old norwegian

Discussion in 'Nordic Languages' started by Abalord, Jun 24, 2018.

  1. Abalord Member

    Hello everyone,
    I'm fairly fluent in Norwegian, but now I'm trying to read a Knut Hamsun novel, and I get really stuck on the old language.
    Is there perhaps a list of rules for the differences between old and new Norwegian? It's easy to understand that "aa" turns to "å", but in many words I'm just guessing.
  2. winenous Member

    English - British
    I do not know of a list of rules - I learned largely by guessing. But perhaps we could put together here some of the more common transformations? Looking through an old a Norwegian text, I can see:
    old -> new
    v -> g
    g -> k
    vd -> dd
    æ -> e
    nd -> nn
    ld -> ll
    d -> t
    j -> i
    Not sure how useful or universal they are, but they might give you some suggestions at least.

    BTW I did not find the old versions in Hamsun because my edition seems to have modernised quite a lot of the orthography anyway - for example it uses å. If your main goal is just to read the novel, you might prefer to find another edition...?
  3. Abalord Member

    Thank you so much! It didn't occur to me that they would renew the language in later editions, I would definitely look for a better one.
  4. raumar Senior Member

    Oslo, Norway
    I agree that a modernized version of the book may be the best solution, but here is some information about the spelling reforms:
    Rettskrivningsreformer i dette århundret

    Since written Bokmål Norwegian started out as almost pure Danish, a Danish dictionary may also be useful.
  5. Abalord Member

    Thank you, that is very helpful.
  6. Abalord Member

    This leads me to a new question. Is anyone here familiar with a Norwegian online bookstore that would send books abroad?
  7. winenous Member

    English - British
    Can't help directly. There are certainly few online shops, but don't know if they ship abroad.

    Might also be worth checking the modernity of the language any book before you buy. Mine is a book-club edition from 1989. I've just taken another look - more carefully this time - and apart from using "å" instead of "aa" there are certainly still quite a lot of old spellings/forms remaining.
  8. raumar Senior Member

    Oslo, Norway
    You could try Haugen Bok:
    Kunder i utlandet - Haugenbok.no

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