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Feb 14, 2023 | Guide to Language

Scandinavian Language: Nordic Language Group With Continuum Dialect

Did you hear about the Scandinavian language? These are also known as North Germanic languages, a sub-family of Indo-European languages that  includes both theWest and the East Germanic languages. 

The Scandinavian languages having a dialect continuum of Scandinavia are found in studies of modern standard languages. . The languages such as Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian form mutual intelligibility across their respective borders. Thus, when you see the Danish, Swedish and the Norwegian communicating with each other in their respective native languages, you should not be surprised.

What is Scandinavia?

What is Scandinavia

Scandinavia is northern Europe’s sub-region famous for its strong history, language, and culture. The area in the northern Europe subregion includes Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. The Scandinavian peninsula includes Finland, Faroe islands, and Iceland. 

If you look at the geography of this region, it is varied. It extends from the Norwegian region in the west and reaches Denmark in the southern region. Scandinavia became famous during the Viking Age. It was when the people of this region took part in colonization, large-scale raiding, and conquest. The Scandinavian mountains, archipelagos, and lakes include the country’s geography.

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What is the most famous Scandinavian language?

famous Scandinavian language

Swedish is one of  the popular Scandinavian languages. Also, it is regarded as the most popular among the five Nordic languages. Almost 10 million people worldwide speak this language. Swedish is the national language of Sweden. Surprisingly, the national language of Denmark, Sweden, and Finland are written similarly.

What is the best Scandinavian language to learn?

best Scandinavian language to learn

Norwegian takes up the middle ground between Danish and Swedish. If you want to start learning a foreign language, Norwegian is the best to  start with. It is a language with clear pronunciation. Also, learning such a language will become easy when you start writing it.

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Ancient Scandinavian languages

Ancient Scandinavian languages

The inhabitants of Scandinavia used to speak Old Norse. Even people in Denmark used to speak the ancient Scandinavian languages between the 9th and the 13th century AD. The four most popular Scandinavian languages are:

  • Swedish 
  • Danish
  • Icelandic
  • Faroese
  • Norse, etc.

Languages of Nordic regions

During the Migration Period, people residing in Nordic countries understood each other’s language quite well. As a result, the linguistic community had a cultural bond owing to  the historical condition of the region. The Scandinavians have a variety of options when it comes to language. 

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What is the status of languages inside and outside of Scandinavian regions?

status of languages

The ancient Scandinavian languages include Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, and Finnish. Also, they are the official national languages. Other languages of northern Scandinavia include Greenlandic, Faroese, Sami, etc. These are also the languages on which the culture of the Nordic society is based. 

You can now look at the Declaration of the Nordic Language Policy. It explains the status of the ancient Scandinavian languages. You can also learn about the critical areas of the Nordic Language Policy. 

It is pretty fascinating to learn that the design of the Nordic cooperation was made to support national efforts. 

Mutual understanding

Most Nordic regions use languages that are closely related to each other. Thus, even when people put little effort, they can understand easily. But, there are also other languages too that could be more closely related; it is valid both from cultural and professional perspectives. 

Communities of Danish, Norwegian and Swedish speakers get threats. This is because our attitudes and expectations about the depth of our comprehension are pretty different. Do you know how people communicate with neighbors from other Nordic nations? It is precisely how the language will get the influence.

These attitudes and expectations are based on several factors. It depends on how frequently we come into contact with the neighboring languages. Also, these frequencies are for daily life. Let’s take an example of the Norwegian web drama SKAM (Shame). In 2016, it sparked a lot of attention among young and older individuals. Also, the influence was strong throughout the regions in the Nordic language community.

Fans have practically turned some SKAM words and phrases into cult classics. You may even find common phrases in other Nordic languages. 

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Difference in pronunciation

The main reason Danish differs from the other two Scandinavian languages is that there is a significant difference between its written and spoken forms. Here, the consonants are mellowed. Also, you can observe that their ends are nearly swallowed. Also, you can find the sentences to be condensed. Many words have distinctive stands. 

Are the Nordic languages mutually understandable?

Nordic languages

There is an understanding among the Nordic people residing outside the Nordic countries. They can communicate and understand their languages. Or, at least if they are of Scandinavian origin, people speaking in Norwegian, Danish, and Swedish can communicate with one another. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What language was spoken in ancient Scandinavia?

People residing in ancient Scandinavia used to speak the Old Norse language. Between the period of 1150 to 1350 AD, Norse was treated as the literal language of Skaldic poems, Eddas, and the Icelandic sagas.

2. What language does Scandinavia speak?

It is different from the language that the people of Scandinavia speak. People residing in the Scandinavian region speak Icelandic, Finnish, and Danish. These are the official languages spoken in Scandinavia. 

3. Is English a Scandinavian language?

The answer to the question may vary from one person to another. However, as per new research, English is now a Scandinavian language. Thus, it belongs to the Northern Germanic language family.

4. Is Scandinavian still spoken?

Yes, the Scandinavian language is widely spoken in Nordic Countries. More specifically, around 20 million people in such regions speak the language. 

5. What country speaks Scandinavian?

There are a total of 7 Scandinavian countries. They belong to the Nordic region. The countries’ names are Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, and Iceland. 

6. What is the crossword clue for “an ancient Scandinavian language”?

The last crossword clue for “an ancient Scandinavian language” was e of 8 letters. It was last observed on July 23, 2017. The most likely answer to the same is OLD NORSE. 

David Lee

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