Saturday, February 16, 2008

Nynorsk

Coming back from Gjøvik with May and Ingvill, they showed me their driver's licenses at the airport. May's driver's license says "Noreg" at the top, Ingvill's says "Norge."

"Typo?" I ask. Nope. When young, a Norwegian may choose his or her language: bokmål or nynorsk. Ingvill is bokmål, May is nynorsk, and so their licenses are in slightly different languages, or rather different versions of Norwegian.

About 10% of Norwegians are nynorsk. All official documents are in both languages, and all school textbooks must be published in both languages so students may choose in which language they want their books to be. Crazy -- and expensive!

Here's a big sculpture outside of the Oslo airport: a person throwing a paper airplane. Notice how big his muscles are, appropriate for an international airport!


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