Kebab Norwegian (Kebabnorsk; pronounced [ˈkeːbɑbˈnɔʂk]) is a variety of Norwegian that incorporates words from languages of non-Western immigrants to Norway, such as Turkish, Kurdish, Arabic, Urdu, Pashto, Persian, and Punjabi. Kebab Norwegian has its origin among immigrant youths and those growing up with immigrant youths in the eastern parts of Oslo.
Kebab Norwegian was first identified in the 1990s. In 1995, Stine Aasheim wrote an M.A. thesis on the phenomenon: "Kebab-norsk: fremmedspråklig påvirkning på ungdomsspråket i Oslo". Andreas Eilert Østby, who used Kebab Norwegian in his translation of Jonas Hassen Khemiri's novel Ett öga rött about immigrants speaking a similar dialect of Swedish, published a Kebab Norwegian dictionary in the same year, 2005. In 2007, a hip-hop Kebab Norwegian version of Romeo and Juliet was staged in Oslo. In 2008, 99% Ærlig, a film about East Oslo youth, featured Kebab Norwegian.
The name "Kebab Norwegian" is taken from the kebab and based on stereotypes of users, who tend not to refer to it by that name, and increasingly perceive it as referring to "bad Norwegian" rather than linguistic creativity. Academic researchers more commonly refer to it as an ethnolect, specifically "Norwegian multiethnolect". It includes words from about 20 languages, including Japanese and a surprisingly large amount of Spanish.
The dialect continues to evolve. As is characteristic of immigrant ways of speaking, it is used also by native-born young people when speaking with their peers, and users code-switch and avoid it in situations such as job interviews.
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- Hilde Lundgaard, "Kebabnorsk goes caramba", Aftenposten 26 January 2002 (Norwegian)
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- Håkon Bolstad, Kebabnorsk, Typisk norsk, NRK 12 May 2004, with a list of words and their origins.
- Kebabnorsk on Typisk norsk, YouTube
- Andreas Eilert Østby. Kebabnorsk ordbok. Oslo: Gyldendal, 2005. ISBN 82-05-33910-4