Talk:North Germanic languages

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Citation needed[edit]

Would we really need citations for all these statements? A lot of them seem rather uncontroversial to me. 惑乱 Wakuran (talk) 23:46, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

I agree, and have removed them all in preference to a single {{refimprove}} tag at the top of the section. I've also removed some of the most egregious bullshit, such as the idea that German speakers can understand Danish better than Swedish, while English speakers can understand Norwegian better than Danish (or something, I forget the exact wording now). Neither German speakers nor English speakers can understand any of the North Germanic languages at all unless they've learned them, or unless the sentence is very simple and coincidentally very similar to one's own language. For example: I saw a Swedish movie once where someone calls up to a man on a balcony, Kan vi kom' upp?, which I understood as "Can we come up?" even without the benefit of subtitles. But that doesn't mean English and Swedish are even remotely mutually intelligible. +Angr 10:15, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
Good job on removing that sentence. I was going to delete it earlier, but I figured that since there were "citation needed" tags everywhere else in that section, I could hardly justify removing just one portion of it. Indeed, while there are many cognates in English and the North Germanic languages, they are far from being mutually intelligible. Hayden120 (talk) 10:59, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

East and West Scandinavian[edit]

It would be great if someone with access to relevant sources could add some info on what linguistic changes distinguish East Scandinavian from West Scandinavian. Especially since there's a common perception that Norwegian shares its phonology with Swedish and its lexicon with Danish, but Swedish and Danish share neither with each other, it would be interesting to know why historically Swedish and Danish are considered to belong to the same subbranch of NGmc while Norwegian (at least Nynorsk) belongs to the other branch (together with Faroese and Icelandic). +Angr 13:43, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

It's assumed that there's been a parallel evolution historically, as far as I've understood it. Yet, that influence has been really weakened after 500 years of Danish rule over Norway and a century of significant Swedish impact. (I think since the 1800's, the main source for loanwords in Norwegian have been English and Swedish.) 惑乱 Wakuran (talk) 15:25, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Old Norwegian was closer to Old Norse and therefore also Old Icelandic and Icelandic. As far as I know Swedish and Danish did not go this route, and were slightly more close to German and English at this point. But when Norway came under Danish rule, the official written language of Norway became Danish, which severed some of the ties to Old Norwegian. However, when we came under Swedish rule later on there was a fear that the Swedes would force the official written language to be Swedish, which caused a bit of an uproar. Therefore they ended up gathering words from the dialects, which were rooted in Old Norwegian (Note: due to the geography of Norway the migration and change of dialects would be rather slow). Norwegian (Bokmål) is closer to Danish, as they made it closer to Norwegian again. Instead of deciding on having one written language Norway now has two, and both are still in use.
As I have no citations for this I will not put it in the article. It is just stuff I vaguely remember from school. - Broken angel (talk) 16:40, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

North Germanic or Nordic Languages versus Scandinavian Languages[edit]

This Article should speak only of Scandinavian Languages in the context of Swedish, Danish and Norwegian as spoken in Sweden, Denmark and Norway, the Scandinavian Countries. Iceland, Faeroe, Finland and Aland are not part of Scandinavia.Jochum (talk) 01:21, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

Mutual intelligibility[edit]

Icelanders learn Danish (or Norwegian or Swedish) as the second foreign language in school. Faeroes learn Danish as their first foreign language at school. Their is Mutual intelligibility between Icelandic and Faroese. Their is no Mutual intelligibility between Faroese or Icelandic and the three Scandinavian languages.Jochum (talk) 01:50, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

Norwegians may have a better grasp of Swedish as throughout Norway we get at least three Swedish TV channels. However as there was only one Norwegian television channel (NRK) until 1992, and TV3 had a Norwegian branch (it was considered Norwegian, but it was transmitted from Sweden, thus not a Norwegian TV Channel). TV3 had, unlike NRK, more programs directed towards children. The cartoons showed on TV3 were only dubbed in Swedish, therefore it would not be a big surprise that children who grew up watching TV3 have a better understanding of Swedish. As the influence of Danish is less now than it was before, it is more likely that the understanding of Danish will be more of a regional thing, due to certain Norwegian dialects in the South are considered to be more Danish sounding. - Broken angel (talk) 16:15, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

This (claimed) intelligibility is much dependent on actual and somewhat frequent exposure to the neigbour languages. In modern days (the past century) this is mostly attained via TV (and previously, Radio). Example: In Denmark, the people of Jutland (Jutes, "jyder") usually have a low-to-non-extant understanding of Swedish, but then they generally have a much better command of German than people in the rest of the country. To the opposite, the people of Sealand (Sealanders, "sjællændere") generally have a good understanding of Swedish, but a low-to-non-extant understanding of German. (This of course is a generalization and exceptions abound, but it is the general rule). These significant differences stem from the fact that (before digitalization) for many years (South) Jutes could receive German Television while Sealanders could not, and Sealanders could receive Swedish TV while Jutes could not. clsc (talk) 01:56, 24 December 2016 (UTC)

Should the table have 10 instead of N/A? Speaking your own language is highly applicable. It also shows that the maximum is 10. Eur (talk) 08:01, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

Family tree[edit]

When we talk about the modern languages we should scrap the distinction between the east and west North Germanic languages (using Scandinavian languages is still worse) and keep to insular and continental.Jochum (talk) 01:56, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

Grammar Phonology[edit]

Am I really alone in that I am more interested in the languages themselves, that is their phonology, their grammar, what sets North Germanic apart from other Germanic languages, than in the question to what extent they are mutually intelligible? I think that an article this big about a language group should at least have some information about the languages themselves.--Merijn2 (talk) 14:43, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

Bokmål and nynorsk[edit]

Bokmål and nynorsk are two different writing/spelling norms in Norway, they are not spoken languages. How many people prefer to spell their words in a certain way is completely irrelevant information when listing how many speakers the different languages have. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jrgen (talkcontribs) 08:01, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

I agree. Its misleading and I have removed this info.--Orakologen (talk) 20:58, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

Nordic council: "One language"[edit]

The claim that the Nordic Council has been referring to the three as one language seems dubious. The only example given is "subscribe to thenewsletter (Scandinavian language)", but that could be interpreted as short for "in a Scandinavian language" or "in any of the Scandinavian languages" . I have searched through the site of the Nordic Council for the string "Scandinavian language" and the context invariably implies that there are several different ones.-- (talk) 12:21, 15 October 2011 (UTC)

Nordic languages instead of Scandinavian languages[edit]

Icelandic, Faroese, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish are Nordic languages, only last 3 are Scandinavian. Someone should correct it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:26, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

In English they call them Scandinavian, even if the Scandinavians think this is rubbish, we have to accept it.--Orakologen (talk) 20:44, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

To use the term "Nordic" is problematic, as Nordic also includes Finnish, which is not at all related to the other languages. Sometimes the term "Scandinavian" is used, even though Scandinavia includes only Norway, Sweden and Denmark. Personally I think "North Germanic" is the most appropriate term when one includes Faroese and Icelandic. --Oddeivind (talk) 08:11, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

Languages and dialects[edit]

I have removed two Swedish dialects from the language list. I think this practice of declaring Swedish dialects to be languages has gone too far. There is some scholarly evidence, that Elfdalian can be considered a separate language, so I havent removed it, but every dialect with its own orthography is not a language. Scanian and Bornholmian also have their own unofficial orthographies. We will end up with 20-25 different Scandinavian languages if we continue down this path.--Orakologen (talk) 20:44, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

That depends on whether you are talking about written or oral languages. If you talk about oral languages, I would say that Norwegian and Swedish is the same language (possibly also Danish, although because of pronunciation Danish is a borderline case), while Elfdalian is a separate language, closer to Faroese and Icelandic than to the Swedo-Norwegian language. --Oddeivind (talk) 08:17, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

two languages called "Norwegian"[edit]

There are not two languages called Norwegian. Bokmal and Nynorsk are written standards, not spoken languages. You can't have one language in two places in a tree unless (a) there is disagreement as to its classification, in which case that should be noted, or (b) there are two languages with the same name. Neither is the case here. — kwami (talk) 04:38, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

Family tree, a dialect list ?[edit]

User Kwamikagami claims this is supposed to be a "list of dialects", please edit the header, introduction and content, if this is correct. Wikarth (talk) 19:30, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

I'm not sure if I understand what you want changed. It looks ok as it is to me. CodeCat (talk) 21:10, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

Why prevent a specific "Scandinavian language" ?[edit]

North Germanic languages includes Icelandic and the language spoken at the Faroe Islands. Together stands 20 million people whose different dialects may be more difficult to understand than one of the other Scandinavian languages, if spoken as beginners (from unrelated languages) learn them. "The Nordic countries" includes Finland, a country with fewer and fewer Swedish speaking people, and is located on the Russian side of the Bothnian Gulf, have a notably colder climate, and are not Scandinavians simply. And in the North Atlantic lives probably not more than 400,000. (Iceland 300,000 , Faroe Icelands 50,000 and Greenland also 50,000). Norwegian is usually well understood in most of Denmark and Sweden, the the other way around as well. In southern Sweden (including the West Coast) do most people also understand Danish. And most Danish understands Swedish. And of those who do not understand the two other Scandinavian languages, most have never visited that country, but can rather soon begin to understand for instance news on television. And during all circumstances can all Scandinavian speakers read both the two other languages, with very few exceptions. While Icelandic and the language on the Faroe Islands are far more difficult for Norwegians, Danish and Swedish to understand. In wrighting also. Dutch isn't more difficult than what Icelandic is. And if it wasn't for the German grammar (and the grammar alone) that would be very easy for Scandinavians to learn, I gather. Even easier than English is, but the German grammar is indeed a major problem. Anyways, I believe there is space also for an article about Scandinavian languages. Please note again, I do not want to remove this article, but just also have an article about Scandinavian languages. In order to examine similarities and diffrencies. Boeing720 (talk) 03:44, 30 March 2016 (UTC)

Scandinavian Languages and North Germanic Languages are almost synonymous. With North Germanic historically being split between the East and West Norse languages, and modernly between Continental and Insular Scandinavian languages. If you want to split it any other way, or rename the article, you have to demonstrate that is how it is named in the field now, otherwise it would be independent research and frowned upon here.Carewolf (talk) 07:59, 30 March 2016 (UTC)
"North Germanic languages" is a term used in genetic linguistics. Non-Scandinavian linguists also sometimes refer to this group as Scandinavian languages, understood as a genetic-linguistic term. However, the terms "Scandinavian"/"Scandinavian language"/"Scandinavian languages" have also been used in government usage and by the Nordic Council to refer specifically to the modern Danish, Norwegian and Swedish languages (i.e. not as a genetic-linguistic term, but a term for the group of mutually intelligible modern North Germanic languages found in Scandinavia). This more narrow, practical meaning should of course be mentioned in appropriate articles, including this one. I'm not quite sure of whether it merits a separate article. --Dijhndis (talk) 21:08, 28 April 2016 (UTC)

Origin of term "North Germanic"?[edit]

Does anybody have a clue as to who coined the term "North Germanic", and when? I know it's technical jargon from Linguistics, but what is the origin, exactly? If we can get a sourced origin for the term, the article should include it, imho. Thanks in advance for any help, and excuse my ignorance. clsc (talk) 01:20, 24 December 2016 (UTC)

"North Germanic" vs Old Norse?[edit]

The region mentioned on this page is the region where Old Norse was spoken. But, the page has little mention of Old Norse, and fails completely to explain the exact relation between Old Norse and "North Germanic". Are they synonyms? Did Old Norse evolve into "North Germanic", or was it the other way around? Is Old Norse a subgroup of "North Germanic"? A dialect? Is "North Germanic" a historical language group (and if so, in what time period did it exist? and if it didn't, what time frame does it apply to?), or is it used as an umbrella term for all the languages in this region regardless of age (ie both modern Swedish and Old Norse)? What is "North Germanic", exactly? A writtten/spoken/attested/proven language, or some meta construction? And what is the exact relation between the known, attested, language of Old Norse, and this concept/construct "North Germanic"? The page comes off very technical which may be fine for a linguist, but a layman has little benefit of it, as it is - it seems key concepts are supposed to be known by the reader, and (imho) you just can't assume that. clsc (talk) 22:16, 24 December 2016 (UTC)

North Germanic is a language family, so it's not a language but a group of languages sharing a common ancestor. It includes this common ancestor and all descendants of it. In the case of North Germanic, the last common ancestor was Proto-Norse rather than Old Norse. CodeCat (talk) 23:00, 24 December 2016 (UTC)
Thanks :) We should write this somewhere on-page; even if it's a short explanation it helps a lot! So, if I understand correctly(?), "North Germanic Languages" is: Proto-Norse, and every single language and dialect descending from Proto-Norse throughout history (and as such future developments will also be included). Or, is this definition too inclusive? It seems it's a rather large group compared to "just Old Norse". clsc (talk) 23:12, 24 December 2016 (UTC)