What Languages are spoken in Norway?

How many languages are spoken in Norway?

Norwegian is the official of Norway. Norwegian is the most spoken language of Norway. The Bokmål and Nynorsk are the two written standards of Norwegian language. Kven and Sami both languages are spoken by Norwegians residing in specific regions of the country. The ethnic Swedes, Finns, Russians and Romans of Norway speak their native languages in the country. English is the most popular foreign language spoken in Norway.

The Official Languages Of Norway

What is the Official Language Of Norway?

Norwegian is the official language of Norway. Norwegian is spoken as a first language by nearly 95% of the population of Norway. Norwegian language belongs to the North Germanic branch of the Germanic languages. Norwegian language is closely related to Danish and Swedish language. The Nynorsk and the Bokmål are the two written standards of the Norwegian language.


Approximately 80% to 90% of the population of Norway country use Bokmål as their written language. The language is based on a more conservative standard known as the Riksmål. The name Bokmål is an ancient name that has been used since 1929.


Nynorsk was voted as one of the official languages of Norway by the parliament in 1885 and was known as Landsmål in the past. The name changed from Landsmål to Nynorsk in 1929. The linguist Ivar Aasen is credited with the establishment of the Landsmål language standard in the mid-19th century. Nynorsk language is the official language of four of the country’s counties that comprise the Western Norway region. The usage of Nynorsk language has declined over the years and is currently spoken as the main form of Norwegian by only 7.4% of the Norwegian population within the Norway country. The Nynorsk language is taught to 15% of the school children as a written language. Høgnorsk is a more conservative variety of the Nynorsk language.


In the Northeastern Norway the Kven language is spoken by about 5,000 to 8,000 people. Kven langauge is a Finnic language that is often regarded as a dialect of Finnish due to high degree of the mutual intelligibility with Finnish. The language is spoken Tromsø municipality of the Norway and spoken mainly in the Finnmark country.


Sami, is a Uralic language, that is spoken by the indigenous Sami people of the Northern Scandinavia. Although most of the Sami speakers have adopted other languages as their first language, but still there is a small section of people continues to speak the Sami languages at their homes. In Norway country, several varieties of the Sami language are spoken. North Sami language is spoken by about 15,000 Norwegians in the country. South Sami and Lule Sami are spoken by about 500 and 300 speakers in Norway country, respectively. The Sami languages are protected and officially recognized in the country.

The Minority Languages Of Norway


Romani Language is one of the major minority languages of Norway Country. The language is spoken by the Romani people within the country. These people are descendants of people that are from India and their language belongs to the Indo-Aryan language family. There are two dialects of Romani are spoken in Norway. Tavringer Romani has about 6000 speakers and The Vlax Romani has about 500 speakers within the country of Norway. Since the Romanis are a wandering group of people, there is no particular geographic location within country that can be claimed as a Romani-speaking region.

Norwegian Traveller Language

Rodi or the Norwegian traveller language is spoken by the Norwegian Traveller gypsy population in the country of Norway. The language is closely related to the Norwegian langauge but with a significant influence from Northern Romani and Rotwelsch. Although the exact number of the people who speak of this language within the country of Norway is not known, it is considered to be a language that is still alive.

Other Minority Languages Of Norway

Finns, Ethnic Swedes, and Russians living in the country of Norway also speak their mother tongues, namely   Finnish, Swedish and Russian, respectively, as their first language.

Foreign Languages Spoken In Norway

In the EF English Proficiency Index Norway country is one of the top 5 nations. Approximately 90% of the population of the Norway country can speak English. English is also the most widely taught foreign language in the schools of the country. Most people of the Norway country, especially those who was born after the World War II, speak English fluently. There are also other popular foreign languages spoken in the country are German, Spanish, and French. And these languages are taught as the second or third languages in the country’s schools. Some schools in the country, mostly in the schools of cities, offer classes in Russian, Latin, Japanese, Italian, and Chinese.


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