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https://www.duolingo.com/Joeyshere

Scandinavian/Nordic Languages

Joeyshere
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Hi y'all,

I have noticed that the Scandinavian languages have not been submitted to Duolingo Incubator. I think these languages would offer more options for users to choose from.

The five that come to mind are: 1. Danish (Denmark) 2. Swedish (Sweden) 3. Norwegian (Norway) 4. Finnish (Finland) 5. Icelandic (Iceland)

Some of these languages are Germanic languages. This means that they show similarities, in sentence-structure and verb conjugations, to English, Dutch, and German.

I hope that some of you may have connections to people that speak one or more of these languages, that would be willing to contribute to Duolingo's Incubator. I know that users would really appreciate any additional options for language selection.

Thanks:)

4 years ago

167 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/AndreasII
AndreasII
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I am a native Norwegian, and I've applied to help create the Norwegian -> English course for the incubator. I have no idea whether I'll be accepted, or when Norwegian will be considered a priority, but hopefully I'll be able to start making the course at some point, and maybe the reverse course too.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JenGresham

I always get confused on the nomenclature of Duo courses. Are you offering to create English for Norwegians or Norwegian for English speakers?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AndreasII
AndreasII
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I applied to the English for Norwegian speakers (which I would write as Norwegian -> English). Though the reverse course would probably be of more use, the Other language -> English(/other prior Duolingo language) is the only type of course being made in the incubator now.

That being said, I would love to be able to help making the English -> Norwegian course too!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JenGresham

Gotcha. I'll keep my fingers crossed!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlfonsX

Love it! Can't wait to learn Norwegian!!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/seanrosk
seanrosk
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I would also love to make people be able to learn our language.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/addyaddyxx

Can you please try and make a Norwegian for English speakers?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/annika_a
annika_a
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https://www.duolingo.com/annika_a
annika_a
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I assume the same team create both courses, so the way I wrote my applications was to volunteer for either direction...

Normally, I think Duolingo would first want to build the Other Language --> English (e.g., in this case, English for people who already know Norwegian). But in the case of the Nordic languages, as hdcanis wrote below, it would probably be a bit pointless, as most Nordic people who are Internet users already know English quite well.

Either way, both courses will probably be built eventually (Norwegian --> English and English --> Norwegian), but they'll start with one before adding the other.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/IngridMH
IngridMH
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I know a guy who is in the process of starting on the Norwegien-English version right now. As he says himself, a Norwegian-English version is much less interesting than an English-Norwegian one. All Norwegians learn English in school anyway, but it isn't that easy for people outside of Norway to go the other way. However this turns out, things are going on in the wings. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HerrArbo
HerrArbo
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What type of Norwegian will they be making a course for? I'm no expert, but is there not two main rival forms of Norwegian? I think one is called Bokmål or something similar.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/heivoll
heivoll
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This will most certainly be the root of an never-ending discussion between the Bokmål and Nynorsk camps - as you can see in other places in this thread already ;)

You are correct in that there are two written languages, and no real standard for speaking - just a big variety of dialects. Bokmål is closer to the dialects around Oslo and in Eastern Norway, and is by far the most used (88% or something), while Nynorsk is closer to dialects in the Western Norway.

Personally I think it makes most sense to, and also is most likely to, either just use Bokmål and a sort of standardised Oslo dialect, or to have two separate courses where the Nynorsk one uses a Western dialect. I think starting out with Bokmål makes most sense because it is most used, and because you will be able to understand a lot more films (subtitled and whatnot), newspapers, books, etc from learning that. But there will definitely be others here that disagree.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HerrArbo
HerrArbo
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Thank you! I saw the other comments after writing mine, but I am glad I left it, as this was a well thought out response.

Does "Nynorsk" mean "New Norsk" or something similar? That is how I miss-read it in my head.

I guess the most widely used is the most logical variant to teach learners.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HalvorSa
HalvorSa
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Yes, I means New Norwegian, and was made by Ivar Aasen (1813-1896). You can read more about him here, if you're interested: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivar_Aasen

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/heivoll
heivoll
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Yes, that's exactly what it means: New Norwegian :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/fer84
fer84
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You are right! The "New Norwegian" was/is an attempt to get rid of the "Danish" influence.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dan.hunt

Some of my ethnic heritage is Norwegian. I would be very interested in learning Norwegian so I could speak to my relatives in their language not mine.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Stigjohan
Stigjohan
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A Norwegian - English course would be useful for the immersion section, I for one would love to translate articles to Norwegian from English (and eventually from other languages!).

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/saschambaer
saschambaer
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Finnish is not related to Germanic languages. You're also forgetting Icelandic, which is particularly interesting because it is much more conservative than the other Germanic languages (even more than German).

Edit: I do have some Danish friends that I can ask if they'd be willing to help out here.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Alf42
Alf42
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He never said Finnish was Germanic - as a matter of fact, he said some of these are Germanic languages. He was also not attempting to create an exhaustive list of languages. Many of those he listed make sense in terms of many other countries' ability to easily access their content in the mainstream media. Most of us can easily see crime dramas in all the languages he mentioned, for example. Icelandic, much as I would like to learn it, not so much. Faroese and Frisian even less.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/annika_a
annika_a
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I think the original post was edited between the first comments being written and now. Hence the discussion about Germanic vs. non-Germanic. It would be good if people acknowledged their edits, so as to not confuse other readers later on.

Regarding Icelandic, I have enjoyed reading Arnaldur Indriðason's crime fiction, of which some (I think) has also been dramatized for tv. Frisian wouldn't be considered Nordic, right?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/saschambaer
saschambaer
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Frisian is a Western Germanic language iirc, which means that it's closely related to German, Dutch and English, and a bit further away but still quite close to the North Germanic ones.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/fer84
fer84
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I'm currently reading Arnaldur Indriðason in a German translation !! Just the extensive use of the non-formal "Du" is strange (but I think quite authentic to the nordic culture)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/annika_a
annika_a
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Oh yes, I forgot to mention that all my Icelandic reading has been in translation as well.

I can't comment on Icelandic, but "You/Sie" is indeed quite rare in the Nordics in general. I tend to use it in professional settings, if the customer is elderly and not someone I know that well, and even then they quite often "protest" and demand that we say "you/du" to each other... :-) It is a sign of respect, but it also creates a distance that may or may not be something you want.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Alf42
Alf42
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No, but it is Germanic. You're right though, the thread is about Nordic and "Scandinavian" languages.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Joeyshere
Joeyshere
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That sounds great! Thanks for your response.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gorn61
gorn61
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Finnish is part of the slightly eclectic Finno-Ugric group, along with Estonian (to which it is very similar) and Hungarian. It's generally viewed as not being part of the Indo-European family. It isn't part of the Baltic family of languages (Lithuanian, Latvian and the now-extinct Old Prussian).

To turn this into a proper pedants' corner ... Finland isn't a Scandinavian country, either, but is a Nordic one :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Joeyshere
Joeyshere
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Thanks! I learn something new every day :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Joeyshere
Joeyshere
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Ah, you are right. Finnish is a part of the Uralic language family, which includes Hungarian, Finnish, and Estonian. I learned something new. Thanks :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gorn61
gorn61
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You might also be interested that at least some linguists view Korean as a closer relative of Finnish than our European languages. The theory goes that these languages are relics of the extreme reaches of where the Mongol peoples reached.

On the Baltic languages, many hold the view that Lithuanian is the language closest to the theoretical "proto-Indo-European" parent of our modern IE languages.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cr48laptop

There's also Albanian, which is a direct descendant of Proto-Indo-European, unlike, to my knowledge, any other European language.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/saschambaer
saschambaer
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Actually, all European languages would be direct descendants of PIE. Think of it as a family. Just because your mom has a sister doesn't mean you're not a direct descendant of your grandmother.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Joeyshere
Joeyshere
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Very interesting. Thanks :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gorn61
gorn61
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Hah - our messages crossed, with me posting my reply as you edited yours and posted this one :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Joeyshere
Joeyshere
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Whoops! Thanks for your feedback :) I learned something new :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EleniaT
EleniaT
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I'm particularly interesting in pretty much all of these languages (although I've heard from a native that Finnish is really boring - I would still like to learn how to pronounce all those vowels!)

I'm doing Swedish on lingQ.com (for which there is a free version, but it's pretty limited so I shelled out a WHOLE $10! for the first upgrade.) It's nice that there is a version available without subscription, though, so you can try it without subscribing. It's particularly nice because you get a feel for the way words are pronounced, which is often VERY different from how they're written!

If you're interested in doing less intense work on it and waiting for the languages to enter the incubator, maybe try listening to music, if you haven't already. I picked up a bit of Norwegian listening to Kaizers Orchestra, and if you want/like them enough to find out, I know a link to a site with translations of their songs as well as the original Norwegian :) For Swedish, I have been recently introduced to Loke Nyberg, but that might be more of an acquired taste!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pont
pont
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I'm particularly interesting in pretty much all of these languages (although I've heard from a native that Finnish is really boring - I would still like to learn how to pronounce all those vowels!)

Lies! Finnish is one of the most fun languages I've tried to learn. I think your native speaker was just being modest and self-effacing :).

I picked up a bit of Norwegian listening to Kaizers Orchestra

They're great! Apparently their dialect of Norwegian is a little unusual... to me it sounds closer to Swedish than standard Norwegian does.

For Swedish, I have been recently introduced to Loke Nyberg

Wow, thanks for the pointer! This is great stuff... I'm enjoying his "ADHD" on YouTube now.

In exchange, I can recommend to you Doktor Kosmos, Svenska Akademien, Movits!, and Cornelis Vreeswijk...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EleniaT
EleniaT
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She has a serious bias to all things England, so it was probably that pushing her to call Finnish boring! I've never heard it spoken, but it looks so interesting when written. (I tend to think of it as the other half of Welsh, just because there are so many vowels!)

Yeah, I've heard this about the Kaisers too. I haven't heard much standard Norwegian - mostly dialects - so I have no point of reference. But they'r brilliant. I'll forever live in regret that I only found out about them last year :(

Oh, I love ADHD! His voice is awe-inspiring. Thanks for the recs! Listening to Doctor Kosmos now, very fun music. Looking forward to found out what the lyrics mean :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pont
pont
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I've thought exactly the same about Finnish, except with Czech rather than Welsh! (In Czech you can write a whole sentence without needing a vowel.) By the way, as to the pronunciation, it's incredibly logical: every letter has one sound; doubled letters are pronounced for longer; and for a diphthong you just pronounce the vowel sounds in the order they're written. Emphasis always on the first syllable.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hdcanis
hdcanis
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Yeah, there are couple of relatively obscure exceptions with slight differences between pronounciation and writing, such that many natives get those wrong too (e.g. "in the heart" is written "sydämessä" but typically pronounced with long m) but for the most part pronounciation is easy. Especially if one speaks e.g. Italian.

Though most foreigners do struggle with double consonants and vowels, it takes a bit of practice to get them right. Often they don't really matter that much but a classic mistake is to confuse verbs "tapaa" and "tappaa" ("to meet" and "to kill").

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EleniaT
EleniaT
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Wow! Czech is on my list, but it's pretty low priority. I think I'll bump it up now, though ;) Ah, thank you :) that does make so much sense - if only all pronounciation systems were so regular! Knowing that also makes the prospect of looking at a page of Finnish text far less daunting :D

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/heivoll
heivoll
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Hah, cool to see that Kaizers actually introduce some people to Norwegian! As for Norwegian dialects, there's not really any "standard" spoken Norwegian, although the dialects around Oslo is most similar to Norwegian Bokmål and mayhaps the easiest one to pick up on. Kaizers are from Stavanger (western Norway), so their dialect is a bit more harsh than Oslo-area dialects - though far from the weirdest one ;)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EleniaT
EleniaT
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I also have a Norwegian friend, so being able to talk to her in Norwegian would be my main aim. (Also, I would like to see the look on her face if I suddenly come out with a phrase or two :P ) I love that there are different dialects, even if it might make things confusing for poor outsiders like me :P it makes things much more interesting!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AabLevellen

Cornelis Vreeswijk is a good advice since his style is quite slow and well pronounced. And really fun - his songs are full of humour and he plays with the language. He is one of three swedish song writers we learn about in swedish schools; the other two are Carl Michael Bellman (from the 18th century) and Evert Taube (like Vreeswijk, from the 20th century).

Bellman wrote a lot about drinking alcohol, Taube about sailing to Argentina and Vreesvijk about most everything.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/saschambaer
saschambaer
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Finnish was Tolkien's favourite language. I think that alone should say something.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hdcanis
hdcanis
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At some point it was quite typical for researchers of Germanic languages to study also some Finnish, because it was noted that Finnish had picked up a nice amount of loan words from Old Germanic (before it had split into current Germanic languages) and had kept those loan words closer to the original form than any of the actual Germanic languages...so I guess that influenced Tolkien learning the language in the first place (and then using it as the basis for Quenya)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Alf42
Alf42
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Finnish is definitely not boring! Have you ever studied an agglutinative language? Wow!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EleniaT
EleniaT
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I haven't ever studied one in earnest, but the very thought of agglutinative languages makes me happy :D Like I said, I think my friend is just biased against Finnish because she likes English so much, and also because it's her native language (for me, I'm only beginning to see English as more interesting as I make more friends for whom English is a second language. I'm also amazed at the brain-power of all these friends, as they all speak English far better than I do!)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Germanlehrerlsu

I've been studying Turkish for 2 years and definitely agree w/ Alfiev. I'd love to see DL add Turkish to its offerings.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chris_nairn
chris_nairn
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I've never really benefited from music for languages. I know I'm opposite from most. For that matter, it has always been hard for me to get English lyrics, so, there you go! Anyway, I love Lykke Li, but she sings more in English than Swedish.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EleniaT
EleniaT
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Fair enough! For me, music and reading are usually the best way to learn things but everyone is different. I want to try out some films as well but that will probably be no help to me until I have a better understanding of words and sounds. And I'll check Lykke Li out :) even a little bit of Swedish might help.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chris_nairn
chris_nairn
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Reading, yes! And with regard to that, I found traditional classes helpful with languages. I still prefer to learn verbs the way we did in school. It's efficient. But,funny enough my brain is acting up on me and doesn't want to learn the patterns these days! LOL! I'm doing it more by feel as a result. So, who knows...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EleniaT
EleniaT
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I've been reading Let The Right One In in Swedish for almost a year now, and I'm still only twenty pages in. I would say the difficulty is more in making myself read it than in understanding. I find patterns are easier to pick up in Swedish than in French or English, but maybe that's just because I haven't gotten to the complex stuff yet! I still find it easier to sit down and learn tables of verb conjugations but with regards to sentence structure and when to use which form of a verb I also stumble along blindly. I think when you're exposed to a language enough, it does get easier. Rules tend to confuse me rather than help me!

EDIT: Also, the lingQ course is centered around reading. Sadly there's no grammar at all, with the idea being you just pick it up, or read up on it bit by bit. There are other aspects of the site that irk me - the fact that different forms of words aren't grouped together - but it makes reading in another language MUCH easier.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CecilieO.

let the right one in (la den rette komme inn?) is an amazing book though, really creepy... have you seen the swedish movie? I can recomend that too, even though they have changed the story a little bit from the book...

You could try reading Astrid Lindgren in the original language as well, if you want something a little bit simpler ;)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EleniaT
EleniaT
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CacilieO. -> No, I haven't seen the film yet. A friend lent me the book in English years ago, with high recommendations. I read it, loved it, and wanted to see the film (which she also has) only to find out that she hadn't read the book and wanted to read it before watching the film! I've been waiting for her to watch it, but now that my interest in learning Swedish has increased thousand-fold, I doubt I'll be waiting much longer.

I also read the Pippi books when I was younger (in English, of course), and always wanted to reread them. It never occurred to me to find them in Swedish, for some reason, so thanks for that :D

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sead00dle
Sead00dle
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I LOVE Kaizers! They are fantastic. Also if you go to their official website, they have some behind the scenes videos of their last tour with english subtitles. A great way for those who know english to listen and learn some Norwegian! Such a pity they are taking a break right now =(

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EleniaT
EleniaT
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Yeah, I only found out about them a few weeks before their New York gig :( A helpful website for non-Norwegian fans is: http://kaizers.konzertjunkie.com/lyrics.php?lang=en It's fan run, and there a fan translations of their songs along with the original lyrics :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sead00dle
Sead00dle
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Yea I was really bummed to miss their only ever gig in America since I'd been following them since 2005. Here's the video link: http://www.kaizers.no/videos/ if you watch the one "On the road to Spektrum", you'll see what I mean =)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EleniaT
EleniaT
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Thank you! I'll check it out :) Hopefully they'll come back, and/or we'll have an Opera of Violeta Violeta to help ease the pain of the break. Fingers crossed!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Oli0808
Oli0808
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Is German more similar to Norwegian than it is to English? I'd love to learn Norweigan, especially with the next step to Swedish being very easy to pick up! You almost learn 3 languages for the price of 1 haha.

The entire Norwegian culture seems excellent although I only know this from watching Lilyhammer and Troll Hunter :p

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CecilieO.

Yes, german is closer to norwegian than english. English is a strange mix between romance language and germanic.

Norwegian grammar isn't as complex as german grammar, but norwegian has a lot of exceptions to every rule that you just have to memorise... and all the strange dialects :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HalvorSa
HalvorSa
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As a native norwegian who learnt a little bit German at school many years ago, I would say that it's maybe easier to understand the German words than the English words, but the German grammar is quite different from the Norwegian, and that's the part I found somewhat difficult to learn.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/annika_a
annika_a
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I think German grammar is just generally more complex than that of many other Germanic languages (at least the ones I know: Swedish, Dutch, a bit of Norwegian). So that should be good news for anyone wanting to learn Norwegian! :-)

(Learning Dutch from a German-language book was funny: For example, the rules on adjective endings are similar in both languages, but in German you have whole tables of different possibilities, while in Dutch you just have either an -n or no ending... Of course Dutch has its own peculiarities, but after having learned German as a foreign language, Dutch was a breeze.)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HalvorSa
HalvorSa
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As mentioned, I know a bit German. Many years ago I got some Dutch Donald Duck comics, and I was amazed of how much I understood of that language, just based on my German knowledge. When spoken, Dutch is much harder to understand though!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/annika_a
annika_a
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Yes, it certainly takes a while to connect the spoken with the written.

And then there are many, many different accents! In Flanders, which only has about 6 million inhabitants (well, in this thread where the topic is Nordic languages, that sounds like a lot), people from the west coast often get subtitled on tv in order for the rest of the native speakers to understand them...

So the rest of us need not feel bad if we have problems understanding! :-)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/saschambaer
saschambaer
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Icelandic has an even more complex grammar. There, everything has to be declined. And the plural is also split between the three genders. Also, impossible pronunciatons

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Germanlehrerlsu

Norwegian which was my minor in grad school back in the Viking era is very close to both German and English: a lot of vocabulary is incredibly similar to German, while sentence structure mirrors that of English a lot. Verb structures are especially easy, particularly when compared to other languages, e.g., German.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Onoszko

Me and my friend applied to contribute to the Swedish course on the very day that the incubator was launched... Either our English isn't good enough, or Duo's making an active choice not to pick Swedish before the bigger languages.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kryddost

I'm Swedish and I just applied to help out with "Swedish for English speakers". We'll have to wait and see if anything happens :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/fer84
fer84
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You are awesome ! Have somr lingots!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/annika_a
annika_a
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I have been wondering about Norwegian: Would a Duolingo course be using bokmål or nynorsk?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/IngridMH
IngridMH
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Ideally, I think it should definitely give the learner the opportunity to make an informed choice between the two. Nynorsk has the advantage of being closer than bokmål to much of spoken Norwegian.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/annika_a
annika_a
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Interesting. I assume a course could allow the user to translate into whichever of the two, but I can't see how both could be taught in one course without confusing the learner. (And with so many languages to teach, two separate courses would probably not be a priority.)

With the courses involving English, both American and British spelling is accepted, but Duolingo only uses the American one. The same goes for Dutch (which is even explicitly called Dutch from the Netherlands) and its Flemish variations and spelling.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AndreasII
AndreasII
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I would definitely make the Norwegian course in bokmål, and not accept any nynorsk translations (though liberal bokmål can be quite close to nynorsk). Mixing the two would only make for confusion, and bokmål is much more used than nynorsk.

Maybe a separate nynorsk course could be made later.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/annika_a
annika_a
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Thanks for the information! Why wouldn't you want to accept answers in nynorsk, as well, though? I'm just asking out of curiousity...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AndreasII
AndreasII
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Mostly to avoid confusion.

To use an example, the sentence "I am not a boy." would be "Jeg er ikke en gutt." in bokmål and "Eg er ikkje ein gut." in nynorsk.

The two written languages shouldn't be mixed in proper usage, so a sentence like "Jeg er ikkje ein gutt." would never be correct. For people with a tenuous grasp of the language, I think it would be very confusing if either a bokmål or nynorsk sentence would be accepted, but not something in between.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CecilieO.

It should be only bokmål in my opinion, there is such a small minority that uses Nynorsk that it makes little sense to teach it first.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CecilieO.

The argument of nynorsk being closer to spoken norwegian has been made many times to me as well, but... it's not true. Nynorsk is based on dialects from the middle of the country, and then it has been modified trough a lot of reforms to make it more similar to bokmål.

Following the rules of my northern dialect does not help me when trying to write nynorsk.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chris_nairn
chris_nairn
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It sounds as if it will be a footnote in the history of the language...at least for now!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HalvorSa
HalvorSa
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That depends on where in Norway you are. Sure, Nynorsk has some similarities with the dialects at the western part of Norway, and maybe even some parts of the inner eastern Norway, but Bokmål is the main language in Norway, and the one most used. The dialect spoken in Oslo for instance, is closer to Bokmål.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/IngridMH
IngridMH
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You are absolutely right. It does depend on where in the country you are. But I think you are vastly overestimating the portion of the country where Bokmål is more similar than Nynorsk to the spoken language. I would say it is limited to most of the eastern side of the mountains in the south, and then some areas in eastern Finnmark, all the way up north, leaving most of the country, geographically speaking, to varieties closer to Nynorsk. The differences that will be noticeable for someone who has learnt from a tool like Duolingo are the recurrent differences in personal pronouns, negations and verb conjugation, and of course the eventual monopthong/diphtong-differences. Sure, the differences are not enormous. However, someone with knowledge only of Bokmål will probably experience an intial phase of some confusion as soon as they leave the urban south-eastern part of Norway. Countries like Germany have a spoken standard, which makes life A LOT easier for foreigners learning the language. Norway has no such standard, and thus, having at least a little experience of using the written form that is actually based on what most dialects have in common should be a good aid for someone preparing themselves for meeting the mayhem of oral dialects that constitutes Norway.

Of course, if one is planning to do much Norwegian READING, it could be wise prioritizing Bokmål, as this form has close to monopolized the Norwegian media.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HalvorSa
HalvorSa
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Well, I’m not sure I agree with you that it’s only the south-eastern and north-eastern parts of Norway that have a language closer to Bokmål than to Nynorsk, and I believe that the majority of the inhabitants of the biggest cities feel that Bokmål is a more natural language to use than Nynorsk. The Bokmål/Nynorsk discussion is a very sensitive one though, and many Norwegians have very strong opinions about these languages. The number of pupils in the Norwegian schools, having Nynorsk as their main language, is at a decrease though. In 2011 this number was 12,8%. I also think that anyone wanting to learn Norwegian, and use this knowledge to understand Swedish and Danish as well, will get an easier task by choosing Bokmål, as I believe this language is closer to these languages than what Nynorsk is. Some more information can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nynorsk

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CecilieO.

I, and most other people I know, switch to a more "standardized" form of norwegian when speaking to a foreigner/non-native. But I do the same when speaking when speaking with people of a very different dialect as well ;)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JenGresham

I would so dearly like to learn Norwegian! My husband and I are both of Norwegian descent, and recently returned to the farm where his great-grandfather grew up and some of the family still lives. Although the youngest generation speaks English, the others do not speak English at all and I would love to return for a visit and be able to speak with them directly. Wonderful people and what a fabulously beautiful country. We are now about to move to Seattle, where there is also a sizable Norwegian community, so in theory I'd have people to practice with. Hope this happens!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/giftit
giftit
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They have Norwegian language classes at the Nordic Heritage Museum in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle. Check it out when you arrive.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JenGresham

Wonderful! Thanks for that tip!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Germanlehrerlsu

A suggestion: Try Pimsleur's Norwegian. They only offer 1 level, of 30 half hour lessons, but all of their language courses are outstanding. I've used them for Italian and Turkish in addition to their Norwegian and they're an excellent way to learn & practice the spoken language. That said, Pimsleur is NOT recommended for someone trying to learn using a traditional grammar method. There's no teaching or practicing of grammar in the traditional sense. There's also no emphasis on writing. It's entirely oral/aural. But it works! A link to a short "cartoon" intro to their method is: http://www.youtube.com/user/PimsleurApproach?v=8beh6KowA8A&feature=pyv&ad=10586952065&kw=language%20learning

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kimberlytylr
kimberlytylr
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Glad you mentioned this! Norwegian is one of the other languages I have been studying that I cannot practice with Duolingo and it makes me quite sad. Duolingo is such a fun way to work with languages that I spend most of my time here and my Norwegian is getting brushed aside. I say the more languages the better!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Joeyshere
Joeyshere
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Totally, the more the merrier. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elen-ka
Elen-ka
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I would love to learn Swedish! :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/reggamej

I am a native swedish speaker. Feel free to contact me if I can be of any assistance.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/fer84
fer84
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Have you already considered to contribute and write a formal application ? Here is your chance ! http://incubator.duolingo.com/

Many would thank you!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/annika_a
annika_a
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I hope the popularity of this thread enhances the probability of one or several Nordic languages emerging from the Incubator soon! :-)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Joeyshere
Joeyshere
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Me too. I would love the opportunity to experience these languages.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Don_Cristian
Don_Cristian
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Finnish is my native language, I speak fluent swedish and estonian too. I would definitely contribute somehow all these languages.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/spetz
spetz
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I have applied in making norwegian (bokmål) possible to learn for english speakers.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Joeyshere
Joeyshere
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Thank you so much! :-)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chris_nairn
chris_nairn
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I would like to see that but I want Dutch first! :) I'm playing around with German on duolingo and I didn't mean to. I've been trying to study Dutch for about a year but haven't advanced at all. I thought I'd then later add a Scandinavian language and then German. This site is so user-friendly that I got sucked into German and Italian(which also was a language I didn't want to bother with until much later).

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Joeyshere
Joeyshere
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Duolingo is so user-friendly. I have started practicing with every language offered on duolingo currently. Why not, right?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chris_nairn
chris_nairn
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Agreed. I'm moving slow on Italian because it's low priority right now. Next slowest is Portuguese, which is my favorite. I need to wipe out some stumbling blocks with Spanish and French before really diving in. German is brand new for me other than cognates with Dutch(of which, I only know a few words anyway) and/or English. I've been going pretty strong with it and have now started getting to a point where I can tell my progress is going to slow for a while.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Joeyshere
Joeyshere
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Yes, duolingo takes a lot of time and commitment. I think it is well worth it though. I have been on duolingo since last June.

If you're doing well with Spanish, I would advise that you also work on Italian simultaneously. I find that if you are good at Spanish, Italian is much, much easier. The only difference, is really the vocabulary. French is a little more difficult than Spanish, just because of all of the rules, pronunciation differences, and sentence formations.

I am so excited for Dutch too. My cousins were born in the Netherlands and speak Dutch fluently. They now live in the USA, so they speak English too. It would be fun to learn a little Dutch :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chris_nairn
chris_nairn
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In some regards, I have always found French easier than Spanish. There's something a bit obscure aside from so many obvious English cognates that makes it so for me. Certain past and future are easier than Spanish.

The spelling can be as absurd as English. That is one thing I like about Italian and Spanish and for that matter Portuguese from what I've learned.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Joeyshere
Joeyshere
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Yes, definitely. I live in California, so I speak Spanish all the time. It is nice because the words are spelled exactly as they sound. French, there are too many silent letters. It is harder for me to spell and understand them. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chris_nairn
chris_nairn
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Si, hablo Espanol mucho en Tejas, tambien.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Joeyshere
Joeyshere
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Claro! Me gusta hablar en español pero a veces, quiero hablar en aleman también

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chris_nairn
chris_nairn
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Gracioso. Vivo in el lugar incorrecto de Tejas a hablar Aleman, tristamente.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Joeyshere
Joeyshere
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Entiendo. Yo también. Jajaja:)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chris_nairn
chris_nairn
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There are some areas where German is spoken here. Czech too. Oh, and French but I think all of those are dying out and I don't know how butchered they are by now because it is only because of very old settlements. Obviously, English and Spanish are dominant en Tejas!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/celebrim
celebrim
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I'm native in Swedish. :-)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chris_nairn
chris_nairn
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I like the sound of Swedish. I hope to learn it one day. As an English speaker with a slight knowledge of Dutch and German, I can understand a word here and there.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/celebrim
celebrim
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Swedish is a Germanic language. I don't really like German grarmmar but I feel I'm actually also connecting to my own language as I learn more and more German.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chris_nairn
chris_nairn
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Do you find that German grammar is overly complex?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Joeyshere
Joeyshere
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German's grammar is notorious. Haha. But still I love it

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chris_nairn
chris_nairn
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It's not too bad at the beginning. I've just started, so, I haven't gotten to anything too terrible yet. I am really enjoying it on duolingo. It makes me really want Dutch lessons on here as that is the Germanic language I really wanted to learn first. Gift horse, and all that, right! :) I am nearing level 6 in German and about to begin the Animals section.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/celebrim
celebrim
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Yes. English only has one noun gender. German has three, which then propagate a multitude of "extra" rules into various grammar.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/celebrim
celebrim
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Unfortunately Swedish has two noun genders so people who are willing to learn have great difficulty with this. Two things that are simpler in Swedish than English though is that there is no distinction between have/has or there is/are, it's always "har" or "det finns".

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chris_nairn
chris_nairn
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Understood! I wish English had more so that I'd be more readily able to deal with them. How about Swedish, or other Scandinavian languages, are they more like English in that regard?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/attcat23
attcat23
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I would love to see these languages. I want to try a little bit of Icelandic...not for any reason in particular other than I think Iceland is a really interesting country.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Joeyshere
Joeyshere
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It would definitely be great to have as an option

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chris_nairn
chris_nairn
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I like Bjork a whole bunch.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tonywangtj
tonywangtj
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I want to learn Norwegian! <3 the country!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/StefanoSolgreno
StefanoSolgreno
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I like Your taste ;)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sannap
sannap
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I applied for Finnish as soon as the Incubator was released last year, but I haven't heard anything since. I assume Duolingo is currently picking only the most popular languages and ignoring the smaller, not so popular ones. Which is a shame!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/annika_a
annika_a
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I only applied recently, and in the automated email reply it said, among other things, "We plan to get back to you over the next few weeks.". I would be curious to know whether you got the same reply back in the autumn...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sannap
sannap
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I must have deleted that email already, but yes, I remember getting an automated confirmation that my application was received. After that, nothing. The communication isn't perfect from Duolingo's part, so I've decided to rely on the discussion board to keep myself informed. People here notice pretty quickly and alert others when new languages are being added.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/annika_a
annika_a
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OK, not a good sign regarding the chances of a Finnish course in the near future... Oh well, peukut pystyyn!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sannap
sannap
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Odottavan aika on pitkä :)

We'll get it someday, just have to wait until Duolingo gets the whole Incubator to work so that they don't have to monitor everything as much as they do now. At least I believe that's the main reason.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/annika_a
annika_a
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For being a fellow Finn, you are displaying an uncharacteristic optimism, but also a very characteristic belief in the functioning of the system... ;-)

Hopefully we'll get to be collaborators one day!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Willow_Wisp

I would love to learn Norwegian or Icelandic!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hdcanis
hdcanis
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I'd expect some of these might show up soonish, Nordic countries are typically quite well represented in various Internet sites and I expect plenty of us are here too.

That said, it might be a bit demotivating to create an "English for ..." course for these languages since I'd guess most native speakers of these languages already know basic English (or, like my mother, don't use Internet anyway), so I wonder if those courses are that useful...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/celebrim
celebrim
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It should be Swedish for English speakers and we who are native should help out. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AabLevellen

Yes you are right. But it is a matter of time, endurance/patience and language skills. We need to know both Swedish and English really really well. Even if we think we know English well, those skills are not always not enough to teach our language to others! And it is really difficult to teach others one's native tongue. We learn much of it unconsciously. But if we were many contributors, and some with (next to) native English skills and some with university studies of Swedish, then it would be doable.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AabLevellen

I agree that English for Icelandic/Norwegian/Danish/Swedish/Finnish speakers would not attract many learners since we think that we already know English well enough. But these courses would probably be quite useful for brushing up our previous knowledge and deepen it. I know I do learn some English from the English for French speakers course, as well as from these general forums and the Immersion texts.

But I agree that the other way around courses would probably be much more popular and that it would thus be a good idea to start with them.

Or with the other language combinations: German for Swedish speakers, French for Norwegian speakers, Spanish for Danish speakers, Brazilian Portuguese for Icelandic speakers and Italian for Finnish speakers for example.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hdcanis
hdcanis
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You are right that few of us nordics actually know perfect English (I know I regularly make mistakes on e.g. prepositions...) , but I'd guess for many of us the limitations are higher than the usual scope of Duolingo courses. I have understood that most courses here will land you somewhere between A2 and B1 levels, while for most Nordics studying English here it might make more sense to start on that level...

Of course that might be affected by the way the tree is stacked, run quickly through the basics so they won't feel like grinding and dedicate more lessons on tougher issues, more complicated structures and wider vocabulary.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nateVONgreat
nateVONgreat
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I REALLY want to learn danish and finnish, I don't really care for the others, but it is really hard to learn those languages on memrise.com. XD

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/michaelfdk
michaelfdk
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I am a Dane myself and would love to contribute to Duolingo's Incubator. Unfortunately, this does not seem to be possible at the moment.

I agree that there are a lot of similarities between e.g. German and Danish. This fact has made it much easier for me to learn German and so do I think it will be for English- or German-Speaking persons to learn Danish.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/annika_a
annika_a
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Do you mean that it not possible because you can't choose Danish-->English (or English-->Danish) in the incubator? But you can: you can choose "Enter Other" in either menu, and for example English in the other.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/michaelfdk
michaelfdk
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Yeah, I figured that out. Thanks :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/germanwetzel

I would love of they added those languages then I can speak a much more languages.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/StefanoSolgreno
StefanoSolgreno
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I am Norwegian. And I am really interested to make a Norwegian course! And Nynorsk and Bokmål, as we say it, is what we use to write. Nynorsk is kind of a mix between all the dialects in Norway as it was some 200 years ago, when Ivar Aasen went all over Noway and collected dialects and what he got was Nynorsk. The dialect from the place I come is more like Nynorsk actually but we use Bokmål at schcool. And, Yeah, it is very similar to both Swedish and Danish. And it will be quite easy to learn by People that speak Germanic Languages.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Joeyshere
Joeyshere
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We would truly appreciate if you applied to make a course in the Duolingo incubator. Thanks

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/StefanoSolgreno
StefanoSolgreno
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Done it. Wonder why Danish and Swedish now are in the incubator, but Norwegian isn't... Off course Swedish is spoken by more people, but. I hope it'll be there soon.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Joeyshere
Joeyshere
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Ironically, I was thinking the same thing this morning. I am sure that the Duolingo staff is working on making the addition of Norwegian. I would guess its arrival within the next few weeks.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/miticalex
miticalex
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I bet that Norwegian course will be added as soon as Danish reaches beta stadium. Cause Danish skill tree can be just copied to Norwegian.. Grammar is almost the same,.. the only job is to correct Danish sentences to sound more Norwegian, as I suppose that you shound correct zero, maybe one or two words per sentence? It is almost foolish to develop those two courses in parallel, cause it doubles the time spent for the job. The way I predict, job for you, Norwegians will be much easier... Does this supposition makes sense, Stefano?

Jeg ønsker deg lykke til i denne jobben :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/StefanoSolgreno
StefanoSolgreno
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Beta. That'll take a while ..., won't it? Yeah, you're right there. Shouldn't all of the languages be made up by the same words, etc, so the only thing to do would be to translate it? Thank you! :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/miticalex
miticalex
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Yes, it is true that the set of basic ~2000 words is pretty much the set of the same words (by meaning) in all the languages... But what I wanted to tell is that grammar sections and lessons in DA and NO are REALLY pretty much the same, cause you utilise the same tenses, same definite articles same rules for noun inflections... And as I learned, when I attended the Norwegian classes (for 3 months), abot 80% of the words are EXACTLY the same in written language, and about 10-15% are very similar... Isn't it..... Btw, Danish is progressing really fast. They have finished 25% of the course in 6 days... So they will probably reach beta till the beginning of July, or at least till the end of July :).. Here is the graph of their progress: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/12yrVZijvLLTiKgUTORPJvnmgIgdlWRY8A3Tz8DukKVU/edit#gid=0

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/miticalex
miticalex
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Unless you want to work on NyNorsk... But I really assume that Bokmal will be added first, then NyNorsk.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/StefanoSolgreno
StefanoSolgreno
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Bokmål is what I've learned at school, so that's what I have been asking for. Actually I am wondering to get really into Nynorsk as my writing language and learn to use it for real. It will be easier and better for me, 'cause it is closer to my dialect and I think it's way cooler.x)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Wizek
Wizek
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Oh, what a nice thread going on here! Hello everyone. :)

I am really glad that Danish is finally going forward, and at such high speed, too! (speed is 3.2%/day so far. Source: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/12yrVZijvLLTiKgUTORPJvnmgIgdlWRY8A3Tz8DukKVU )

There is a sister-thread about Danish going on here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/1304335

And I have a question, too: Is it at all possible to start using a half-finished incubator course? I mean, Danish is already at almost 20%, and it is highly unlikely that me eating through it will be quicker than the fine folks producing the course (>3%/day!).

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Joeyshere
Joeyshere
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Unfortunately, this feature is not available. It's an all or nothing right now. But I like that idea.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bjarkehs
bjarkehs
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The problem would be that we still change a lot in the early skills if we figure that something is missing or should be introduced later.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NicolaeBut
NicolaeBut
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I really hope the release Norwegian.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MatthewSmi90977

I'm going to start Italian, but I'm really hoping for Norwegian for English speakers soon!!!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/auroralei
auroralei
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Norwegian would be really great, especially with people looking into their college programs

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Devonpaige1989

Is Danish almost ready? :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Joeyshere
Joeyshere
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As of today, it says it should be ready tomorrow. But they keep just moving the date forward, day by day.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bjarkehs
bjarkehs
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Hey, I just wanted to say that the date is "Estimated Completion Date" not Launch. It estimates when we will be done with every word in our course. We still have to test the language and get a text-to-speech.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Devonpaige1989

So shall it be done more likely in the fall then? Cool that you are doing this!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nelsonshmellson

Hei, hey! Anyone know what is going on with Scandinavian languages here? Was just looking for an update since this thread began six months ago. I want to become fluent in norwegian. I just finished studying in Norway, unfortunately i didn't learn that much when i was there, now i have given myself a deadline of taking the bergen test this time next year so no English speaking for me...is duolingo creating a norwegian learning section, does anyone know? Also, judging from my friends over there, whose English is almost better than mine (I'm a native speaker), i would imagine there ain't much call for English learning tools here. Their kindness and ridiculously good English plus my total embarrassment is the reason my norwegian is still bad after two years...

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Nyamea

Hi, I am bilingual in Norwegian and English and would love to contribute to both courses. Nyamea

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/team44
team44
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I have also applied to Norwegian for English speakers although if Andreasll has already applied 8 months ago and Duolingo haven't given it the go ahead then it could be a while yet, after all Norwegian is most likely not at the top of their to-do list (of course we all agree it should be! :) team44

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Germanlehrerlsu

Thank you for contacting DL about Norwegian. Hopefully it will be offered at some point in the future. Until then, try Pimsleur. Their system is excellent and though they only offer `1 level (unlike Italian e.g.), it nevertheless does help.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/team44
team44
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No, sorry I wasn't clear. I applied to contribute to it although thanks for the tip anyway.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Germanlehrerlsu

Ikke noe takke for! :-)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Germanlehrerlsu

I'm using DL for Italian now and would love to have them offer Norwegian which I've studied for some years on and off.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/zhebrica
zhebrica
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Another English speaker chiming in for Norwegian! I have a dear Norwegian online friend whose English is near-perfect (I take it this is not uncommon for Norwegians) and I would love to return the favor and learn her language.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lactury

I've just applied for the English > Norwegian course to Duolingo Incubator, and I really hope I get to make this course!

3 years ago