Talk:Law of Jante

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Translation of background[edit]

Is there any chance of an English translation of the background relating to Janteloven? - imho this is important to a fuller understanding of the Danish character. Agendum 00:39, 25 Jan 2004 (UTC)

OK - I'll have a go at it myself - any Danish contributors out there please feel free to add and/or correct! Agendum 09:46, 31 Jan 2004 (UTC)


I've still got a problem with the pluralisation of the word which Sjc has implemented. As I understand it (and I've studied Danish as a foreign language a bit) loven is literally the law in this context (with the definite article), not a plural, ie, The Jante Law -- I've referred to a Dansk Ordbog, and I think it backs up that view -- as well as checking with the Nordeners website at [1]. Any native Danish speakers out there who may know definitively (and I see a few have signed up for the Danish wikipedians' notice board), please let us know which is right! Cheers, Bruce, aka Agendum | Talk 00:53, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I believe that in danish/norwegian, it would be "Lov"-"Law", "Loven"-"The law", "Lover"-"Laws" , "Loverne"-"The laws", but I am a native Swede, so I could possibly have gotten it wrong somewhere...
In Danish, the word is processed as follows: 'en lov' - 'a law', 'loven' - 'the law', '(flere) love' - '(more) laws', '(alle) lovene' - '(all the) laws'. Hope this makes sense, though I'm not entirely sure what is discussed.. ;) About the translation 'Janteloven' - 'Jante Law', it might be more correct naming it 'The Jante Law'. Poulsen 00:43, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

Janteloven (copied from User talk:sjc[edit]

I see you altered the beginning of the above article, making it plural. Are you Danish? - I am not, but have spent some time in Denmark, and was under the impression that this so-called 'law' is always referred to in the singular, and that 'Janteloven' was singular. Please correct me if you are sure that I am wrong :-) Bruce, aka Agendum | Talk 13:35, 9 Dec 2004 (UTC)

lov is the singular form for law, loven is the plural. I live in Denmark much of the time and can read and write it (don't speak it, fiendish language to speak! or understand in spoken form!) and they are usually referred to in the plural form. Sjc 09:04, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I've still got a problem with the pluralisation of the word. As I understand it (and I've studied Danish as a foreign language) loven is literally the law in this context (with the definite article), not a plural, ie, The Jante Law -- I've referred to a Dansk Ordbog, and I think it backs up that view -- as well as checking with the Nordeners website at [2]. Any native Danish speakers out there who may know definitively (and I see a few have signed up for the Danish wikipedians' notice board), please let us know which is right! Cheers, Bruce, aka Agendum | Talk 00:49, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)
A google on Jante Law v. Jante Laws gives a 2:1 majority in favour of the singular form, so you are probably right in this respect. There are a number of them, and my Gyldendals Ordbog translates it idiomatically as 'the who-do-you-think-you-are attitude'. I think we should go for one or the other and be consistent throughout the article whichever we elect upon, and the balance of probabilities makes it look as though we should, as you rightly suggest, treat them as a singular homogenous unit. I will fix changes in this respect. I will also move a copy of this discussion to the talk page for this article for future refence. Sjc 09:54, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

lov is the singular form for law, loven is the plural. I live in Denmark much of the time and can read and write it (don't speak it, fiendish language to speak! or understand in spoken form!) and they are usually referred to in the plural form. Sjc 09:04, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Sorry, that's just not true.

"loven" means "the law",
"love" means "laws",
"loverne" means "the laws" User:

My bad, my Dutch screwing up my somewhat imperfect Danish lol. I'll get my coat... Sjc 19:23, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Lovene is "lov" in plural. Not loverne. preisler

That's true for Norwegian. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I was under the impression that the Danish plural of 'lov' is 'loverne' - are you sure it's not? I've heard referred to 'danskerne', 'svenskerne' &c so many times I was sure 'loverne' would be the correct Danish plural. But then again, Danish doesn't make sense ;)
Also, in Norwegian, as the article says, it's known as 'Janteloven' - the definite singular form. I'm all in favour of calling the article 'The Jante Law' Ilmarinen 19:08, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

It is definitely in singular form. It would have been "Janteloverne" in Danish plural and "Jantelovene" in Norwegian plural. "Janteloven" is singular in both Danish and Norwegian. However, I feel it should have been translated with "The law of Jante" even if it isn't entirely correct.

Just to make things clear: the plural definit of "lov" ("a law") is "lovene" ("the laws"). The person above, that did not sign his post, is right that "danskerne" ("the Danes") is a plural definit version of "dansker" ("a Dane"). This is so, because the noun "dansker" ends in "-r" and such nouns gets an "-ne" attached in the end in plural definit form (this was the case with the words ending in "-r" I could come up with in my head --- there might be inconsistencies in this rule). These plural definit endings are probably some of the more common errors when people with another mother tongue speak Danish. The direct translation of "Janteloven" from Danish to English is "The Jante Law", and I believe that is also the case from Norwegian to English. Also, I would like to add, that my personal opinion (I am from Denmark, so it might be different in Norway) is, that "The Jante Law" is in fact a derogatory term being used positive rather than normative. It appears now and then in daily talk, usually whenever someone has been mistreated (in the sense of the topic discussed), that "this is the typical attitude of Janteloven in this country". I am not sure if that is evident from the article. [See also the post by Ilmarinen from 7th of March below, indicating that this is also true for the Norwegian use of the word]. On the other hand, I do think Danes in general live by some degree of "The Jante Law" as it is in fact subtly frowned upon (for example) to speak loudly of ones own salary (especially if it is high) or to point out own notable achievements, at least in public and without direct confrontation. To which degree this is different from other cultures I can't say, but I am sure there must be some anthropologists out there, that has researched this fenomena. Please note that these are my personal views on the term itself and if/how it applies to the Danish culture. I would be interested to hear what other Danes has to say on this matter. --- Marc K 14:10, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

I entirely agree with Marc K, and i would like to add that "The Law of Jante" would mean "Jantes Lov" in danish, and not "Janteloven". I would definetely say that "The Jante Law" is the best translation. I am a native Dane, and excersise my lingual skills daily. I did sound awfully confident there. How ironic. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:07, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

May I just add my opinion here: Being a Dane and living near Copenhagen, we never use the term: Jantes Lov (The Law of Jante) but merely Janteloven (The Jante law - would be the most precise). Plural of lovene (the laws) in Danish, could NEVER be 'loverne' as it's suggested above, but is merely someone (can't see who - but it's the third entry from this counting upwards) in complete conflict with Danish, Norwegian and Swedish! Problem with Danish is, that THERE ARE VERY FEW RULES in our written as well as spoken language, and those rules we have, has a gazillion exceptions to them! I'm only vaguely familiar with Norwegian and Swedish in writing. (my first edit trial, so I hope it works) —Preceding unsigned comment added by The-T-Dane (talkcontribs) 16:04, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

The English translation from 1936 uses "The Law of Jante", as can be verified on Google books. --Hurven (talk) 11:27, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

Biblical style[edit]

I'm just wondering - shouldn't some reference be made to the fact that the Jante Law uncannily resembles the Ten Commandments, or indeed, translate the ten laws into a kind of biblical style - something like "Thou shalt not think thou art special"? I read the book in literature at school and got this feeling when I came upon it - and I think it is also made a reference to the Ten Commandments in the actual text. Sam Vimes 22:21, 25 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I agree, it should be noted in the article. It is a quite obvious reference, so maybe that's why noone thought about writing it in the article. --- Marc K 14:23, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

The English translation from 1936 uses "Thou shalt not" which makes the reference super-obvious. See section at the bottom of the page. --Hurven (talk) 11:25, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

Janteloven and the Vikings[edit]

[Yorkshire] was one of the parts of Great Britain where the Danish Vikings settled from the 8th century onwards and it is possible that similar cultural attitudes remain.

Please give me some sources to suggest that the Vikings, rather than protestant work ethic and an early arrival of modern central government in the 16th century, is to blame for the Jante law in Scandinavia. --Salleman 5 July 2005 11:45 (UTC)

In response to Salleman i think there's plenty of examples in the edda. I might be wrong though.

There may be other instances in which the cultural mores are referred to or implied in other texts or in oral tradition (as stated above). And, therefore, I have an issue with the statement in this article that Sandemose "created" Janteloven. He didn't. It already existed. He was just the first to coin the phrase "Janteloven" and write it down in a list format of what the unspoken mores/cultural norms are, as he observed it. So, this will need to be changed. --Norsky59 (talk) 05:00, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

I concur with Norsky59. My understanding from speaking with Scandinavians is that these attitudes are very deeply rooted in these societies and have been for many centuries, and cannot be derived from a single obscure early 20th century novel which only reflected contemporary Danish society. I propose that the article be reordered to clarify this. – Agendum (talk) 11:53, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Original research[edit]

Some new claims have been added to the article, interpreting the Jante Law in light of modern left- and right-wing politics. Without references I would call this original research, which should be reverted. Also, the barato is now mentioned again, but without better explanation I don't think it has much to do with the Jante Law. --Eddi (Talk) 04:50, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

Reverted. --Eddi (Talk) 11:32, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Current thinking[edit]

Just felt it necessary to break up the text, which is getting longer and harder to read without a sub-heading. I've also re-phrased the final paragraph without (hopefully) changing its meaning. Bruce, aka Agendum | Talk 14:10, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Sub-headings are always good. As the text covers more than current thinking, however, it should perhaps have a kind of timeless heading about interpretation of the law or something. --Eddi (Talk) 16:49, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
I'm open to that. 'Modern Interpretation', or something similar? Bruce, aka Agendum | Talk 23:50, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Japanese version of the law[edit]

I have heard that in Japan there is a saying: "The nail that pops up its head gets hammered down" (which is equivalent to the Jante Law). If this is true, then it should probably be in the article as a further example. SpectrumDT 11:12, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

I've seen this used in anime and manga as well.
Hm, I've heard the expression too, but from what I gather it's not equivalent to the Jante Law. The Japanese expression is more about separating from society in general, having different views or try to change things &c, whereas the JL is more focused on the whole aspect of being good at things and how you shouldn't boast or be proud of those things.
An example is our "new" interim minister Jonas Gahr Støre who have been accused of being too 'good' (flink is the Norwegian word; hard to translate the connotions) or too professional if you want. However, his critics are usually dismissed on the basis of using the JL (which shows the negative connotions it has here).
I'm not sure how clear that was, but basically I don't think they're all that similar. Ilmarinen 17:45, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

Modern Interpretation[edit]

I propose to redraft the first part of this rather awkward paragraph, removing the rather strange expression set phrase, and also mention of foreign visitors who, in my opinion and experience, generally have no notion at all what the Jante Law is – and also drawing attention that this thinking principally applies to Denmark, as well as to other Nordic countries. Unless, of course, somebody else knows better.... – Agendum 23:57, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

I live in Sweden, and Jantelagen is alive and well here. Also, the Current Thinking section at the end claims it to be strongest in Sweden these days, so I think it's fair to say Sweden is at least as lagom as Denmark!  :) --Steverapaport 6 September 2006
I stand corrected! – Agendum 12:56, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

NPOV troubles[edit]

The income tax systems of the Nordic countries are designed in a way to promote (enforce) equality amongst its citizens, and this should be regarded as a contemporary expression of the Jante Law.

This is a pretty flagrant NPOV violation. It may not be entirely clear to non-Nordic readers(in which case the article has failed its perhaps most basic purpose), but this expression has almost exclusively negative connotations(notice especially points 1, 2, 7, 9, and 10). Saying that the income tax systems of the Nordic countries should be regarded as expressions of the Jante Law is thus a direct, unsourced, criticism of those systems. It might be said that detractors of those systems view them as expressions of the Jante Law, but even this would have to be sourced.

However its presence is still strong in many areas, and possibly stronger in the larger Nordic countries than in Denmark.

This sentence seems odd since, by population, there is only one Nordic country larger than Denmark: Sweden. Substituting "Sweden" into the sentence, however, reveals more clearly that this sentence is also an NPOV violation. Note that this sentence was added into the article mentioning Sweden specifically, by what seems to be a Swedish anonymous user [3]. I live in Norway, and there are definitely groups of people here who would emphasize the importance of the Jante Law in the Norwegian political climate as opposed to those in the other Nordic countries—this is an expression of a specific sort of dissatisfaction with the political status quo(the income tax situation above being a part of that status quo). Of course, the last sentence is just my personal interpretation and should not be put into the article. 12:05, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

Removal of Unsourced Speculation[edit]

I have again deleted all unsourced speculation - if you wish to add this back, *please add sources*. Otherwise this violates WP:SOAP/OR and *must* be excluded. I do not dispute that the material is relevant to the article - it clearly is. Without any sources (and there are none in these sections) it can only be viewed as OR and thus not appropriate. If you want to revert the text and add sources - that's great. But without sources this stuff can't stay. Bigdaddy1981 18:57, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

OK – any Danish or Norwegian contributors got any sources that can be used to validate this part of the article, which rather neatly, I think, describes current attitudes towards Janteloven? I don't have access to these texts myself. – Agendum 00:06, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
The deletion had left the See also section out of context. Pavel Vozenilek 00:25, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Jante Law today[edit]

This article was formerly much longer, with a fuller explanation for non-Danish (or non-Nordic) readers. Granted, there may have been some speculation, but hasn't this now been pruned down so that it tells the reader almost nothing at all?

Shouldn't there be at least something about the impact of Janteloven today and its continued existence in the social consciousness of Denmark (I can't speak about Norway or Sweden)? My understanding is that it has had a lasting effect in some areas of social mores and behaviour, and continues to do so. Comments?

Cheers, Bruce – Agendum (talk) 14:08, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

The newest link Me - magazine 1/2009 had a Finnish writer's Tommy Tabermann's column "he thinks he is something" (luulee olevansa (FI)) where he refers to Jante's law. Although Jante's law as name is merely unknown in Finland, the unwritten laws are known also to Finns. However, it seems that the younger generation is dropping the guilty and shame away and are thinking more freely that they can! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:13, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

Please, also notice, that the reference link to the definition of Jante's law doesn't work anymore. Maybe someone could find a better reference? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:17, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

I think it would be hard to find any second sources that includes any scientific research on Jante Law and society. First of all it is an invention by a novelist, and while it does probably very accurately describe the claustrophobic atmosphere that can prevail in smaller isolated societies (all over the world), it is not a science. The aim of this article should be to describe the origins of the term and that it is still being widely used to describe situations where individuals feels they have been held back by the majority, and that the term has been embraced by most Nordic countries. But to engage in speculations whether the Jante law has any "impact" on society today would undoubtedly lead to original research. --Saddhiyama (talk) 01:40, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

The larger Nordic countries?[edit]

Which are "the larger Nordic countries?" Denmark has a larger population than any other Nordic country except Sweden. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:08, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

Removal of unsourced OR (again)[edit]

I have deleted the interpretation sections again, as they were still as unsourced as they were when they were deleted 2 years ago. Do not add this to the article again unless it is referenced. And I highly doubt will be possible to reference this, as it looks very much like original research. --Saddhiyama (talk) 21:29, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

No merger with TPS[edit]

Being a foreigner residing in Sweden I'd say this is the fundamental characteristic of the Nordic societies and has to be a separate article, not merged with anything. It is no syndrome here, it's the way of life. This is what makes Nordic countries the Nordic countries. I also agree with the previous comments that the article deserves to be more elaborate on the meaning of the Jante Law to the society. oxana (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 14:45, 9 August 2009 (UTC).

I fully agree with the previous comment. My (albeit limited) knowledge of the culture and society Denmark and Norway would bear out what this contributor has stated – this still permeates Danish society (the country I know best). I attempted (as did other editors) to add a fuller explanation of the meaning of Jante Law in Nordic society shortly after this article was begun a couple of years ago, but those old edits have long since disappeared. Perhaps it needs someone who is a native Scandinavian to provide an "insider's view" and to explain the sociological context of this today – anyone want to take this on? Agendum (talk) 16:34, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
Agree in full. Permeates, actually saturates society. Effect on it should be expounded upon. Would love to do more on this if/when time allows. SergeWoodzing (talk) 06:37, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
Being danish from someplace-outside-Copenhagen, I think it's not really that big a part of modern danish society (and may never have been). It appears to be a problem mostly concentrated to Copenhagen and (really, mainly) people who aspire to being Copenhageners, rather than something Danish -- it's not that they are hindered by jantelovs-wiedling simpleteons from the backwater towns of Mors, but rather that they believe to be. I find that people support each other fairly well and do encourage achievements -- quite contrary to the ideas of janteloven.

As an insider, I can tell you that this is an orientalism-style myth that does not survive reality checks.

If you ask a group of randomly selected Norwegians and ask them who were the first to reach the South Pole, most or many will know that the answer is Roald Amundsen (and his crew). If you ask them to name any of his crew members, hardly any of them will know a single name. Roald Amundsen is somebody, his crew members aren't. --Njardarlogar (talk) 12:18, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

The former prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland said in her 1992 New Year's speech that it is typically Norwegian to be good. Very modest of her, of course; and very Jante-ish --Njardarlogar (talk) 12:52, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

As another insider (Norwegian), I'll back Njardarlogar up on this. The typical Norwegian attitude is similar to the one expressed in Obama's "You didn't build that" speech and, like the speech, it's often misunderstood by Americans. Norwegian society will in fact often come down hard on those who take personal credit for an achievement without recognizing the team effort behind it. If you watch interviews with Norwegian athletes, even in individual sports like cross-country skiing, they'll usually make a point out of crediting their trainers, the ski waxers and so on. With that out of the way, however, they will usually be given respect and admiration as individuals (if they are successful, that is). What many foreigners (and some Scandinavians) fail to understand is that in Norway you can't claim respect, it's always given freely by others and the very attempt to claim it will usually disqualify you immediately. Since it's a central tenet of American culture that you always have to "sell" yourself to others if you want recognition, there's a certain degree of cultural incompatibility here, which often leads Americans in Norway to conclude that Norwegians resent their achievements. Now, there are some exceptions, obviously. In my experience, the Law of Jante does in fact apply in Norwegian academia (especially when research funding is at stake), for instance, but I don't accept the notion that it "saturates society". Maitreya (talk) 09:25, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
I'm no expert on niggardly and begrudging envy in Norway, but in Sweden it saturates society. SergeWoodzing (talk) 02:33, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
And yet you claim that "the vast majority" of Swedes are of the opinion that "Jante is quite an ugly thing". Maitreya (talk) 12:02, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
Definitely! An ugly thing many of them also consider mysig and "long to get home to" when travelling in other cultures. They even call it "the Royal Swedish Envy". --SergeWoodzing (talk) 08:22, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
Well, I do believe there's an entire chapter in the Norwegian constitution expressly forbidding me from defending the Swedish nation against insult, so I'll just leave well enough alone. Maitreya (talk) 12:00, 15 March 2013 (UTC)


Is it just me, or does this article lack a neutral tone? For example, stating that Jante -

     . . . negatively portrays and criticizes success and achievement as unworthy and inappropriate,

might be more neutrally be stated as -

     . . . negatively portrays lack of humility towards one's own successes and achievements as undeserved and inappropriate.

A discussion of the modern-day controversy over Jante could be presented without speculation as to influence over politics, etc., and include appropriate references. In this manner, the article would give the reader a much better understanding of Jante. I would take a whack at it, if I felt I had a more indepth knowledge of the subject. Just tossing it out there for discussion. --WebMinstrel (talk) 09:31, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

I am reasonably knowledgeable, and the first of the two versions above is the more accurate. The Yawnteh syndrome (as I pronounce and write it in English) is not known as a negative reaction to a "lack of humility" but as a negative reaction to the accomplishments and assets of other individuals or groups, notwithstanding any arrogance, or the opposite, on the part of persons envied. SergeWoodzing (talk) 10:07, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
I don't know if you're referring specifically to a term used within sociology or some other academic discipline, but to the extent that the Law of Jante is in effect in Scandinavia (or at least Norway) today, it's clearly a negative reaction to a lack of humility. Humility is the essence of polite/"socially acceptable" behavior in Norway, even more so because there are few formalized rules determining "proper" behavior in Norway compared to most other countries. There's definitely no stigma against accomplishment ("hero worship" of athletes is as common in Norway as anywhere else, if a bit more low-key than in the US), but Norwegians typically feel that accomplishments should be pointed out by others, never by the person him-/herself. In fact, the very act of pointing out your own accomplishments will often lead Norwegians to conclude that those accomplishments can't possibly be very great, since you felt you had to mention them yourself. The myth that it's a negative reaction to "the accomplishments and assets of other individuals" is perpetuated by certain people (mostly politicians and celebrities, who aren't typically very humble, even in Scandinavia) who attempt to derail legitimate criticism and garner sympathy by claiming to be victims of the "Law of Jante".
While I'm at it, I'd like to point out that the column by Viveka Adelswärd referenced to substantiate the claim that this (the Law of Jante as described in the article) is "an attitude towards individuality and success common in Sweden and the rest of the Nordic countries" actually discusses what Adelswärd refers to as the myth that envy is a particular Swedish national trait. Maitreya (talk) 12:23, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
Sorry but I don't believe you'll find any reliable source to substantiate your subjective POV here, nor do I believe you'll find more than perhaps 5% of Swedes who'd agree with you, abandoning the POV of the vast majority that Jante is quite an ugly thing. I've only ever heard it defended by people whose envy of other people's accomplishments is so rabid that they are oblivious as to how unbecoming that is to them. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 23:54, 11 March 2013 (UTC).
I'm not defending Jante. I'm saying that Jante, as you define it, is not actually very common in the real world (specifically, in Norway). If anything, I would agree with your hypothetical vast majority of Swedes that stigma against accomplishment, when it does occur, is an ugly thing. I will admit, however, that I did perhaps mistake a discussion about the correct definition of a concept in a work of fiction for a discussion about the realities of life in Scandinavia, for which I apologize.
On the other hand, if you were referring to my last paragraph about the reference in the article, I was not expressing any particular point of view, but merely pointing out that there is in fact no reference in the article substantiating the claim that the Law of Jante is "an attitude towards individuality and success common in Sweden and the rest of the Nordic countries", since the reference provided is "not what it says on the tin". Maitreya (talk) 13:24, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
I realize this is an very old discussion, however I feel the article still has an unjustifiably negative tone to it. Like Maitreya said, in modern Sweden it is used as a negative reaction to lack of humility. Not to "hammer down the nail that stands out", as the Japanese proverb goes, nor is it as the article currently claims:
Generally used colloquially in Denmark and the rest of the Nordic countries as a sociological term to negatively describe a condescending attitude towards individuality and success, the term refers to a mentality that de-emphasises individual effort and places all emphasis on the collective, while discouraging those who stand out as achievers.
This is simply plain out wrong, the law states "You're not to think you ...", often in relation to "us", meaning that there is nothing stopping me from thinking, and saying, that other's are great, as long as I do not think I am great myself. As was previously mentioned, that's how it is used today, not to hammer people down. When I first read this article I got the impression that whoever wrote it doesn't understand the concept at all... P.S. I'm Swedish. A-fil (talk) 16:11, 19 July 2015 (UTC)

Too old to know my language?[edit]

Perhaps I am an American too old to be able to write correct English anymore. " good as we" etc. was corrected by a Swede who (like so many Swedes) wants to teach us English, and wants us to have slang " good as us" etc. I am reverting that and asking the question again: am I too old? SergeWoodzing (talk) 21:25, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

Too old, or perhaps too young? Face-wink.svg After all, it is only since the 18th century that (certain) grammarians have mandated that than be treated as a conjunction rather than a preposition. decltype (talk) 07:57, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

A man no mightier than thyself or me (...)

— William Shakespeare, The Tragedy of Julius Caesar
Thank you!
So which is correct in the Year of Our (?) Lord 2011?
  • You are no better than me.
  • You are no better than I.
Are both? SergeWoodzing (talk) 11:37, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
I personally prefer "... than I" for anything but the least formal of contexts. However, Merriam-Webster, for instance, has an entry for both than (conjuction) and than (preposition). The OED also concedes that (...) despite the objections of prescriptive grammarians (...), it is standard accepted English to use [than followed by an objective pronoun]. So I guess it would be fair to say that both are correct. decltype (talk) 11:14, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

We should use whatever is in the published English translation. See below. --Hurven (talk) 11:23, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

English wordings of the law[edit]

Where does the English wordings of the Law of Jante in this article come from?

In the first version of this article, the words are different [4] with a much more clear Biblical reference. "You shall not". This was replaced by someone who said the original isn't in "Old Danish", so it shouldn't be in old English here. [5] Where do those words come from?

The English translation of the book, from 1936, is on Google books. [6] Searching for the word "law" I'm not allowed to see the actual wordings of the law itself, but it's obvious that this translation uses even older biblical English: "Thou shalt not".

If someone took their time to dig out a copy of the English translation, that would be great. Meanwhile I think this article should be labelled with a warning that it contains home made translations - that the law stated here is not a quote.

I moved the page to the name of the law found in the English translation of the book. Obviously we should use published translations when available, and indicate when translations are made up by Wikipedians. Otherwise we are creating neologisms, which is exactly what Wikipedia shouldn't be doing. --Hurven (talk) 11:22, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

Removed unsourced claims under The Law today[edit]

This is the original research I removed:

Today, the Law of Jante is still an attitude that is deeply embedded in the everyday life of Scandinavian society and culture (in all three countries), and is instilled at a young age, and generally acknowledged to be the correct behaviour for all ages, permeating all areas of business and endeavour. As a result, it is widely regarded as appropriate that success or fame should not be sought, although if it comes, it may be enjoyed.
In Sweden the Law is often understood as having to do with economic achievement and social hierarchy (close to concepts such as humility and envy), while in Denmark, it may also be used to describe the negative attitude towards people who are culturally or socially standing out from the norm, but not necessarily more successful or higher-ranking. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:44, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
Obviously pointers to the Jante law are often used in Sweden and Denmark as a catchphrase, a pseudo-explanation (a model or politician saying "I've never obeyed the Law of Jante that says one should walk at the same pace as everybody else and accept to be ripped off by the state" - implicitly there's a claim that 'the others' are behaving that way and think that way) or a blame game. It's basically the same as British clichés about the dodgy, badmouthed underclass or fat Arab sheikhs with suitcases full of money, overdressed wives and private jets buying up the country, except that the Jante law is tagged as something supposedly entrenched in the "national culture" of one's own country. But only in how others live and view this national culture. That kind of talk is easy to find in political campaigning, pulp newspaper writing and so on around Scandinavia but it has no real standing in science, social/political studies, history or ethnography. (talk) 16:35, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

Advertisement? Right? You judge please.[edit]

I think this last line on the page is an advertisement-- but you judge please.

Thanks. Rednblu (talk) 21:13, 25 September 2015 (UTC)

yes, not a suitable link. i've removed it. Peregrine981 (talk) 09:13, 26 September 2015 (UTC)