https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wilkinstay

Norwegian for duolingo?

Has anyone applied? Is this course in the works or has it been said they arent going to do anymore Norse languages after Swedish?

September 13, 2014

33 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/swtoby

Both Danish and Swedish have been added a while ago, so it would only be fair for Norwegian to be added as well. I'd highly welcome it! :)

I was wondering why it hadn't been added yet the other day and one of the possible reason for the delay could be that Norwegian has two official ways to be written (Bokmål and Nynorsk). The Duo team might be having issues there with which version they want to teach.

Since I don't have much knowledge on Norwegian and the differences between Bokmål and Nynorsk, perhaps a native Norwegian could enlighten us a little more about this issue?

September 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndreasII

I am Norwegian and I applied for the incubator some time last year.

If the problem is the Bokmål vs Nynorsk issue, that's very sad. It is really not an issue, as most Norwegians would agree on. I grew up in Northern Norway, where Bokmål is used, but have been gradually using more Nynorsk the last years, and I am a Nynorsk fan. Still, even to me, there is no doubt that Bokmål should be the language used on Duolingo (until a Nynorsk version can be made in the future (I hope!)). Everyone who knows enough Norwegian would know that to accept both Bokmål and Nynorsk translations would be a terrible mistake, and not teach anyone proper Norwegian. Since Bokmål is by far most widely used, it is the only logical choice.

September 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alek_d

Bokmål first would be the natural choice if you look at it from a learner's point of view as most published Norwegian is written in Bokmål. For Duolingo I would imagine that it depends as much on what the volunteers for creating the course want.

September 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/3IRIK

Do you know if there is a way to contact the duolingo organizers? I would really like to know why they haven't begun this course. If we knew why, maybe we could do something about it. To me it seems like we have enough people to begin. I'm really anxious to learn Norwegian (although it would still take a while to incubate).

September 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luke_5.1991

I'm no Norwegian, but I am a bit of an amateur Norway expert (I wrote a 30-page thesis on this very topic). Bokmål is the variety roughly 85-90% of the country uses and the one almost all non-Norwegians learn first. Nynorsk is a creation by a Mr. Ivar Aasen, who strung it together in the 19th century by cafeteria picking grammar and vocabulary from less Danish-sounding western Norwegian dialects. Both forms of the language are perfectly kosher in Norway, and all Norwegians are taught how to use both of them.

What Duolingo should do is perfectly clear: teach Bokmål, accept Nynorsk translations, and maybe, just maybe, add in a Nynorsk skill here or there. Many Norwegians I know speak and write in a bit of a mix, mostly in Bokmål but with three genders, which is more the style of Nynorsk. The tricky thing about this is that there is no one "standard" Norwegian language, but when push comes to shove, Bokmål comes out the clear winner.

September 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fveldig
Mod
  • 22

Accepting Nynorsk in a Bokmål course wouldn't make any sense, since that would just complicate the job for the course makers. Besides, very few in Norway are proficient in both Nynorsk and Bokmål, and it would probably just cause confusion for learners.

Nynorsk and Bokmål have their distinct set of rules, and attempts to merge the languages in the past have been very unsuccessful. So nobody actually mixes the languages. Writing in both Bokmål and Nynorsk would just be very bad Norwegian. Bokmål does indeed have three genders (although one is optional), and that's not because of Nynorsk, so I don't know where you got that information from.

September 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luke_5.1991

I'm reading a book right now by Per Petterson called "Ut og Stjæle Hester," and while it's written mostly in Bokmål, there are elements of Nynorsk present. He inserts a lot of "i"s into words like "aleine" and "veit", uses the "a" ending for the past tense: "virka" and not "virket", and uses words that are distinctly dialect, like "sjøl" instead of "selv." This is what I mean by blending of the two standards, but perhaps you could call it "insertion of dialect" instead. It doesn't matter what you call it, but that's what I hope would be acceptable translations, obviously not what's taught (the same way standard characters are accepted in the English for Chinese-speakers course). I really don't think using "ein" instead of "en" or "kva" instead of "hva" will break Duolingo. It's those minor differences that need to be permissible.

It is, as you likely know, mandatory in Norway for all grade school students to be proficient in both. The standards are ultimately not so far apart that someone proficient in Bokmål wouldn't be able to read a Nynorsk newspaper. I'm not a native speaker and learned Bokmål, but am able to read 99% of Nynorsk just fine without a dictionary.

September 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fveldig
Mod
  • 22

That would be an example by "insertion of dialect", because that's not considered standard Bokmål. It's not uncommon for authors to do this, but it would never be allowed on a Norwegian exam or in newspapers.

Mixing Nynorsk and Bokmål would cause some weird sentences with the mix of Nynorsk syntax and Bokmål spelling, and is not allowed. As I said, they're two different languages. Trying to learn both would just confuse new learners and make them write really bad Norwegian.

I am getting this information from having recently finished the Norwegian equivalent of High school, and most people would have severe trouble writing whichever they're not used to. Yes, people can easily read Bokmål/Nynorsk, even by only learning one of the languages, but few master both languages. And while it's mandatory to learn, few people continue to use the other one after school, so they probably won't keep their proficiency for too long.

September 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luke_5.1991

I do understand your point, and I admit you've exposed my ignorance on this issue as a non-native. I didn't mean to dictate what Duolingo should do; obviously the course needs to be created with the judgement of a native-speaker such as yourself.

September 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alek_d

These are not so much elements of Nynorsk as a radical form of Bokmål. There is a lot of leeway in how to write Bokmål, both "vet" and "veit" are perfectly correct. This will create a lot of work for the moderators. I guess the same must be a problem for the English course with alternative spellings such as "harbour" and "harbor", "analyze" and "analyse", "litre" and "liter" etc.

The course should probably have a strict and consistent housestyle for what it presents to the learner, and a much more accepting style for what it accepts from the learner. In my opinion moderate Bokmål is the way to go as it is the most common variety.

September 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/swtoby

Thanks for the explanation!

September 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luke_5.1991

Vær så god!

September 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fveldig
Mod
  • 22

I think the phrase you're looking for is "Ingen årsak!" or "Bare hyggelig!", "Vær så god" means "Here you go" or "Please"

Edit:

@afeinberg: Ingen årsak :)

@Poonasj: I'd argue that it can be translated to 'please' in some circumstances, although you're correct that "vær så snill" is the most common way of saying 'please'.

September 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luke_5.1991

I've heard it used as "you're welcome" before, but, nevertheless, thanks for the correction.

September 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Poonasj

"Vær så god!" means "You're welcome!". Please would be "Vær så snill".

September 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fsdf7987987

Many people have applied to create the course already, I have no idea why it is still not in the incubator.

September 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luke_5.1991

I know my friend has (a native Norwegian with better English skills than 99% of Americans), and I've seen at least five Duolingoers from Norway comment that they have as well. Norway is one of the most literate, bilingual countries on earth. It's baffling how they haven't found a team yet. It may be a TTS issue, is what I'm thinking.

September 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/eriicaaa

I hope it will be added soon, I've been using the NoW course from NTNU, and this blog http://norsk-elg.tumblr.com to get a start on Norwegian, but I think the Duolingo course would be easier and more fun. As for the Bokmål or Nynorsk issue, I think Bokmål would be chosen because it's used more than Nynorsk. As far as I know, the only differences are in spelling, and I think Nynorsk uses the feminine gender articles more than Bokmål. Correct me if I'm wrong, though, I don't really know what I'm talking about. :-)

September 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Poonasj

Hi! There are some minor grammatical differences as well. I am currently a bokmål user, but I am thinking about switching to nynorsk in formal communication. :-)

September 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Poonasj

What is your motivation for learning Norwegian? Just curious! :)

September 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/eriicaaa

Hmm... well for one I really like the sound of the language, it's got a bit of a musical note to it and it's fun to speak (for some reason I really like to say the phrase "Hyggelig å hilse på deg"). I'd also love to visit Norway someday, maybe more than once :-) (although from what I've heard, many Norwegians speak English, so I probably wouldn't need to know Norwegian).

September 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Garrl

I would absolutely love to see a Norwegian course. I have a lot of well documented Norwegian heritage and the language has always been of great interest to me. Hopefully it might be coming soon! And thank you for linking that blog.

September 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ijoni

I've said before and I repeat it: I would like to see Nynorsk. Bokmal and Danish are about the same and learning Bokmal after learning Danish or vice-versa wouldn't be learning any new language at all. I consider Nynorsk the true Norwegian language.

September 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Poonasj

I think that's a valid opinion. If you learn how to read Danish, reading bokmål wouldn't be too hard. However, the pronunciation is very different, and many Norwegians don't understand spoken Danish. I would be thrilled if people from all over the world started learning nynorsk!

September 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ijoni

I just love Nynorsk.

September 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alek_d

Learning Norwegian Nynorsk would not be like learning a new language either. Nor would learning Swedish. The Scandinavians languages are mutually comprehensible. If Scandinavia had been one country instead of three, there would probably only have been one common written language.

September 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ijoni

I agree. I think they should make efforts to make their written languages intelligible.

September 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fveldig
Mod
  • 22

The biggest problem about Nynorsk is that there is no official way of speaking it, and so it would be pretty difficult to teach the pronunciation of it. Besides, while Bokmål and Danish look very much alike, they're still unique languages with their own set of rules. A Dane would would have trouble passing a Norwegian writing exam.

September 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Poonasj

If you listen to NRK, the national broadcaster in Norway, you would hear both standard nynorsk and bokmål.

September 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fveldig
Mod
  • 22

I might be mistaken, but could you please cite some sources for this Standard Nynorsk? I cannot seem to find any... I know Standard Østnorsk i the standard for Bokmål, but I've never heard of an official way to speak Nynorsk. I'd gladly correct my OP if what I wrote isn't true.

And I won't take NRK for an official source, since they have no say when it comes to the official rules for the Norwegian languages.

September 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alek_d

There is no official standard for spoken Norwegian, but the same is the case in most countries.

In NRK newsreaders speak as they write in their own accent and intonation. There is no problem with comprehension. Just as no American would have any problem understanding a Brit reading an American text.

A Norwegian course would probably do the same as NRK newscast, base it on the written language and leave out dialect-specific words, forms and syntax. It would have been cool if you could personalise the TTS based on what area in Norway you're interested in. That could be cool in other languages as well. English - choose Californian, Oxford or some other accent. German - choose between Hanover, Vienna og Zurich.

Bokmål is often read in Eastern accent as NRK is based in Oslo. Nynorsk is often read in Western accents as there are more Nynorsk users in that part of the country.

September 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Adu542226

They are adding bokmal right now. About 37 percent until beta

March 10, 2015
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