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https://www.duolingo.com/EinarSig

Swedish or Norwegian?

EinarSig
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I'm trying to decide which one I want to learn. And before people say it, I understand the grammatical and phonological differences between the two languages so I don't have a problem deciding on that.

My main worry is that Norwegian has so many different dialects and I'm scared that every Norwegian person I practice with will speak in a way I won't understand (Because I can only learn Bokmål) - I tried to use google translate to understand what my friend texted me and even Google Translate couldn't make heads or tails of it.

So I'm wondering if Swedish has a similar amount of dialects or is it more regular? - would it be more worth learning Swedish in that case?

2 years ago

24 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/SusannaG1
SusannaG1
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Although Norwegians have different dialects, there is a basic understanding of each other. They all will know what you mean, and if you spoke to a Norwegian with a different dialect and they answered back with theirs, you would probably know what they meant. As for Swedish, yes they have different dialects also. I think either would be a great choice.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/WildSage
WildSage
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I say both!

It would help if you can tell us a little bit more about why you are considering these two languages.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EinarSig
EinarSig
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Originally I wanted to learn Icelandic but I couldn't find a better resource which worked better for me than Duolingo - there's no Icelandic course so I thought I'd settle for a different North Germanic language (not Danish because I have a Danish friend and the sounds she makes when she speaks it just elude me sometimes ^^;) I'm not learning it for travel purposes though - just a personal interest.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/WildSage
WildSage
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I haven't found Danish to be as pleasant as the other two, just based on the sound of the language. And I'll risk mentioning this on the Norwegian forum, but I love the sound of Swedish best. Both languages have been fun and surprisingly easier than I expected.

The bonus with the Norwegian course is the length. It is very full right now. The Swedish course is supposed to update later this year but right now you can get a fuller experience with Norwegian.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aistobe
aistobe
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I think if your ultimate interest is Icelandic, you might want to go with Norwegian. And correct me if I wrong, but I think among the offered languages on Duo Norwegian is the closest (albeit not very).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kubelnaby
kubelnaby
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Well, every single country in the world has dialects and they usually differ a lot. Under this point of view, I guess it can't be different in Sweden than it is in Norway: what is really different is that Norwegians tend to use their dialect a lot. I personally like it, because I think it makes Norway so peculiar and somehow richer, I don't know of any other Countries where dialects are so highly regarded.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PumpedUpKickz

UK and Germany have a lot of dialects and they're proud of them. Actually, I should imagine all countries are proud of their dialects.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/shadey1337
shadey1337
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There is one country, where people use their dialects in almost all settings and almost all the time. And it's Switzerland, unlike in Germany or the UK, where people often adjust their way of speaking in formal settings or in public and stick to using their dialect merely among their relatives and close friends.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EinarSig
EinarSig
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I'm sure it's fine if you're going to Norway for a holiday or moving there or something because, well, you can just focus on learning the dialect of the place you're going to - but a foreigner learning it without visiting Norway at all yet still wanting to converse with natives all over. It makes me worry a little is all.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kubelnaby
kubelnaby
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It would be interesting to have the opinion of a native here, because they would of course give you a more precise answer. Anyways, Norwegians study both Bokmål or Nynorsk at school, and around 80% (if not more) study the former as the main standard, so it is not like they can't answer to you in Bokmål, it's just that they are more likely to talk to their neighbor or at the grocery store in dialect.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mandiras
Mandiras
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Opinion of a native here. While most people can write Bokmål proficiently, most of us won't speak it very often, if at all. Unless your native dialect is already quite close to Bokmål, using it orally is about as unnatural as for a Brit to talk using American English or vice versa. People will frequently adjust or replace peculiar words with a more Bokmål-like form when speaking to someone who isn't familiar with their dialect though.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EinarSig
EinarSig
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That's a good point - that makes me feel a lot better actually ^^

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tattamin
Tattamin
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As far as I know (mainly from translating an article here in Immersion), Bokmål is what is taught at (most) Norwegian schools, making those growing up with Nynorsk kind of bilingual.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tattamin
Tattamin
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I hope you don't expect an unbiased opinion in the Norwegian forum? ;)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EinarSig
EinarSig
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Wasn't sure where else to post it ^^;

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aistobe
aistobe
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A quick perusal of this article says that Swedish does have dialects.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sierra835846

I have learned Norwegian on Duolingo and my gramma speaks fluent Norwegian and she can understand me very well. She speaks the dialect from ringebu. But I went to a Norwegian festival with people from all over Norway and they can all understand each other so I don't really think it matters on the Norwegian side. I have yet to learn Swedish so I could not tell you the difference. Hope this helps a little!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/shadey1337
shadey1337
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You HAVE LEARNED Norwegian on Duolingo? Huh, kudos to you.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DragonPolyglot
DragonPolyglot
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Well, here are some statistics to take into consideration:

  • Swedish and Norwegian both have a huge range of dialects depending on region, but there are only slight differences in pronunciation and maybe words.

  • Bokmål is the preferred version of written Norwegian (see here)

  • If you know Norwegian or Swedish, you can understand one from the other extremely well. You can also understand Danish better just by knowing Norwegian, however Swedish and Danish speakers have a harder time understanding each other's languages.

  • I don't know about Norwegian actors, but Swedish actors are trained to "loose" their dialect of Swedish so they can be well understood throughout the country. I would assume Norwegian actors do the same. This means that if you speak the most standard form of either language, you should be fine.

Hope this helps you.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EinarSig
EinarSig
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Thank you! Have a lingot!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Liz2800

I say you should learn Norwegian because it bridges the gap between Swedish and Danish

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EinarSig
EinarSig
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Takk for hjelpen ^^

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KiriharaFarsk
KiriharaFarsk
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Swedish!!!!!!!!!!

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/brittalexiswm

Both! You will be understood in each country.

2 years ago