Indo-European > Germanic > North Germanic

Spoken by: 4.2 millions according to, 2006

Official in: Norway

Spoken primarily in: Norway

Norwegian is sometimes mistakenly considered a macrolanguage for the forms Bokmål and Nynorsk. These language forms should however rather be seen as two alternative forms of writing the multifaceted Norwegian language, known for its many dialects. Bokmål, which is the dominant form of written Norwegian, has its roots in Danish which was the model for writing Norwegian during its 400 years of Danish domination, but has been adapted to Norwegian phonology. Nynorsk was invented during the 19th century by Ivar Aasen, a linguist who traveled around in Norway, recording the different Norwegian dialects, creating a new written language based on a compromise between the dialects. Most Norwegians will however use their native dialect when speaking to other Norwegians.