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English terminology[edit]

An edit made January 8 implies that the distinction between so-called "weak" and "strong" verb conjugation "has nothing to do with regularness [sic]". First of all, the word is "regularity", and second, the distinction has everything to do with regularity. Furthermore, even though Norwegians use the terms "weak" and "strong" in their own language to refer to regular and irregular verbs respectively, this is not the case in English. Consider your audience, people. (talk) 05:21, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

In the context of Indo-European languages, the strong/weak distinction is more or less orthogonal to the regular/irregular distinction. The defining quality of a strong verb is that it is inflected by ablaut whereas weak verbs are inflected by (dental) suffixes. Weak verbs can obviously be irregular, and most strong verbs are actually regular within their paradigm. See the articles on the Germanic weak verb and the Germanic strong verb. Pay special attention to the section on irregularities.
By the way, thanks for pointing out that regularness isn't much used. Actually I did look it up, but obviously not to much help. Plutix (talk) 09:46, 14 January 2008 (UTC)


It'd be useful to see some comparisons, side by side, of a few simple Bokmål & Nynorsk words. This might demonstrate some of the shared heritage and differences between these languages. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:49, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

Merged Bokmål/Riksmål/Dano-Norwegian[edit]

As you can see, I have merged the text from the Riksmål and Dano-Norwegian articles into the Bokmål article and redirected those articles here. I figured it was easier to just show how it could be done than to ask for your opinions beforehand. Now that you can see the result, your opinions are greatly appreciated.

Plutix 21:38, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

I should add that the main motivation was to avoid redundancy. The three articles told the same story with just somewhat different emphasis.

Plutix 21:43, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

I think this was an improvement. Well done!Inge 11:28, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
Redundancy should be solved using links. To redirect to "Bokmål" from "Riksmål" is bound to cause confusion. Someone searching for "Riksmål" may, upon being redirected, assume they are the same thing (which is a common misunderstanding). -- (talk) 05:51, 2 December 2015 (UTC)

"Oslo dialect"?[edit]

The two tables use the term "Oslo dialect" as if there were one standard form of the language particular to the Oslo area, and this form differs considerably from the form(s) I use. I think it would be appropriate to use a less ambiguous term, as there is no single Oslo dialect. Rōnin 19:17, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

There also seems to be at least one mistake: "Komma" for the verb "komme" is not part of any Oslo dialect that I know. All in all I think the section pertaining to the Oslo dialect should undergo some serious revision or be removed. Rōnin 19:20, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

The middle class in Oslo speaks Standard Østnorsk, not the Oslo dialect. Standard Østnorsk is not a dialect, it is a sociolect. Elements from Standard Østnorsk is also increasingly being picked up by the general population, so one has the whole spectrum from the traditional Oslo dialect, as portrayed here, to the most conservative varieties of Standard Østnorsk associated with western Oslo. I'll see if I can make this clearer. "Komma" is correct by the way, but I could have used another example like "værra" for "være". Plutix 06:35, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

I don't see how you're doing anything besides promoting your own definitions here. If a particular variety of the language is common in a geographical area, whether the Eastern part of Norway or Oslo, how is that variety not a "dialect"? Also, if that variety is increasingly being picked up by the general population, how is it then a "sociolect" any more? Conversely, if the "Oslo dialect" you mention is particular to members of a social class (in this case the working class), how is it a "dialect" and not a "sociolect"?
It seems to me that "sociolecting" has become a common way for speakers of one variety of the language to disqualify a competing one: Indeed, I've heard your "Oslo dialect" referred to as a "sociolect" by a teacher who speaks what you call "Standard Østnorsk", and here you are referring to that dialect as a "sociolect" in return. As a resident of Oslo, I'm not content to let either of you decide which dialect should represent the city as a whole—And if we had to choose one such dialect, I'm not at all certain that your favourite would be the one spoken by the majority of the city. Rōnin 22:29, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
Also, you haven't provided any sources for that entire section. If you're using someone else's definitions, you should at least show whose definitions it is you're using. For instance, whose opinion is it that using the term "Oslo dialect" for the dialect spoken by a large group of residents Oslo is misleading? If you wrote the section yourself without using references, you should ideally rewrite it using references that have been published. I'm taking the liberty placing some of the usual nasty tags on it in the meantime. Rōnin 22:42, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
It is correct that the traditional Oslo dialect is the lower sociolect in Oslo. But Standard Østnorsk is not a dialect in the normal sense of the word, because it is not geographically bound. It is spoken by the urban middle class all over Eastern Norway, and with some phonological and prosodic differences, it is also the higher sociolect in cities all over Norway. The word dialect can be used more broadly, and in that sense Standard Østnorsk is a dialect, but it is still not the same thing as the Oslo dialect which is by definition geographically bound to Oslo.
I nevertheless think some of your points are valid, and I'll try to incorporate them into the text and provide more references. Plutix 16:13, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
Thank you... I think that would make it a lot less controversial, as it's the use of the ambiguous term "Oslo dialect" to mean this specific variety, rather than the content itself, which leaves the section so open to misinterpretations. Rōnin 16:29, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
Ah yes, the current version leaves no room for doubt. It's very interesting, really—I have to admit I'd never heard that this is the original Oslo dialect before learning it from you. Rōnin 17:09, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
I hope you are able to substantiate these theories regarding the Oslo dialect. To state that Standard Østnorsk is the higher sociolect in all cities is questionable. The existance of and caracteristics of Standard Østnorsk and its status as a dialect or non-dialect is also questionable but to a lesser degree. One should also be careful when using qualitative labels such as higher or lower (for instance as in class) when describing the Norwegian language situation.
Also labeling some dialects as dialects and others as not dialects is a common mistake made by people from eastern Norway and a clear description of the factual situation must therefore be extra important here.
This is an area with a lot of thin ice so be careful and don't write more then you can give good references to. Happy editing:)Inge 11:09, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
It is alright to be careful, but I see no reason to obscure the social structure behind the varieties of East Norwegian. This is called sociolinguistics and is a well established social science discipline.
A sample of Gjert Kristoffersens book The Phonology of Norwegian is available in PDF-format.[1] I highly recommend reading chapter 1.4 which explains these issues quite nicely. A few quotes (fair use, I would think):
"Standard Østnorsk can be considered a sociolect that has developed as a result of tension between Danish as the official written, and in some contexts spoken, language used by the upper class before 1814, and the variety of Norwegian used by the lower social classes in the towns of Eastern Norway. Even if sources are scarce, it probably emerge more or less in the form we know today during the first half of the nineteenth century, at least as an informal speech style among the educated classes.
The variety spoken by the educated classes during the final half of the nineteenth century we may for convenience call Dano-Norwegian (DN). [...]
Dano-Norwegian is also markedly different from East Norwegian dialects with respect to realization of some morphological features. First of all, it retains the two-gender system that had developed in Danish, and thus does not distinguish feminine and masculine noun endings as is done in the surrounding Norwegian dialects. In the major class of regular verbs, where the vernacular varieties use the suffix /-a/ to mark the preterite and perfect participle and where Danish uses /-ede/ and /-ed/, DN developed a compromise form, /-et/, for both, which today is the most common form used in Bokmål, as illustrated in example (1). This ending is also used in the participle form of irregular verbs, where East Norwegian dialects have a vowel suffix. Another difference is the generalized ending /-ene/ in def. pl. forms in DN, where the dialects have /-a/ on masculine and neuter nouns, and /-ene/ on feminines only. Finally, DN does not have different infinitive endings depending on the quantity of the root syllable in Old Norse, which also is a characteristic feature of East Norwegian dialects.
The tension between these systems resulted in a situation with two main sociolects at each end of an idealized scale. [...]"
Happy reading! Plutix 15:38, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Actually, this whole section should be rewrote. In Norway there are no such thing as a standard official spoken language, unlike i.e. Sweden. Using the term "Standard østnorsk" for a specific dialect/sociolect implies that this is the correct way to speak. Ask any norwegian language teacher, and they'll tell you that there is no such thing as a wrong dialect. "Standard østnorsk" or just "Østnorsk" should be defined as a collection of several dialects including, among others, Sarpsborg dialect, Halden dialect, Tønsberg dialect and Oslo dialect, and not be defined as one specific dialect.
Pwjorgen (talk) 07:02, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
No, you are wrong, Pwjorgen. Google "standard østnorsk" and you'll see. Dieus (talk) 15:16, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
Pwjorgen is right. No standard pronunciation of Norwegian exists, so the article may just as well use bergensk as a "standard". Bergen bokmål sounds very different from Oslo bokmål, as does for instance Ålesund bokmål. For this reason, pronunciation should be mentioned as little as possible. Narssarssuaq (talk) 11:32, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Dano-Norwegian and Bokmål[edit]

A lot of people in Norway consider the term "Dano-Norwegian" to be derogatory, so I think it should be avoided. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:32, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Rather than just avoided, it should be pointed out it is derogatory. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:59, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

Nonsense in the article[edit]

In standard bokmål we use all three genders. It is only in the Bergen dialect and the most conszervative riksmål that only two genders are used. When it comes to the word "kvinne" most people would probably use "kvinnen", however the word "dama", which is more usual, is in feminine. It is therefore wrong to call this a "radical" bokmål. It is standard bokmål, used among all but the most conservative parts of the public. --Oddeivind (talk) 20:38, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

"Dama" is very informal. Dieus (talk) 16:59, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
What exactly do you mean with "informal"? --Oddeivind (talk) 10:43, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
Many if not most speakers consider the masculine form more formal. Thus, the grammatically correct "dama" becomes "damen" if the occasion calls for it. Conservative speakers may further choose to avoid words which they consider too informal and therefore use "kvinne" instead of "dame".

There is actually distinction between the two words in that "dame" conveys a lady whereas "kvinne" simply means "woman". Interestingly enough, younger speakers (at least in my day) may find the word "kvinne" stilted and unnatural and therefore use "dame" exclusively. And when my teenage cohorts talked about 'babes', they would never refer to them as "kvinner" but rather "damer". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:22, 21 November 2009 (UTC)

West or East Scandinavian?[edit]

I have wondered why Bokmål is considered to be "West Scandinavian" while Danish and Swedish are both East Scandinavian, if Bokmål is based on Danish? Wouldn't it make more sense to classify Bokmål as East Scandinavian with Danish and Swedish, and Nynorsk as West Scandinavian with Icelandic and Faroese? BGManofID (talk) 22:38, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

This is a muddled issue, all of Norwegian is generally believed to genealogically stem from West Scandinavian dialects, although it has been heavily influenced by East Scandinavian (first Danish, and later, to a lesser degree but still notable, Swedish) during the last centuries. I have also read about theories claiming that the West/East border is located right through Norway, with West and East variants having mutually affected each other throughout history. 惑乱 Wakuran (talk) 09:51, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
I remember having a dispute over this at Norwegian language a long time ago, and that it was settled back then by stating that it was both East and West Scandinavian. I remember that people mentioned that linguists disagree over whether it should belong to the East or West branch, but I can't recall anyone actually presenting a source to support the former (except SIL's bizarre categorizations). Does anyone have a reliable source supporting the East classification?
Peter Isotalo 06:31, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
Here's how the Norwegian (Bokmål) Wikipedia puts it:
Norsk er et nordisk språk i den germanske gruppa i den indoeuropeiske språkfamilien.
Tradisjonelt har språket vært klassifisert som et vestnordisk språk sammen med islandsk og 
færøysk, mens dansk og svensk har vært klassifisert som østnordiske språk. Dette er basert på
fonologiske forskjeller som oppsto tidlig i norrøn tid. Denne klassifiseringa er problematisk
fordi den tillegger dialektforskjeller innenfor det fastlandsnordiske dialektkontinuumet
større vekt enn skillet mellom tydelig adskilte språk fordi de førstnevnte forskjellene er
eldre enn de sistnevnte. Dessuten går noen av skillene mellom vest- og østskandinavisk tvers
igjennom det norske språkområdet, og videre har bokmål mange østnordiske trekk på grunn av
sitt nære slektskap med dansk.
Etter en nyere klassifisering basert på dagens nordiske språk, utgjør norsk og svensk  
nordskandinavisk. Nordskandinavisk utgjør sammen med sørskandinavisk (dansk) fastlandsnordisk,
som sammen med øynordisk danner den nordiske undergruppa av germansk.
Roughly, it's claimed that the West/East Scandinavian distinction is problematic, due to it giving more weight to older dialectal distinctions, than to newer clearly separated language standards. Secondly, they claim the newer classication of insular and continental Scandinavian is more suitable to show the modern relations. The main source is Arne Torp: (Bokmål) who claims that the West Scandinavian classification is correct, but that the genealogical model is better suited for other areas than indicating modern mutual intelligibility. 惑乱 Wakuran (talk) 16:37, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Standard written Bokmål has evolved from the written Danish language, but spoken Norwegian has evolved from Old Norse. Nynorsk is based on the spoken Norwegian and «restored» the written Norwegian language after it disappeared in the 1500's. Wouldn't Bokmål then be East Scandinavian (like Danish) and spoken Norwegian and Nynorsk be West Scandinavian? Or has Bokmål evolved back into the West Scandinavian language group? (talk) 20:32, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Dano-Norwegian (that is, Riksmål or Bokmål as a spoken language) is clearly East Scandinavian. Note that many who write Bokmål or Riksmål may speak a dialect which could perhaps be classified as West Scandinavian. The the distinction between West and East Scandinavian doesn't make all that much sense, and it would be more relevant to distinguish between the languages spoken in Scandinavia (sometimes called continental Scandinavian) and the languages spoken outside Scandinavia (Iceland, Faroe Islands, sometimes called insular Scandinavian). May S. Day (talk) 22:54, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

In the Norwegian text above they probably refer to the traditional dialects when calling the language "West Scandinvian", but as they mention the fact that Norwegian (both the dialects, nynorsk and bokmål) is "Mainland-Nordic" is clarly more relevant today than whether it is West-or East-Scandiavian. The differences are far larger between Norwegian and Islandic/Færoese on the one side and Norwegian and Swedish/Danish on the other. --Oddeivind (talk) 20:41, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

It's worth pointing out that even the most Danicised (or East Scandinavianised) forms of Norwegian still use the West Scandinavian ku and not the East Scandinavian ko, even if they use the East Scandinavian bro instead of bru. As the isogloss involved seems to be particularly old (perhaps the earliest East/West isogloss of all), and the word for "cow" is quite basic and not likely borrowed, this seems to me the best argument for classifying Norwegian as a whole as West Scandinavian. However, as an East Scandinavian innovation, strictly speaking it can only be used to classify a dialect as East Scandinavian, not as West Scandinavian, directly. (I'd be interested to know where the isogloss runs in modern times.) The palatalisation of velars before front vowels, which is common to Norwegian but lacking in Danish, is at least an argument (albeit a weaker one) against classifying any variant of Norwegian as Danish, although it cannot be used to delimit Norwegian from Swedish. Pre-aspiration would be another one, but it's not common to all forms of Norwegian, is it? Same with hv > kv. The main problem is that there do not seem to be any specific innovations (phonological or morphological) that are characteristic of all Norwegian, much less West Scandinavian, dialects (and only of them; monophthongisation isn't really useable, being a common retention, and not universal in East Scandinavian, either), whether in the modern era or even in the Middle Ages. Perhaps it is even incorrect to classify the medieval dialects into West and East. Almost all of the early innovations seem to be East Scandinavian, and at least the ones still clearly and unambiguously (i. e., not possibly confounded by borrowing) visible in the modern dialects (and therefore useful as an isogloss) are, as far as I can see. It may well be that a tree can still be drawn for the Scandinavian dialects (a common tree for both the medieval and the modern ones, even), using the most ancient isoglosses, but that it would look different from the traditional model with the East-West split. For example, it might be preferrable to have an East Scandinavian node, but not a West Scandinavian node, instead at least two primary branches for the West Scandinavian dialects:
-East Scandinavian
-Southwest Scandinavian (corresponding to Eastern Norwegian)
-Northwest (Oceanic) Scandinavian
or even:
-(unnamed node)
--East Scandinavian
--Southwest Scandinavian
-Oceanic Scandinavian
or even a scheme without a node for all the dialects traditionally assigned to Swedish:
-(unnamed node)
--(unnamed node)
---Southeast Scandinavian (i. e., Danish in the larger sense, including Scanian etc.)
---Götalandic ("Southern Swedish")
---Svealandic ("Central Swedish")
--Transbaltic ("Eastern Swedish", i. e. Gutnish, Finland Swedish and Estonian Swedish)
--Norrlandic ("Northern Swedish")
--Dalecarlian ("Western Swedish")
--Southwest Scandinavian
-Oceanic Scandinavian
This scheme reflects the fact that in Scandinavian, innovations have usually spread out from Danish, through Scania, north through Sweden and into Eastern Norway, without reaching the far northern dialects of Swedish and the dialects off the eastern coast of the Swedish mainland, and of course not reaching most of Norway, either.
Just to remind you that just because the traditional solution may not work, does not mean that there is no solution. And for those of you who think dialect continua cannot be classified into tree structures at all, Tiit Rein-Viitso has done exactly that for the Baltic Finnic dialects, however, he did so by ignoring the standard languages, instead actually classifying the dialects without prejudices (disrespecting borders, etc., and various traditional assumptions) and arrived at a quite different classification from the traditional one, where, for example, the unity of Estonian is broken up. Likewise, there's no reason a priori that forces us to assume that all the dialects traditionally subsumed under the labels "Norwegian" and "Swedish" actually constitute valid nodes in a tree. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 02:40, 18 May 2011 (UTC)


When it says in the opening sentence "Bokmål (lit. "book language") or Dano-Norwegian" it first seemed to me as it had been written by an "agressive nynorsk user" (people who like nynorsk to the degree that they tend to undermine, and want to "get rid off" Bokmål in Norway).

Even if Bokmål is a succesor to Dano-Norwegian you simply can't say "Bokmål or Dano-Norwegian" as if it were the same thing (nobody wrote Bokmål under Denmark-Norway, and nobody write Dano-Norwegian today, I think its even derogatory to state that I and 90% of Norways population write Dano-Norwegian today as the article says). Because of this I strongly feel the statement should be deleted, and Dano-Norwegian get its own article. Gabagool (talk) 01:48, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

You're assuming that Dano-Norwegian is identical to dansk-norsk. It is not. Dano-Norwegian and dansk-norsk do not have identical connotations. Remember that English and Norwegian are distinct languages; similar words do not necessarily have identical meanings. This is the English Wikipedia, and the cited dictionaries consider Dano-Norwegian and Bokmål to be synonyms. Plutix (talk) 11:30, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
So the article (or language/term) for what was written under Denmark-Norway and up to about the 20th century (under "Sweden-Norway") in Norway is then simply Danish? So that Dansk-Norsk = Danish or Dansk-Norsk as a term don't exist in English? If it does, what is it called? Seems a bit weird and confusing to me anyways. Gabagool (talk) 15:43, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
Before 1907, the written language was Danish. It is sometimes called norsk-dansk in Norwegian in order to emphasize the small differences from Danish in Denmark. I have never seen an equivalent term in English. Dansk-norsk or Dano-Norwegian on the other hand, is primarily reserved for the spoken language of the higher classes in the 1800s and early 1900s, and, from 1907, the written language based on this vernacular. Prominent proponents of Dano-Norwegian never accepted this term, but it nevertheless found its way to the English language. In Norwegian it is no longer in common use. The English term recommended by Norwegian authorities is Norwegian Bokmål. Plutix (talk) 13:26, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
Ok that's fair, I think I understand it better now, thanks for clearing it up. Gabagool (talk) 12:40, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

Actually, it could be, and has been, argued that bokmål is Norwo-Danish rather than Dano-Norwegian as it is Norwegianized Danish and not Norwegian made gradually more Danish. The basic structure of the more "conservative" part of bokmål, and particularly the socalled "riksmål" is actually Danish, although the vocabularly is Norwegianized. For an introduction to the difference between Norwegian and Norwo-Danish, look at this article on the Norwegian wikipedia: nn:Dansk-norsk språk. --Oddeivind (talk) 15:55, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Naut ?[edit]

The "West Scandinavian diphthongs" sections contains an error. In Danish, "nød" means "nut" or "distress" / "need" but it can never mean "cattle" as is indicated here (cattle = "kvæg"). The corresponding Norwegian word listed is "naut". Please update the English translation to the correct meaning. (talk) 01:17, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

See Ordbog over det danske Sprog.
Though it isn't common in stardard Danish, it is found in dialects. The reason such a marginal word is used as an example, is that there are very few examples where traditional Bokmål differs from Danish in this regard. I guess the example could be dropped, or replaced if someone can find an alternative. Plutix (talk) 14:45, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
The link is to the historical parts, so it can not be considerd a danish word any more, it is listed in a section of words used sometime between 1700 and 1950, and alle examples given are more than a hundred years old. (talk) 09:21, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was No move Parsecboy (talk) 00:47, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

BokmålDano-Norwegian — see below — Int21h (talk) 23:02, 5 February 2009 (UTC)


Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's naming conventions.
  • Oppose until some evidence is given that this is the common name for the language usually known as Bokmål. Note also that some have claimed above that there are POV issues with the target article as well. If there is a problem with Bokmål and Riksmål being in the same article then split them as many other interwikis do. — AjaxSmack 00:57, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
    • There is no such language as "Bokmål". If the article is not moved to an appropriate name, it needs to be split back into three articles, one on the concept of a Dano-Norwegian language and two on the different spelling standards known as Bokmål and Riksmål. Anyway, several sources (of the name Dano-Norwegian) are already cited in the article. May S. Day (talk) 14:31, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose "Bokmål" is far more common. Húsönd 01:35, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
    • Far more common for what? These are different concepts. May S. Day (talk) 14:27, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose This article is, as its first line says, about one "written standard language", which includes orthographic issues; an article on spoken Dano-Norwegian would be useful and might simplify this one, but should not supplant it. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 15:28, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose Despite being able to write Bokmål (and Riksmål) fluently, I have never come across the term Dano-Norwegian, neither in English nor Norwegian sources. This would indicate that it is a very uncommon term. To quote WP:NC: "The names of Wikipedia articles should be optimized for readers over editors, and for a general audience over specialists." With the dominence of the term Bokmål over any other, the article should stay at the current position. However, the debate seems to have arrisen from the lack of a seperate aricle on Riksmål; this must surely be created. With present-day dictonaries being published in Riksmål, it is definitively notable. I also fear, based on the rather heated language discussion the last 150 years in Norway, that coining the term Dano-Norwegian for a language written by 90% of the population, and a orthography that is closer than Nynorsk to that which the majority speak, would be considered inappropriate and POV my many Norwegians. Arsenikk (talk) 19:41, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose The language is called Bokmål in ISO 639 (language codes nb and nob). Plutix (talk) 23:38, 8 February 2009 (UTC)


Any additional comments:

If the article Riksmål is redirected to this article, the Norwegian Academy needs to be mentioned as a regulating agency (of Riksmål) in the info box, and riksmål needs to be mentioned bolded in the introduction. It's also wrong to claim that 90 % use Bokmål; 90 % use either Bokmål or Riksmål. Riksmål users tend to reject Bokmål spelling.

One should consider either moving the article to Bokmål/Riksmål (which are not really names of languages, but rather spelling standards) or the linguistically correct Dano-Norwegian, which would be more neutral and factually correct. May S. Day (talk) 22:48, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

It must be made clear that Bokmål is NOT the same as Riksmål. Riksmål is not an official language and, amongst other things, it lacks the feminine gender of nouns. Its users are also against a Common Norwegian language. Redirecting Riksmål to Bokmål may therefore lead to confusion. (talk) 20:18, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

The articles were merged by User:Plutix. As long as riksmål redirects here, riksmål must be dealt with appropriately. The reason the articles were merged is that riksmål and bokmål are different spellings of the same language comparable to US and International English. The spelling differences may be described in a single article, however. May S. Day (talk) 08:28, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
PS: Even the Norwegian government is against a "Common Norwegian language" nowadays. Plutix' rationale for merging the articles does indeed make some sense, as bokmål and riksmål is clearly one language - also the moderate version of bokmål normally lacks the feminine gender of nouns, for instance. Bokmål as the name of the article is a problem however (it's not the name of a language and exclude riksmål), and the article should be moved to either Bokmål/riksmål or Dano-Norwegian. May S. Day (talk) 08:31, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

New introduction[edit]

The term Bokmål does not cover Riksmål, according to Ethnologue[2] and isn't really the name of the language. Dano-Norwegian, which is mentioned in the article already, is a much better name of Bokmål and Riksmål as a language.

Perhaps the introduction should be rewritten, to something along the lines of (a loose idea, opinions welcome):

"Dano-Norwegian[1] is a term referring to the more commonly used of the two Norwegian written standard languages (the other being Nynorsk), which covers two slightly different spelling standards, bokmål (lit. "book language") and riksmål (lit. "national language"). Bokmål/riksmål is used by around 90% of the population in Norway, regardless of dialect, and is the standard most commonly taught to foreign students of the Norwegian language. [...] The language has its roots in the Danish language used in Norway during the Dano-Norwegian union and the version of the Danish language spoken by the educated classes, the name Dano-Norwegian itself is however seldomly used in Norwegian."

It should be noted below (probably not in the introduction) that the (Danish) language used in Norway was usually known as simply Norwegian in the 19th century until the term riksmål was invented in 1899.

May S. Day (talk) 09:04, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

I agree that Dano-Norwegian would be the most accurate title for this article, however, that term is not much used and tends to create outrage among Bokmål and Riksmål proponents. Since the term Riksmål is preferred by only a small (but vocal) minority, I think we should stick with the official name of the language, Bokmål. Also note that in ISO 639, the language code for Dano-Norwegian is nb, and the name is Norwegian Bokmål. Plutix (talk) 00:59, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
I'll just add that the article in the Ethnologue is factually wrong and obviously written by a die-hard Riksmål proponent. It would be interesting to know by whom, Tor Guttu or Finn Erik Vinje. Plutix (talk) 23:54, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

The name "Bokmål" is considered insulting[edit]

The mixed feelings towards the word "Bokmål" should be addressed. It's considered offensive by both Riksmål speakers and some Nynorsk users as well. May S. Day (talk) 03:46, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

  • "Når [radikalt ordlistefyll] er renset ut, og moderat bokmål er blitt kongruent med moderne riksmål, er tiden inne for å avskaffe den fornærmelige glosen "bokmål" og gjeninnføre "riksmål" som rette navn på vårt hovedspråk." (Lars Roar Langslet, former Minister of Culture, op-ed in Aftenposten, 2004[3]) - "'s time to abolish the offending word "Bokmål"..."
  • "Når riksmålsnormen nå har flyttet inn i bokmålet, samtidig som bokmålet kvitter seg med de mest outrerte samnorskformer, burde det være på tide å gi riksmålet tilbake dets gamle navn. Bokmål er ikke noe navn, det er en sjikane." (Finn-Erik Vinje, Professor of Norwegian language, op-ed in Aftenposten, 1999) - "Bokmål is not a name, it's an insult/harassment"
This is an extreme view with little support among the general population and academics alike, but there is no reason it should not be mentioned. But since you obviously share this view, please be careful not to give it undue prominence. The correct place to mention it would be in the section on controversy.
BTW, the interesting thing about these citations is that they show that even extreme Riksmål proponents agree that Bokmål and Riksmål are the same language. Plutix (talk) 17:07, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
I wouldn't call Norwegian Ministers of Culture or Professors of Norwegian Language "extremists". On the contrary, Langslet is head of the Norwegian Academy (the Norwegian equivalent of the Académie française or the Swedish Academy), and Vinje has been the NRK language consultant for a quarter of a century. These are fine sources. May S. Day (talk) 13:34, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

Riksmål perspectives are removed and not presented in a fair way[edit]

Some users persist in removing the perspective of the Riksmål organisations and are only presenting the perspective of the Bokmål proponents. As Riksmål redirects to this article, Riksmål must be given due prominence and presented in a fair way (this is also the Riksmål article). Or else, the Riksmål article must be recreated as a separate article. May S. Day (talk) 03:54, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

I agree that Riksmål must be given due prominence and presented in a fair way. However, this is not what you are doing with your edits. In an article about a language, the description of the language itself must be more central than disagreements over spelling and terminology. You are creating a false dichotomy between Bokmål and Riksmål. Bokmål/Riksmål is a spoken language, this has nothing to do with perspective. That the government does not regulate or codify pronunciation, does not change this fact, and this was already stated in the article before you came along and expressed your opinions.
Furthermore, you give the Riksmål movements point of view undue prominence. The Riksmål movement naturally does not hold a neutral point of view. Of course their view can be referenced, but they do not own the term Riksmål any more than liberalists own the term freedom or the socialists own the terms equality or fairness. They do, of course, own their unofficial orthography, just as I own the way I spell, but this does not give any of us the right to define the language itself.
The introduction as it stands now is equally valid for Bokmål and Riksmål. If you feel it is necessary to present the view of the Riksmål movement in more detail, please do so in the section Riksmål vs. Bokmål, as this has nothing to do with the language itself. Plutix (talk) 16:41, 15 March 2009 (UTC)


Is it true that bokmål Norwegian is or was once used by SAS as a compromise language because they considered it best understood by Danes, Swedes and Norwegians alike? I once read this somewhere, but I don't remember the source (and I doubt it somehow). (talk) 17:34, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

It sounds possible that an estimation might be best understood, but it needs sourcing. 惑乱 Wakuran (talk) 15:20, 9 November 2009 (UTC)


Perhaps I am misunderstanding but the first table seems to imply that the word "båt" is feminine. It is actually masculine: "en båt", not "ei båt". It is therefore interesting that the definite form takes on a feminine quality -- "båta" -- in the Oslo dialect. The same is true of "bil" and surely other words as well. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:57, 21 November 2009 (UTC)

I thought that there were some dialects that used the "feminine" -a-ending indiscriminately, similar to a common gender. i might have misunderstood, though. 惑乱 Wakuran (talk) 22:37, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
No, you're right. Norwegian grammar can be pretty muddled and we are talking about a spoken dialect to boot. I'm just not sure if it should be considered a feminine ending. The correct plural ending in all genders is "-ene" or "-ne", at least in written form. The shift to the "-a" ending in Oslo also occurs in past tense verbs (such as "sykla" for "syklet"). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:12, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
This is not the same form as the singular determinate form of a feminine noun, but simply a plural determinate form (possibly for monosyllabic nouns or some such thing). There could be some sort of connection between the two, but it's unknown to me. As for the "feminine" a-ending being used indiscriminately; that doesn't occur in the Oslo dialect at least. What does occur is that the masculine indefinite article "en" is often used in place of the feminine "ei", and the masculine definite suffix "-en" can in many cases optionally be used instead of "-a". Thus the contemporary Oslo dialect could be said to have 2 1/2 genders.
Overall, I don't think this article does a whole lot to shed any light on the topic of Norwegian dialects, though. The dialect it promotes as the "Oslo dialect" appears to be an archaic dialect no longer spoken by most of the city's inhabitants, and it goes further to give credence to claims such as "that the area of Oslo in fact has no dialect (a common statement)", and "that the language of Oslo has little substance, and that the lack of dialect in the area is in fact a problem." I would take these as a political statement more than anything else. Rōnin (talk) 05:27, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
I've taken the liberty of removing the worst silliness now; the section "Language Problems", which, even if it had sources, would belong somewhere else. These claims regarding what is the true "Oslo dialect" do not properly belong in this article either, though, and should ideally be moved somewhere else. Rōnin (talk) 05:44, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
Yes, the issue of politics and "class warfare" plays a huge part in all this. Generally speaking, the "-a" ending is informal whereas "-ene" is more formal and/or conservative. But I'll be the first to admit that my sources are a bit dated -- i.e. my grandparents. Furthermore, the use of "-a" for "-ene" in plural nouns has nothing to do with gender. After all, "båt" is masculine and "hus" is neuter and yet you can get "båta" and "husa". My grandparents spoke of "bila" (the cars) in place of "bilene".
And I just thought of something else: Is the feminine "katte" still used in place of the masculine "katt" (cat) ? I think they used this for both male and female cats. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:57, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
It's sounds plausible, but someone actively using the word "katte" would have to confirm it. Rōnin (talk) 06:54, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
I think rural areas in general are much more likely to retain old dialects. The traditional Stockholm dialect is more or less dead nowadays. The old Southern Stockholm dialect/accent (widely used in the 70's) is more or less extinct for anybody under 30-40 years of age. 惑乱 Wakuran (talk) 15:53, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

Compare 'båta' to Western Norwegian 'båtane' and Northern Norwegian 'båtan'. It sounds plausible, but I don't know. --Harald Khan Ճ 11:11, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

Mutation and umlaut[edit]

The table lists the feature of "u-umlaut (i-mutation)." Firstly, i-umlaut and u-umlaut are synonyms for i-mutation and u-mutation respectively, making the feature's description fully contradictory. Secondly, the latter two examples provided do not illustrate umlaut, and the first does not demonstrate it well if at all (I'm not sure of the etymology of the change). The second example, of ond vs. vond represents loss of initial W/V before rounded vowels, as with Wotan vs. Óðinn. This semivowel loss is not a form of umlaut. The third example, of jeg vs. eg, is an example of breaking, which is not to be confused with u-umlaut. ᛭ LokiClock (talk) 08:59, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

Terms used -POV[edit]

Why does one use terms like conservative/moderate to present one side of the riksmål/samnorsk bokmål struggle. To me this seems a bit POV. -- (talk) 09:59, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

Table needs an overhaul![edit]

Or don't you think? bord is not mentioned, but only given IPA pronunciation from which the word may be guessed! Same with banan. I did not make any changes, because I too do not yet know where to place this best, but it's really mandatory to put the actual words in, not only their pronunciation. -andy (talk) 16:18, 7 October 2011 (UTC)

"Bokmål vs. Riksmål"[edit]

The title of that section should maybe be changed. How about Riksmål? --Normash (talk) 09:54, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

  1. ^ Unabridged (v 1.1 ed.). Random House, Inc. ; WordNet (3.0 ed.). Princeton University. ; The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (Fourth Edition ed.). Houghton Mifflin Company. 2004.