If you have a document in Norwegian that you need professionally translated, or if you have a message in English you need to disseminate in Norwegian, you may think it’s enough to simply purchase “Norwegian translation services.” But the truth is that the Norwegian language is a little trickier than that. Despite being almost entirely confined to a single country, Norwegian features two standardized orthographies, Bokmål and Nynorsk, with different municipalities in Norway declaring one or the other their official standard. This means that whenever you need Norwegian translation services, you have to consider whether you’re working with Bokmål or Nynorsk.
Bokmål is by far the more common standardization, used by 90% to 90% of the Norwegian population and promoted by the central Norwegian government under the Language Council of Norway. Bokmål is thus usually, but not always, used in national-level publications, meaning that those in municipalities that prefer Nynorsk can still read Bokmål well. Similarly, those in municipalities that prefer Bokmål learn Nynorsk in school, suggesting that most Norwegians should be able to read both. However, the orthography used in a translation project can still make a big difference, which is why we here at TranslationServices.com have created a dedicated Norwegian Bokmål translation team.
If you’re interested in our Norwegian Bokmål translation services, send us a message today requesting a free quote!
Bokmål: Diving into the complex history of Norwegian orthography
With Bokmål designated as the orthography of choice in Oslo, Norway’s capital, it’s enjoyed relatively higher prestige than Nynorsk. Bokmål is typically favored by regions in the east and far north of the country, with the country’s southwest, notably the city of Bergen, preferring Nynorsk and a large number of municipalities remaining neutral on the matter. With southeastern Norway accounting for the majority of the country’s population, Bokmål is easily the majority orthography—even though Norway’s linguistic policy mandates equality between the two.
Bokmål is a more conservative orthography than Nynorsk, heavily inspired by spelling and writing conventions in Danish. Indeed, Danish heavily influenced Norwegian throughout the two countries’ personal union, with Norwegians primarily writing in Danish, even though they usually still spoke Norwegian. When the union was severed, the need for a native Norwegian orthography arose, and the Danish that Norwegians were already used to writing was gradually reformed into what we know today as Bokmål.
Turn to us if you need reliable translation to or from Norwegian Bokmål.
To get the most out of your Norwegian translation, it’s important to distinguish Bokmål and Nynorsk and make sure your translator is specialized in the orthography you want. If you’re translating from Norwegian to English, this is easy—if you don’t know which orthography your text uses, simply send it to us, and we’ll match you with the right translator, since we also offer Nynorsk translation services. If you’re translating from English to Norwegian, first consider where your target audience lives and check which standardization is preferred in that area. If that doesn’t yield conclusive results, feel free to consult with our team of passionate Norwegian translators.
No matter what kind of document you want translated to or from Norwegian Bokmål, we’re here to help. Maybe you work in business and need a translation of your marketing copy so you can pick up more customers in Norway, or maybe you’re a Norwegian native who wants to take their company abroad. In both cases, we can help. For academics, our translators can help you spread your work to new audiences, whether you want to connect more deeply with your Norwegian counterparts or publish your Norwegian-language article in an international journal. And for creatives, our team can help you dazzle a new audience, sharing Norwegian literature and media with the world as well as localizing creative foreign content for Norwegian consumption in Bokmål. Whatever you need, we’re here!
To get started with Norwegian Bokmål translation services, contact us today!