Jag skäms själv för att jag inte förstår norska - och framför allt danska - bättre; det känns som att det inte skulle behövas så mycket ändå för att avsevärt förbättra förståelsen! Så nära, men ändå så långt borta...
I agree that being exposed to the other languages, for example on TV, is important (and enough) to learn to understand them. I also think it's logical that the more linguistic variation people are used to, the more they understand. But the language debate in Norway is not usually about exposing children to more language (like Swedish and Danish), but less (by not requiring that they are taught botn Nynorsk and Bokmål anymore).
I can't remember ever not understanding Swedish, so it surprises me that so many people seem to find it difficult to understand other Scandinavian languages (or varieties that are considered to be dialects of their own language ...). However, I did grow up with Pippi and Emil in Swedish on children's television, so I suppose that's part of the reason I have no trouble understanding the language. Sadly, television for children in Norway is now increasingly dubbed (I suspect it's a Disney Channel effect). I don't understand why, because the response I've seen from parents, discussing the phenomenon on the internet or in the newspapers, has been uniformly negative, particularly when it comes to the Astrid Lindgren classics they themselves grew up with. Personally, I couldn't agree more. I realize it's partly nostalgia, but I find the thought of Tjorven speaking Norwegian horrid!
La tristezza passerà domattina, e l'anello resterà sulla spiaggia...
Hello, I was trying to find some basic words to distinguish the Norwegian bokmål form the Danish and it was really hard, what I'd found was hva-hvad, gjøre-gøre and kom inn-kom ind, then I have found this interesting article and have counted up only 45 different words, I think there are more different words between UK and US English. Is the vocabulary really so equal? Are there no other different words, expressions between Bokmål and Danish??? It would be great to make a list of different words just like there are similar lists in other language groups in Wordreference....
[ɒkinɛk humorɒ vɒn, mindɛnˤtud, ɒkinɛk niŋʧ, mindɛnrɛ ke.pɛʃ]
They are very similar when written, although I wouldn't agree that it's moreso than UK vs US English. The wiki article seems to do a good job comparing the two and it states a fair number of grammatical differences as well as a general overview of spelling differences (basically Bokmål is spelt the way it's pronounced while Danish rarely is). I'm not sure where you get the number of 45 different words from, just in the little Brandes clip I counted roughly 20 differences, although they're mostly just slight variations. The languages are close enough that they are mutually intelligible (written) for someone who only knows one of them, but they are still different enough that you won't need to read more than one sentence to know if it's one or the other.
It should be also perhaps mentioned that, according to the wikipedia, Danish language has been in the past and still is being used as lingua franca between Icelanders, Greenlanders and Faroesers. Therefore it already is a common nordic language, in certain sense. An interesting thing is that this works, and natives in Greenland did accept this language.
But of course it is doubtful that Danish will become such for the whole of Scandinavia.
Well - Greenland and the Faeroe Islands have less than 100,000 Danish second-language speakers between them, and the number of speakers with proficiency in English as a second language is about the same, so I would be careful proclaiming Danish a 'lingua franca'. On the other hand, Swedo-Norwegian - which for all intents and purposes is the same language - is spoken by around 15 million.
I see. That wikipedia article says that the using of Danish for international communication between those northern countries had in its time successfully prevented the spreading of English in those areas. But now it seems that that was just delaying the inevitable.
I am not disregarding the role of Danish in these communities, but I believe a local would rather converse with a (e.g.) Swede in English than in Danish.
Yes, that is more than likely. By the way, there is a norwegian professor - Jan Terje Faarlund, professor of linguistics at the University of Oslo. According to his research, English is a scandinavian language.
It is very interesting, but of course it's all merely theoretical speculations, since the gap between English and Scandinavian languages is very large nowadays.
I could agree with the portrayal of English as being a Germanic language, adopted into the Romance family.
Linguistics is always descriptive. Never prescriptive.
And also the syntax structure is more scandinavian-like than german- or french-like.
Last edited by willem81; 23rd September 2013 at 9:21 AM.
^Romance: "All men are created equal."
Scandinavian: "All men are shaped alike."
Nice observation.. Alle mænd* er skabt lige, that works. (*perhaps mennesker would be more accurate)
A common misconception is that the English vocabulary is largely Romance. If we look at the entire, unabridged body of English words recorded and listed (about 600,000) - yes, the majority is of Latin origin. However, the vast majority of these are technical terms, specialized jargon and terms derived from other words, and is hardly ever used! This is important, because a more compound friendly language than English can hypothetically construct a much bigger number of words.
An average person knows (according to studies) 15,000-17,000 words, and use 700-1100 of them on a regular basis. If we look at the frequency charts of the 100 most common words used in English, the 200, 500 and 1000 most common words, the majority are words of Germanic, not Romance origin.
Last edited by NorwegianNYC; 23rd September 2013 at 4:49 PM.
Agreed: It's essential of course to place facts in context in order to avoid completely exaggerating the influence of certain Romance languages. People (presidents/prime ministers to ordinary laborers; prosperous suburbanites to ghetto residents; i.e., members of all classes of society) generally use native, Germanic vocabulary essentially exclusively (possible major exception: incomprehensible academic documents). In ordinary sentences, normal verbal statements, exclamations, etc., Latin-based vocabulary is in large part absent.
So I genuinely appreciate your comments, remarks I sincerely consider very valuable.
Dan (enthusiastic United States-based Forum member, Nordic-language student)
Last edited by willem81; 24th September 2013 at 9:02 AM.
I'd almost say in the Danish and German parts of Schleswig we have more of a choice than they have, since we have the option of going to schools in Germany with Danish as the primary language and in Denmark the other way around.
Last edited by Sepia; 24th September 2013 at 9:45 PM.