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Norway Languages

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The FamilySearch moderator for Norway is SteuartRC

Most materials used in Norwegian research are written in Norwegian. Although you do not need to speak or read Norwegian to do research, you do need some knowledge of the language to understand the records. You may also find some Latin words in Norwegian records.

For word lists and help researching in Norwegian records, see:

Because Norwegian grammar may affect the way words appear in genealogical records, the words in a dictionary or word list may be slightly different from their appearance in records.

Background[edit | edit source]

Most of the people in Norway speak Norwegian, a Scandinavian Germanic language closely related to Danish. There are two variants of the language: official Norwegian [Bokmål or Riksmål] strongly influenced by Danish; and country speech [Landsmål] also called new Norwegian [Nynorsk] which is based on local dialects. There are also communities of Lapps or Laplanders and Finns who came to Norway thousands of years ago. Many minority languages are now found among the recent immigrants.

Language Aids[edit | edit source]

See the Norwegian-English list of genealogical words. A Norwegian-English dictionary can also aid you in your research. You can find dictionaries, and similar language aids at many research libraries.

A useful dictionary is:

Cappelens Store Engelsk Norsk Ordbok and Kunnskapsforlaget Aschehoug - Gyldendal's norsk engelsk ordbok by W.A. Kirkeby (Cappelens Large English Norwegian Dictionary and Kunnskapsforlaget Aschehoug - Gyldendal's Norwegian English Dictionary by W.A. Krikeby). Oslo, Norway: J.W. Cappelens Forlag, 1988 and Oslo: Gyldendal Norsk Forlag, 1986.

Another useful dictionary that is also on microfilm is:

Scavenius, H. Gyldendals Ordbøker; Norsk-Engelsk og Engelsk-Norsk (Gyldendal's Dictionaries; Norwegian-English and English-Norwegian), Oslo, Norway: Gyldendal Norsk Forlag, 1945. (FHL film 1,224,705, item 4)

Additional dictionaries can be found in the Place search of the catalog under:


and in the Subject search of the catalog under: