Comparing the Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish languages.

Raymond Chen

As I got onto the plane for my outbound flight, I grabbed a Norwegian newspaper, having mistaken it for a Swedish paper. Fortunately, the two languages are so similar I was able to fake my way through it without too much difficulty. (And it’s definitely an odd sensation reading U.S. cartoons translated into Norwegian…) The on-board entertainment system offered diversions in many languages. So I watched “Loony Tunes” dubbed into German (confirming that I really need to practice my German more) and then listened to some children’s stories in various language. Demonstrating my astonishingly poor listening comprehension, I couldn’t figure out whether the first story was in Norwegian or Swedish. Eventually I convinced myself that it was Norwegian, which was confirmed when I later heard a story in Swedish.

Danish, on the other hand, is pretty obviously Danish.


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