The Norwegian language is the most widely spoken language in Norway with over 95% of its population speaking the North Germanic language. Whilst the other most-spoken language in Norway with over 4,300,000 speakers, is English.
The Norwegian language is closely related to Swedish and Danish, and descends from Old Norse – a language spoken throughout Scandinavia from the 9th to the 13th century. Due to its language history, Norwegian speakers are also able to recognise words in Icelandic and Faroese, as they too, are languages that derive from Old Norse.
According to Radiolingua, those who can speak Norwegian are far more likely to be able to understand Swedish and Danish as there are multiple linguistic similarities. For example, written Norwegian is based on written Danish, meaning that Norwegians are able to understand written Danish easily too.
According to Babbel, Scandinavia originally spoke Old Norse exclusively, but soon the language started dispersing in various regions, and early versions of Danish, Swedish and Norwegian began forming.
In order to accurately translate texts from English to Norwegian, translators need to be aware of the numerous cultural and dialect differences, as the dialect changes depending on where you are in Norway.
For example, there’s not actually a “standardized” Norwegian language as such, because dialects are divided geographically into four main groups: Vestlandsk (Western Norwegian), Østlandsk or Østnorsk (Eastern Norwegian), Trøndersk (Central Norwegian) and Nordnorsk (Northern Norwegian). Each of those regions then have their own sub-groups dependent on the area. Therefore, it’s safe to assume that most villages or towns in Norway have their own unique dialect.
Which is why, unlike any other agency, HI-COM will consider all relevant terminology and language nuances to ensure that your translation is effectively adapted to both your target audience and the needs of your business.