Norwegian Dialects

The Norwegian dialects are commonly divided into 4 main groups, North Norwegian (nordnorsk), Trøndelag Norwegian (trøndersk), West Norwegian (vestnorsk), and East Norwegian (østnorsk). Sometimes Midland Norwegian (innlandsmål) is considered a fifth group.

The dialects are generally mutually intelligible, but differ significantly with regards to accent, grammar, syntax, and vocabulary. If not accustomed to a particular dialect, even a native Norwegian speaker may have difficulty understanding it. Dialects can be as local as farm clusters, but many linguists note an ongoing regionalization, diminishing or even elimination of local variations.

Normalized speech, following the written languages Bokmål and Nynorsk or the more conservative Riksmål and Høgnorsk, is not in common use, except in parts of Finnmark (where the original Sami population learned Norwegian as a second language), in certain social groups in the major urban areas of Norway, in national broadcasting, and in courts and official decrees.

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