Official language(s): Norwegian (Bokmål and Nynorsk).
Demographics of Norway
Norway's population numbers roughly 4.8 million. Most Norwegians are ethnic Norwegians, a North Germanic people. The Sami people traditionally inhabit central and northern parts of Norway and Sweden, as well as in northern Finland and in Russia on the Kola Peninsula. Another national minority are the Kven people who are the descendants of Finnish speaking people that moved to northern Norway in the 18th up to the 20th century. Both the Sami and the Kven were subjected to a strong assimilation policy by the Norwegian government from the 19th century up to the 1970s.
The North Germanic Norwegian language has two official written forms, Bokmål and Nynorsk. Both of them are recognized as official languages, in that they are both used in public administration, in schools, churches, and media, but Bokmål is used by the vast majority, about 85–90%. Around 95% of the population speak Norwegian as their native tongue, although many speak dialects that may differ significantly from the written language. In general, most Norwegian dialects are inter-intelligible, although some may require significant efforts on the part of a listener to understand. Several Finno-Ugric Sami languages are spoken and written throughout the country, especially in the north, by the Sami people. Speakers have a right to get education in Sami language no matter where they are living and receive communication from the government in various Sami languages. The Kven minority speak the Finno-Ugric Kven language/Finnish. There is advocacy for making Norwegian Sign Language an official Norwegian language.
National Institutions for Language of Norway
Norsk Språkrådet - Norwegian Language Council
Arnfinn Muruvik Vonen, Director
Postboks 8107 Dep, 0032 Oslo
+47-22 54 19 50