Language combinations for technical translations involving Norwegian:
Eisenmann Translations provides technical translations by native speakers of Norwegian into and from Norwegian for all technical fields.
For translations of financial, legal and general texts into and from Norwegian, please visit our sister site.
All texts are translated by experienced specialist translators of Norwegian into their mother tongues (Norwegian or German), as per the native speaker principle.
The roots of Norwegian are in Old Norse, which is somewhat similar to Icelandic. A great number of words from Low German were adopted into Norwegian because Low German was a lingua franca in Norway during the Hanseatic period. When Norway and Denmark united, Norway’s independence was sharply eroded; Norway’s subsequent rule by Denmark from 1380 to 1814 saw Danish replacing Norwegian as the official language. The Norwegian people perceive this period as one of foreign occupation, and it has even been labelled the ‘400 Year Night’ by Henrik Ibsen.
In spite of Danish replacing Norwegian as the official language, the Norwegian people retained their Norwegian dialects. After Norway finally gained independence from Denmark, a national Romance wave arose, and with it a national movement to revive the old Norwegian language. Norwegian was then split into two versions, since Danish had been the official language for so long: Riksmål (“standard Norwegian”) and Landsmål (“national language”).
Since 1929, Riksmål has officially been called Bokmål, and Landsmål has been called Nynorsk.
The Norwegian national consciousness, growing throughout the 1930s until 1944, meant that there were always people wanting to learn Nynorsk: indeed, it was always spoken by at least 33% of the population of Norway. This has fallen to between 10 and 12% in the 21st Century. There are several reasons for this: firstly, Nynorsk is considered a strange language in urban areas, particularly in Oslo, because the urban middle classes always refused Nynorsk due to it being based on rural dialects. This rendered Nynorsk unable to establish itself properly in the economic and political centres of Norway. Additionally, many inhabitants of the rural regions, especially of eastern Norway, consider Nynorsk to be partly artificial because it is effectively the lowest common denominator of the Norwegian dialects. Finally, the grammar of Nynorsk is more difficult than that of Bokmål, which has made the spread of Nynorsk amongst the Norwegian population even more difficult.
However, most Norwegian dialects are more closely related to Nynorsk than to Bokmål, which has phonological, morphological and other grammatical characteristics which are foreign to Norwegian. In 27% of the Norwegian regions and for 12% of the population, Nynorsk is an official language - in the sparsely populated valleys of the west and the mountainous inland. Norway has officially recognised both language forms (Nynorsk and Bokmål), however the country’s language law prohibits authorities from using one of the two languages more than 75% of the time (although this is often ignored in practice), and queries must be answered in both languages.
The language agreement in the Nordic Council also guarantees that Danish and Swedish are permitted in official correspondence. This agreement counts likewise in Denmark and Sweden.
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Updated 18 May 2014.