New political party registered in Norway to oppose Nynorsk / Norsklærar startar parti mot nynorsk

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Here's an article in Norwegian from two days ago on the registration of a political party by a Norwegian teacher in the country who has started a party to oppose the use of Nynorsk in the government. The basic concept is that he believes the translation of documents into two standards of the language is a waste of money, and also a waste of time for students to learn.

Partiet den mangeårige norsklæreren står i spissen for; Ett (skrift) språk, vil inn på Stortinget fra Akershus for å kjempe mot nynorsk som tvungent skriftspråk i Norge. Partiet går først og fremst til kamp mot den obligatorisk sidemålsundervisningen i grunnskolen og i videregående skoler. Men de vil også jobbe for at Norge – eller Noreg som det heter på nynorsk – skal ha ett skriftlig språk i den offentlige forvaltningen.
The party the long-term Norwegian teacher is starting stands for: one (written) language to go in (?) from Parliament to Akershus to fight against Nynorsk as a compulsory written language in Norway. The party fights first and foremost against the obligatory teaching of the other language in elementary and secondary schools. But they also are working for Norway (written Norge in Bokmål or Noreg in Nynorsk) to have one written language in the public administration.

It also mentions that he started the party because he believes a lot of other parties are afraid of losing votes by offending Nynorsk advocates and so politics in Norway requires a new voice that isn't afraid of this.

As you can imagine, there are a lot of comments below. Here's a quick summary of a few of them.

-I totally agree!
-Finally a teacher that has the wit to tell it straight...I live in Vest-Agder and have never used Nynorsk once. Get rid of Nynorsk, we don't need to make things more difficult for students...
-Nynorsk is Norwegian. Bokmål is Danish.
-It's crazy to learn Nynorsk when you never use it. Let the children learn Spanish or something instead.
-It's said that Bokmål is Danish and Nynorsk is "the language of one's mother". Bullshit. Bokmål has developed natural, sure from Danish, while Nynorsk is a nationalistic construction that doesn't belong anywhere.
-I write Bokmål myself, but I think it's fine to have two written standards in the country. I never had any troubles with Nynorsk in school...

...and so on, lots of fun.

So what do you do if you're Norwegian, agree with him (and most of the commenters) and want to promote Bokmål alone instead of Nynorsk? Easy: promote Norwegian to speakers of other languages. Bokmål is far more common and also easier to use, so those that learn Norwegian go with Bokmål almost all the time. I don't want to wade too much into Norwegian internal politics, but this is the easiest way for people to promote Bokmål over Nynorsk. Use Norway's strong economy and technological prowess to your advantage and get more non-Norwegians to learn the language.


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