Languages like English and Spanish, which are spoken around the world in numerous countries, develop several different standardized variations, becoming pluricentric languages with great diversity that can pose challenges in translation services. Languages that are relatively small and spoken only within a single country tend to be much more straightforward, usually only having one standardized version. Even though Norwegian is only spoken by around 5 million people and confined to the Scandinavian nation of Norway, however, the language features two different standardized orthographies, which makes translating Norwegian more complicated than you might have thought.
Norwegian writing is divided into Nynorsk and Bokmål, and although Bokmål is more common, the two orthographies are officially afforded equality under Norwegian law. Nynorsk is the predominant writing system for between 10 to 15% of Norwegians, particularly in the country’s southwest, notably including Norway’s second-biggest city, Bergen. Bokmål is favored in the capital, Oslo, and various other municipalities in Norway’s southeast and far north, with many of the remaining municipalities remaining neutral. Despite acting as a minority language in many ways, Nynorsk enjoys vigorous usage in media, business, and other domains, making it an important and active part of Norwegians’ lives.
Even though Nynorsk is legally equal to Bokmål and is widely used particularly in western Norway, few translation companies have set up a Nynorsk translation team like we here at TranslationServices.com. If you’d like a free quote for our Nynorsk translation services, get in touch and ask today!
How did Nynorsk come to be?
Nynorsk, which literally translates to “New Norwegian,” was originally known as Landsmål before earning its current moniker in 1929. It developed as an alternative to the then-standard Dano–Norwegian orthography known as Riksmål, from which modern-day Bokmål is derived. Norway’s centuries-long personal union with Denmark resulted in a Danishization of Norwegian writing—though Norwegians continued to speak Norwegian, they would write in Danish. After gaining independence from its southern cousin in 1814, Norway needed its own writing system, which is how the two contenders arose.
While Bokmål leans on Danish writing conventions, Nynorsk attempts to bring Norwegian’s orthography back to Norway, using spelling that better aligns with Norwegian pronunciation. With Bokmål enjoying more widespread usage across the country, Nynorsk sometimes suffers from negative attitudes, especially from those who oppose the mandatory teaching of Nynorsk in Bokmål-centric municipalities. Emotions can run high on either side, but here at TranslationServices.com, we remain dedicated to our commitment to provide high-quality translation services for both standardizations.
Our Nynorsk translation services cover all domains.
To bring you the best in Nynorsk translation services, we’ve sourced the best Norwegian translators from across Bergen and the rest of western Norway. Our translators are passionate about Nynorsk and helping clients from Norway and beyond translate between Nynorsk and English. That’s right—we translate in both directions. If you want to translate into Norwegian but aren’t sure whether Nynorsk or Bokmål is better for your purposes, just consult with us—our Norwegian language experts can make a recommendation based on the circumstances of your project.
From business and academia to creative works and personal messages, our Nynorsk translation team is eager to help you with whatever translation needs you might have. Web copy, white papers, business papers, or employment contracts? Let the business specialists on our Nynorsk translation team handle it. Academic journal articles, teaching materials, or research questionnaires? Our Nynorsk translators can translate your academic documents in any field—we’ll match you to the appropriate expert. Books, short stories, poems, websites, games, or apps? Whatever sort of literature or media you’d like to translate to or from Nynorsk, our team is eager to assist.
Let us help you translate your document to or from Nynorsk. Getting started is as simple as sending us a message!