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Nynorsk course (or somehow adding it to the Bokmål tree)?

Now that we have Norwegian (Bokmål) for English speakers, do you think we'll get Nynorsk? I know it's never going to be possible to teach every dialect of Norwegian but it would be interesting to learn to read and write Nynorsk, whether as its own course or by somehow adding it to the Bokmål tree.

Edit: moved to the Norwegian forum.

August 5, 2015


  • 2075

I think the idea is cool, but I don't think adding Nynorsk as a "bonus skill" on the Bokmål tree is very appropriate. Nynorsk is one of the two official written standards of Norwegian, and should be treated as one (after all, there are almost 800 000 "native users"). Optionally, perhaps it could serve as a short term solution.

That being said, I would be incredibly happy to contribute! There are definitely enough people to start a new course, as Nynorsk's consistent suppression in Norwegian media has made a lot of people more passionate about the language (more than what's usual, I guess).

So, this is up to Duolingo. Lots of people, me included, have submitted applications to hopefully contribute to a new Norwegian Nynorsk language course.

Also, Nynorsk has multiple affiliated organisations that are dedicated to work with these kinds of projects, so I think there's a lot of potential for a big community.



I'm fully behind you on this. I'm a massive supporter on better Nynorsk education -- especially considering how abysmal it is within Norway. If we can get more non-natives to use it maybe we can change the tide of opinion...

On another note, I read an article in Issue 2/2020 of Motmæle (the organisational newspaper for Norsk Målungdom) which mentioned pushing for a Nynorsk Duolingo course, so there's definitely a backing from at least some people within large organisations.

  • 2075

That's great. Cool to hear there's (still) talk about it in Målungdomen. Fingers crossed.

FYI there used to be more content posted about a nynorsk course here on the forum, but someone (either Duolingo or the mods) deleted its votes so it drowned in everything else. They used to be some of the most upvoted posts.

So you can safely say that the anti-nynorsk movement lives here as well (unfortunately). Hah.


My farmor and farfar wrote in Nynorsk, and as much as learning Bokmål has helped me feel a connection to that side of my (adoptive) family learning to be able to read how they write would make me very happy.

  • 2075

I and several others are trying to make this happen! Please let Duolingo know in some way that you're interested in it, as it would probably get Duolingo to accept our applications sooner :)


If you lean bokmål, you'll be able to read nynorsk (as well as Danish and Swedish) without too much effort.


I know this is a somewhat old thread, but I am interested in learning Nynorsk, as I'm moving to one of those places where it's more prominent. I'm going to check out all the links provided by Mundgeirr ( https://www.duolingo.com/Mundgeirr ) (thanks for those!), but I do really like the Duolingo setup, as it's made learning the language rather easy and fun (at least for basics so far). My boyfriend has started to teach me a little of the Nynorsk differences, though, and it's different enough that it really should have it's own separate language "tree" if possible. :)

  • 2075

I think it's wonderful that you want to learn some nynorsk!

What you're saying is correct: nynorsk is different enough to have its own separate language tree. Hopefully Duolingo accepts our applications soon!


That would be great! I could contribute if there is the need.


I am learning Bokmål, but feel somehow incomplete without Nynorsk!


Here's a link to a dialect quiz in Norwegian. It's the same fairytale spoken in different dialects to give you an idea of how very different the dialect in Norway are: https://kartiskolen.no/kartquiz/task/?quiz_id=26

Bokmål is the most widely used written language in Norway, but depending on where you go you can encounter nynorsk as well. The trouble with our written languages is that there are so many varieties that are allowed, that is can make it hard to distinguish them sometimes.

In bokmål, there's a difference between the version you learn in Bergen and the one you learn in Oslo in that the Oslo version has three genders of nouns (male, female and genderless), whereas Bergen only has two (male and genderless).

In nynorsk the rules have become more relaxed, so that it is possible to write what used to be a bokmål word in nynorsk. Example "skule" (school) which is nynorsk, can now also be written "skole" (which used to be acceptable only in bokmål).

I'm positive to the idea of making a nynorsk course, or simply a bonus skill, but I think it's important to think through which version of nynorsk should be used, and which words to focus on.

  • 2075

I think creating a separate nynorsk language course would be really interesting, and even more so because of the many forms it allows - because it reflects the differences in the dialects.

Let Duolingo know if you're interested (in some way or another), and hopefully we'll get the project rolling sooner!


how can i let duo know in an appropriate way? i've already learnt nynorsk through bokmål and my love for nynorsk has convinced some friends of mine to learn it but they don't want to learn bokmål to be able to learn nynorsk. i'm trying to make some content for learning nynorsk in my native language right now (not english, my english isn't good enough) but as a lonely beginner enthusiast i have incredibly many problems to solve. so my friends and i would love the duo course <3


You can apply to help with creating a Nynorsk course here: https://incubator.duolingo.com/apply


I looked at this. It doesn't seem to provide the choice of contributing to any course not yet in existence.

Edit: Apparently I can't see. Thanks Deliciae!


Just scroll down to the bottom of the drop-down list and select "Enter Other".


I'm pretty sure that Nynorsk is being added as one of the bonus skills sometime in the future, but you'd have to check with the Norwegian contributors to be sure. Try Deliciae. She's a great helper! Additionally, you may want to move this to the Norwegian forum because that's where all the Norwegian learners go! Hope this helps :)


Pfft, stop making me blush! ;)

Yes, we're indeed planning on launching a Nynorsk skill eventually. However, it will be consisting of Nynorsk-to-English exercises, as we can't have exercises in the other direction randomly popping up for people doing general strengthening exercises - or Nynorsk hints showing for all the Bokmål sentences. Technical limitations!

As for Nynorsk as a separate course, I doubt that it's going to be a priority seeing as Bokmål is already in place and all Norwegians can read both of them, but I wouldn't rule it out completely either. Duo is full of surprises.

  • 2075

I definitely think it's possible for nynorsk to have its own separate course!

Now, I don't know what Duolingo thinks about this, but I know for a fact that there is a considerable amount of people who are passionate enough to contribute to the project.

Please let Duolingo know if you're interested so they might notice our applications :)


:D Thanks for the extra info. I hate to make you embarrassed. Sorry ;)


Thanks, that totally answers my question! Looks like Norwegian will be my next course to take...


Velkommen skal du være! :)


Hey, This is an ancient thread but I'd like to voice my opinions on this! I truly believe having a nynorsk course here could really benefit a lot of people, not only outside of Norway but within it too. A lot of non-natives see bokmål as the only option, despite the constitution officially declaring the two languages as equal. I understand that bokmål is the majority language, but should that mean that no one should get to learn nynorsk? What about those people who are moving to nynorsk majority areas? If we have people willing to create and maintain a nynorsk course (including myself -- I'm absolutely devoted to getting more people to learn the language!) then why not make on?

  • 2075

The support is very much appreciated. Make sure to enter a request at http://incubator.duolingo.com to let them know there's interest.

Unfortunately, Duolingo isn't exactly known for caring about their community (at all). But hopefully we'll get to contribute some day :)


I'm a supporter of Nynorsk and I would have preferred learning this variety, but the amount of ressources is much higher for bokmål. Anyway I might do a transition to nynorsk once I feel competent with bokmål so I can understand better different dialects and articles/books writen in both standard varieties.

I can give you the ressources I have found so far, being the best one Nynorsksenteret, which contains all the material you can imagine :D. For example:

Grammar: http://www.nynorsksenteret.no/grammatikk/index.html

Newspapers which use only nynorsk: http://www.nynorsksenteret.no/nyn/ressursbase-for-skulen/tekstar-og-lesetips/nynorske-nettaviser

Comic-like grammar course: http://www.nynorsksenteret.no/teikneseriar/123nynorsk.html

And more, just explore it yourself: http://www.nynorsksenteret.no/

Another grammar by the NTNU university you can use: http://www.ntnu.no/trykk/publikasjoner/nynorsk/files/assets/downloads/publication.pdf

Eg elskar nynorsk <3

  • 2075

Please let Duolingo know, in some way or another, that you're interested in learning nynorsk!

We're working on trying to create a separate course :)


Hei semonje! Eg har skrive deg på facebook for å diskutera saka! Det høyrast veldig spennande ut å sjå eit Nynorskkurs her :)


Thanks for adding these :) I had bookmarked nynorsksenteret.no but hadn't got around to exploring it in any great depth before my Icelandic course arrived in the post and started distracting me, so I appreciate you highlighting some useful pages from it. I'm really interested in Norwegian dialects and I've found familiarising myself with some of the basics of nynorsk has been really useful (although I can understand why not all Norwegians enjoyed learning nynorsk at school)

These were the only other sites I found. There's less information than the ones you have linked, but they might be a good starting point for others who are just dipping their toes: http://www.lifeinnorway.net/2012/04/converting-nynorsk-to-bokmal-part-one http://www.lifeinnorway.net/2012/05/converting-nynorsk-to-bokmal-part-two http://grammatikk.com/pdf/Nynorsk.pdf


Awesome resources! Thanks!


I have actually been recently interested in learning Nynorsk, as I feel it would be great to be able to communicate with 100% of the population and not just 88%.

  • 2075

Sounds great!

I think you'll be able to communicate with everyone no matter which one you choose, but there are certainly a fair amount of words the Bokmålers don't understand (mostly depending on how much they want to understand ;))

A great resource is https://ordbok.uib.no/ where you can look up words and see translations from nynorsk->bokmål and vice versa, and all of Mundgeirr links in this thread!


Yes, why not Nynorsk with some "bridge" leading to the dialects... I'd love that!


I would happily contribute. Nynorsk would indeed make it easier to understand spoken dialects from lots of places for non-native speakers. Who knows, it might even help bokmål students get more confident in using nynorsk as well.


FYI, Nynorsk is a written language, not a dialect.

It should be fairly straight forward to add Nynorsk, but I don't see why it would ever be added. Numbers vary, but it is only around 8-17% of the population that has Nynorsk as their primary written language. Most likely the amount of users will keep declining, except for in the western counties.


Couldn't it be useful to be able to understand the different dialects better? Since Nynorsk is made by combining the different dialects I would assume it could be useful to understand some parts in some dialects better? Or would that be just wishful thinking? xD

I would probably learn it out of curiosity, but from what I saw in example texts, if you know Bokmål it shouldn't really be a problem to read Nynorsk if you encounter it right?


Perhaps for foreigners it would help with understanding dialects, especially the western and western-inland dialects.

Knowing Bokmål is enough to understand the majority of Nynorsk. The most noticeably differences are the different spellings and all the words that are quite different. There's also some annoying rules compared to Bokmål.

Personally, I find writing Nynorsk is a nightmare, because some things are similar-ish to my dialect while other things are more similar to Bokmål. Having to go through this process of "translating" from my dialect, into Nynorsk through Bokmål is tiresome.

Also, it is not fun to have to constantly use a dictionary for what is supposed to be your own language. No wonder those who oppose Nynorsk came to call it "Spynorsk mordliste"*


  • 2075

Also, it's not fun to have to constantly get shit like this about something that is supposed to be your own language.

Being a majority language user is easy. If you're having a bad day, just don't take it out on minority languages and their users?


And knowing Swedish is enough to understand the majority of Bokmål. What's your point?


Are you aware that there are a lot of "bokmålsnære" forms in nynorsk, and that you don't have to write all of the "purer" words that you may be taught at school? The only real vocabulary difference is the lack of reliance on loanwords.

Also, those "annoying rules" reflect the reality of the dialect situation. Having to decline nouns differently depending on their grammatical gender is an important part of many dialects, and so it is reflected in nynorsk. I find bokmål to be much less consistent in its grammar than nynorsk, since bokmål seems to be 50% exceptions - why are there obligatory -er endings on any neuter words, for example, when I would never use these endings when speaking? Why are there any obligatory monophthongs in places where I have diphthongs when speaking?

Neither written language maps onto anyone's dialect perfectly, but bokmål fits a lot fewer than nynorsk does. Personally, I find writing bokmål is a nightmare, because some things are similar-ish to my dialect while other things are more similar to nynorsk. Having to go through this process of "translating" from my dialect, into bokmål through nynorsk is tiresome.

Also, it is not fun to have to constantly use a dictionary for what is supposed to be your own language. No wonder those who oppose bokmål came to call it "literally just Danish".


I know; that's why I think it would be interesting to learn to read and write. Sorry if that was unclear.

What's wrong with learning minority languages? We already have an Esperanto course, they're developing Yiddish and Klingon, and they've promised Mayan. Personally I'd be interested in learning Nynorsk because it's the Norwegian I've encountered on my two trips to Norway (my ex was from Sogndal!).


Nothing wrong with learning minority languages, but a minority written language within a minority language is just silly for a population of around 5 million.

Of course those who want to learn should be allowed to, I just question the demand for Nynorsk.

I personally have very bad memories of Nynorsk, being forced to learn it in school. All those hours should have been spent on Bokmål or some other subject like math or foreign languages, IMO.

And I am one of the many who would rather see Nynorsk die out, or at least no longer be forced onto people.

The language debate has been raging sincethe 1800's, and will continue to do so for decades to come sadly.

  • 2075

You're not being forced to learn nynorsk in any other way that you're forced to learn anything, in school. I'm guessing you were forced to learn about the Russian revolution as well? ;)

I believe this attitude is among the primary reasons why the number of users are declining. I welcome other people's languages with interest and curiosity, rather than some sort of hatred. Saying you'd like to see a language (MY language) become extinct is incredibly selfish, and actually something I'd expect to see less of in communities like Duolingo.

Anyway: we're working on creating a separate nynorsk language course on Duolingo, and we'd appreciate anyone who lets Duolingo know that they're interested in learning!


I'm a teacher myself, and have heard these arguments about how Nynorsk is useless before (myself, I had that very same attitude about Geography and Algebra), it just comes down to interests, and the idea that if they'd only had to study the subjects they liked, they'd have really good grades! So instead of taking responsibility for their own shortcomings, they'll invest their time in the blame-game. It really has nothing to do with the language itself, when we learned about Swedish, Danish and archaic Norwegian, the attitudes were exactly the same. It's difficult for them, so they want to avoid it.

What they fail to understand when they close their eyes like that is that Nynorsk is a really rich language, which is evident by the fact that a lot of poets choose to write their poems in Nynorsk rather than Bokmål. It's a legacy to be proud of. Also adding Nynorsk to Duolingo might even be helpful to the Bokmål students who struggle with it.

I've been jumping back and forth between Nynorsk and Bokmål myself, but I think the largest "threat" to the language is the fact that the rules keep changing when it comes to what's "allowed" to write and not. When I was learning Nynorsk school was skule, but now you can write skule or skole, so where the line is drawn between Bokmål and Nynorsk is very blurry nowadays.

  • 2075

Well said!

Although I think the differences always will be a bit blurry, considering they're written standards for (dialects of) the same spoken language.

Written standards have to adopt to the way people are speaking, and many Norwegians are influenced by the amount of Bokmål they hear in and see in the media and everywhere else - and thus nynorsk changes.

Also, while it is commonly believed that nynorsk has more optional forms than bokmål, they actually both have a considerable amount.

Example: bokmål has 16 different ways to write "øvelsesflygingen", while nynorsk has one. Bokmål has four different ways to conjugate "ku" (cow), while nynorsk, again, has only one.


When I first learned that Norwegian has 2 writing languages that was exactly what I was thinking "Isn't that extremely counterproductive and a waste of time" since it immediately made me think what if someone ever would've had the idea to make besides a Dutch writing language also a Belgian-Dutch language and we got to learn both in school. I was glad nobody ever had that "brilliant" idea. xD

Hope I don't sound disrespectful towards the people who have Nynorsk as their main writing language, maybe they look different towards it. And it's probably a bit off topic.

When it comes to demand, someone who's for example moving to a Nynorsk area would probably prefer to learn Nynorsk, same for someone who wants to apply for a government job. And even if not it's still more useful to learn than learning Klingon, I never went to a place that made me regret never studying Klingon. :')


12% of the population uses Nynorsk as their main language. There actually are no standards on the speaking language, but there are standards on the written language in Norway.


lmao nynorsk will be gone in a few years so theres no reason in learning it cuz everyone hates it so bad -norwegian

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