based on Danish, after all, the only ones to speak Danish in Norway are Danish expats, tourists, and so forth.

Ok?

And this website is written in Landsmål, which is the original version of Nynorsk that a certain Mr Ivar Aasen created in the 1800s. Most Norwegians are unfamiliar with Landsmål, and hence a website written in Landsmål may help to put the so called «Norwegian language struggle» in a new perspective.

This website is written in support of the Norwegian Norwegian (aka Nynorsk), and opposes the official status of Danish Norwegian (aka Bokmål).

But I might have a friend from Norway that says it is rubbish that Bokmål is Danish?

Bokmål contains a lot of Norwegian, but it cannot escape the fact that it is based on Danish quite that easily. With a closer look, one will discover just how Danish Bokmål is – but most unfortunately, most Norwegians do not get such a closer look. I will present a couple of examples here:

Most of the time, Bokmål is written with two grammatical genders rather than three (mannen, siden instead of mannen, sida) and it uses -et rather than -a as past tense ending for a certain class of verbs (kastet rather than kasta). The only Norwegian dialect that goes like this, is the dialect of Bergen. But the dialect of Bergen also uses words like eg, ikkje and ka rather than jeg, ikke and hva; the equivalent words in Bokmål. 

But it is indeed not from the Bergen dialect we have the grammar presented above, it comes directly from Danish.

This was just scratching the surface of the the remnants of Danish in Bokmål that are still alive and well. I could go on for the entire page, as a matter of fact.

So, is this website nationalistic?

Far from it. The author of this website is an individualist, and view the topic from a purely linguistic perspective. Ideally, every Norwegian could simply write his/her own dialect, but that does not strike me as feasible.

– Where can I learn this Lannsmawl?

I don’t no know, I think you might have a hard time if you want to learn Landsmål. But a good start is to learn either Nynorsk or Bokmål; then you will be able to understand most of the texts here to a large degree. Even learning Swedish or Danish will be helpful (or even Faroese or Icelandic, especially the former).

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