Local experiences in Norway: the Nynorsk LIP!

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2006/10/13 16:47 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2006/10/13/823105.aspx

Ah yes, it has happened again. As we all knew, it could not end with اردو, Inuktitut, മലയാളം, Qhichwa Simi, فارسی, isiZulu, ಕನ್ನಡ, नेपाली, Afrikaans, कोंकणी, Setswana, বাংলা, తెలుగుਪੰਜਾਬੀ, Lëtzebuergisch, and татарча, now could it?

Norwegian's Nynorsk now has it's own XP Language Interface Pack, and you can get it it right here!

Some info about Nynorsk (via Soren!):

Nynorsk is not a language but one of the two official standard variants of Norwegian, Bokmål being the other one.

Due to the complicated topography of Norway (Think fjords!) there has always been a multitude of diverse dialects for Norwegian. This and the fact that for centuries Danish, language of the long-time rulers, was the official language have contributed to Norwegian not having one official variant as it exists for other languages.

When Norway gained independence from Denmark in 1814 a nationalist-romantic movement hoped to create a literary standard. In the 1850s the poet and linguist Ivar Aasen developed an orthography (mostly based on the west Norwegian dialects) which was called Landsmål and which became the official written language in 1885. Landsmål was renamed to Nynorsk in 1929.

Still, Danish had become so established (especially in the urban centers such as Oslo) that people kept using their Norwegian variant of Danish, called Riksmål and renamed to Bokmål in 1929. Since the beginning of the 20th century, Bokmål - under the influence of Nynorsk - has become more "Norwegianized".

Today Nynorsk is used by 10-15% of Norwegians, i.e. by around half a million people, while the majority uses Bokmål. 92% of all publications are in Bokmål. Broadly speaking, Nynorsk is seen more in rural areas, especially in Western Norway.

A state policy to merge Nynorsk and Bokmål into one language, called "Samnorsk" (Common Norwegian), by gradual spelling reforms was started in the 1930s but finally abandoned in 2002.

On a slightly more personal note, the Nynorsk LIP release gives me a bit of hope that there is enough interest in providing 'local experiences' (which I have talked about many times before) that there may finally be some interest in addressing the issue. :-)


This post brought to you by (U+ff2e, a.k.a. FULLWIDTH LATIN CAPITAL LETTER N)

# Charles Bocock on 19 Oct 2006 12:06 PM:

I saw Nynorsk in the list of IE7 localizations and started frothing at the mouth.

I'm really pleased that Norway, a country with a population of 4m people has two dialects localized.

England (I'm keeping this simple), on the other hand, a country with a population of over 50m, doesn't not have its one dialect localized.

One day... one day...

Norwegian on 28 Jul 2009 7:20 PM:

I love it. I have used it for some time and it's a really good translation!

A lot of people wonder why there are two Norwegian translations when the population only is 4.83 million. The grammar is pretty much the same in both standards, but the words are different. That made it easier for them to use automatic translation (which reduces the costs a lot). This is a sample sentence in bokmål (first) and nynorsk (second) demonstrating how large the difference can be:

Piken melket geiten sent om aftenen på seteren.

Jenta mjølka geiti seint om kvelden på sætri.

In former times, the difference was even bigger, but still it's only the words that are different:

Piken melket gjeten sent om aftenen på seteren.

Gjenta mjølka geiti seint um kvelden på sætri.

(the difference is a bit bigger than colour/color :-))

Gisle Forseth on 29 Jul 2009 5:37 AM:

The difference is indeed big, as "Gjenta" means "repeat", not "girl" as "Jenta" is, I presume this is a typo, or is the automatic translation really that bad off?

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referenced by

2008/07/11 What kind of English were you looking for? We only seem to have one in stock....

2007/06/15 The last XP LIP? We'll head it off at the Pas[hto]

2007/06/02 Azeri zeriouz LIP releaze

2007/03/03 And it won't cost you an arm[enia] or a leg, either!

2006/12/01 Curious Georg[ian] gets a LIP

2006/10/31 Mapudungun is not a map to a dungeon

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