All of our professional native Norwegian translators are specialists in their chosen sector, have a minimum of five years’ experience and hold a diploma, BA or MA in translation. No matter what you need to have translated, our translation experts will draw upon their knowledge base to ensure that no nuance or fine detail is lost, and none is added that you did not intend.
What to expect from our Norwegian translation service
There are two official forms of written Norwegian: Bokmål and Nynorsk. Bokmål translates as ‘book tongue’ while Nynorsk is ‘new Norwegian’. Bokmål is closely related to written Danish while Nynorsk derives from and draws on the spoken dialects of the language. Over time, official language reforms have been bringing Bokmål closer to Nynorsk, but there are still some differences.
However, if you don’t know either form or any other written Scandinavian language, which of the two a document is in cannot be distinguished without some study of the text.
Norwegian is written using an alphabet of 29 letters; the three we don’t use in English are æ, ø and å. In the other direction, however, the letters c, q, w, x and z are used only in words that have been borrowed from outside the Nordic language group.
Interesting facts about the Norwegian language
- For around four hundred years Danish was the official language of Norway, and Norwegian gradually moved closer to Danish in form. Once the country escaped Danish rule, it was immediately adjoined to Sweden; but this period in the early nineteenth century was characterised by a developing national identity, and, with it, a call to national identity through language that would see Norwegian literature develop throughout the century.
- Knud Knudsen began this process by proposing certain shifts that brought written Norwegian more in line with written Danish, helping to develop what’s now known as Bokmål. Knudsen’s reform was made official in 1862 and reforms have continued steadily.
- At around the same time, Ivar Aasen pioneered what would become Nynorsk as an alternative system that was more completely Norwegian. Nynorsk – or Norwegian Nynorsk as the Norwegian Language Council would have it – has changed greatly since then, undergoing several reforms.
- In fact, it’s changed so much that a splinter dialect, Høgnorsk, has emerged, seeking to keep the language pure to Aasen’s intentions, shunning much of the 20th century development of the language.
- One of the world’s most famous playwrights, Henrik Ibsen, is a Norwegian, and while his work pioneered Realism as a genre and brought Modernism to the theatre, he was building on a tradition established by other Norwegian playwrights. Ibsen, however, took those themes and helped them connect to the wider world