German-Norwegian Translations by Experienced, Native-Speaker Translators

Norwegian

Language combinations for translations involving Norwegian:

  • Norwegian to German
  • German to Norwegian
  • English to Norwegian
  • Norwegian to English

Eisenmann Übersetzungsteam provides technical translations by native speakers of Norwegian into and from Norwegian for all subject areas: economics, law, technology, medicine, advertising, IT etc.

Our subject areas range from finance to law, from technology to advertising, websites, certificates and references.

All texts are translated by experienced specialist translators of Norwegian into their mother tongues (Norwegian or German), as per the native speaker principle.

Language Variants of Norwegian

Norwegian belongs to the North Germanic branch of the Indo-European languages, and together with Swedish, Danish, Icelandic and Faroese it forms the group of Scandinavian languages. Norwegian (“norsk”) is the mother tongue of approx. 5 million people, and is the official language of Norway.

There are two official forms of standardised Norwegian: Bokmål (standard Norwegian) and Nynorsk (“New Norwegian”). The third, unofficial form of Norwegian is called Riksmål. Bokmål is used by 85-90% of the Norwegian population, and linguistically speaking is not a separate language; rather a partially Norwegian-ised version of Danish, and is therefore a daughter language of Danish. However, Nynorsk is closely related to the West Scandinavian languages of Faroese and Icelandic. Additionally, both Bokmål and Nynorsk show elements of Swedish. Norwegians, Danes and Swedes find it relatively easy to communicate with one another; Norwegians can understand the Danes and Swedes much more easily than the Swedes can understand the Danes, because of regional changes. The Norwegians also find it relatively easy to communicate with the Faroese and Icelanders.

The History of Norwegian

Throughout its history, Norwegian has been influenced by a number of very different dialects due to  Norway’s mountainous topography The development of these dialects and Denmark’s centuries-long domination with Danish as an official language meant that Norway was never able to establish an official language comparable to, for example, standard German. There are two official Norwegian written languages, as stated above.

The origins of Norwegian lie in Old Norse, which displays many great similarities to Icelandic. Because Low German was the lingua franca of the Norwegians during the Hanseatic period, numerous words were borrowed from it. Norway’s position of independence was noticeably weakened by the union between Norway and Denmark, and Norway’s resulting governance by Copenhagen (1380-1814) until Norwegian was replaced by Danish in 1450. The Norwegians perceive this period as being under foreign rule by Denmark - Henrik Ibsen even called it the 400.Year Night.

Despite the introduction of Danish as the official language, the Norwegian dialects spread across the country continued to be spoken. After the separation of Norway and Denmark, a national Romantic wave developed and with it arose a national movement for the revival of the old Norwegian language. Because by then Danish had been so deeply cemented as an official language, Norwegian was split into two varieties: Riksmål (“standard Norwegian”) and Landsmål (“national language”).

Until some adjustments were introduced at the beginning of the 20th Century (Dano-Norwegian), Riksmål could more or less be called pure Danish. Landsmål is a language principally developed by the poet and linguist Iyar Aasen in the 1850s from west Norwegian dialects. However, Landsmål is not a planned language because it traces back to closely related, common linguistic roots, rather simply because its natural development to a common language was blocked by external influences.

Since 1929, Riksmål has officially been called Bokmål, and Landsmål is called Nynorsk.

Until 1944, there were always new speakers for Nynorsk due to the growing Norwegian national consciousness, and it was always spoken by at least one third of the Norwegian population. Nowadays, this percentage of Nynorsk speakers has fallen to 10-12%. There are several reasons for this: firstly, Nynorsk is perceived as a strange language in urban areas, particularly in Oslo, because the urban middle classes always refused Nynorsk due to it being based on rural dialects. This rendered Nynorsk unable to establish itself properly in the economic and political centres of Norway. Additionally, many inhabitants of the rural regions, especially of eastern Norway, consider Nynorsk to be somewhat artificial because it is effectively the lowest common denominator of the Norwegian dialects. Finally, the grammar of Nynorsk is more difficult than that of Bokmål, which has rendered the spread of Nynorsk amongst the Norwegian population even more difficult.

However, most Norwegian dialects are more closely related to Nynorsk than to Bokmål, which has phonological, morphological and other grammatical characteristics which are foreign to Norwegian. In 27% of the Norwegian regions and for 12% of the population, Nynorsk is an official language - in the sparsely populated valleys of the west and the mountainous inland. Norway has officially recognised both language forms (Nynorsk and Bokmål), however the country’s language law prohibits authorities from using one of the two languages more than 75% of the time (although this is often ignored in practice), and queries must be answered in both languages.

The language agreement in the Nordic Council also guarantees that Danish and Swedish are permitted in official correspondence. This agreement counts likewise in Denmark and Sweden.

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