Scandinavian languages comparison

Education, Interesting facts

Knowledge of foreign languages is nowadays quite a matter of course. We learn them not only at school, but above all for ourselves. It should therefore come as no surprise that the languages of our northern neighbours are becoming increasingly popular. Scandinavian countries such as Norway, Sweden and Denmark are among those to which we are increasingly willing to move. That is why it is useful to know the languages of the countries in which we will be living. Which is the easiest to learn? Or is any Scandinavian language very difficult? So let’s check it out. Here is a brief comparison of the Scandinavian languages.

Scandinavian languages – just as difficult?

Scandinavia is one of the most common destinations for our dreams of a better life. This is hardly surprising. After all, the standard of living in these countries is incomparable to our country. That is why we are increasingly moving there to ensure a better standard of living for ourselves and our family. However, for this to actually be the case and for us to be able to dream of a good job, it is worth knowing the language. It is impossible to live and work in a country whose language you do not speak. However, for many of us the Nordic languages, as they are referred to, are so difficult that we cannot imagine learning them. Nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, they have their own peculiarities, their original pronunciation, but this does not mean that no foreigner can learn it. Even more so when comparing them to each other, it turns out that they really are similar. Where did this come from? It’s simple. All of them derive from a single language spoken by Northerners until around 1000. Later, the language split into two groups. The first of these gave rise to the Norwegian, Swedish and Danish languages. The other is Icelandic and Faroese. And so, in simple terms, today’s Scandinavian languages came into being. This is, of course, a major simplification, but sufficient for today. This means that some of them are simply similar, which does not mean that they are the same. What does this look like in practice? Well, Swedes and Norwegians will understand each other without a problem, because Norwegian and Swedish have similarities. And others? It can already be a little more difficult. First and foremost, the Danish language is extremely challenging to learn.

Norwegian – one language, two scripts and many dialects

It turns out to be one of the easiest languages in the Scandinavian language family. Admittedly, learning it can be a problem, but this is where other languages come to our aid. Which ones? English and German, for example. Because, like them, Norwegian belongs to the Germanic languages. Admittedly, the grammar is simpler in Norwegian than in English, but the sentence formation is already the same. The grammatical rules here are clear and logical. It is therefore easier to learn than the other languages in this group. However, this does not mean that it is merely easy and straightforward. Learning Norwegian can give you a headache. Primarily because it has many dialects and two types of writing. This is bokmål and nynorsk. And interestingly, both are correct. What about pronunciation? It turns out to be simpler than in Danish, and the grammar easier than in Swedish. Even though the two languages Swedish and Norwegian are so similar.

Swedish is not as difficult as you think

Do you dream of learning Swedish? He is also not as difficult as he may seem. Although its grammar is more difficult than in Norwegian, it can be learned quite quickly. The German language comes to our aid. If you know it, you will learn Swedish faster than you think. Other than that, it is very similar to Norwegian. A Swede reading a newspaper in Norwegian is able to understand it! Swedish is really similar to Norwegian and Danish. Also, if you know Swedish, you can easily get along with a Norwegian. Because the pronunciation and vocabulary are almost identical. That is why the Swede and the Norwegian speak to each other each in their own language. And everyone understands each other. Surprising? Not necessarily.

Danish – a challenge for everyone

It is, for a change, one of the more difficult languages to learn. Primarily because of the rather difficult Danish grammar and pronunciation. It is garish and the rules of accentuation are quite complex. Therefore, it is considered difficult to learn and understand by those who do not know it or are just learning it. It turns out to be the third most difficult language to learn, after Chinese and Dutch. However, this does not mean that it does not pay to learn it. People who know Danish are some of the most sought-after on the labour market. Besides, Danes are considered to be the happiest people in the world. so, the learning difficulty is worth overcoming to join their ranks.

Scandinavian languages – what about Finnish?

And here you may be surprised. Although Finland is a Nordic country, it is not counted as Scandinavia. And by extension, Finnish is not part of the Scandinavian language group. How is this possible? After all, Finland is in close proximity to the Scandinavian countries. Yes it is true. However, Finnish, unlike these three languages, comes from the Finno-Ugric language family. And it is actually closer to Estonian or Hungarian than to Swedish, Norwegian or Icelandic. Its grammar is much more complex, considering, for example, the variation by as many as 15 cases. Fortunately, there are also some simple rules in it, making it not such a huge challenge for those learning it. But, it certainly does not belong to the easy ones.

As you can see, the Scandinavian languages have a lot in common, although there are also quite a few differences between them. Regardless, however, it is worth knowing at least one language from this group. This will certainly make it easier for you to find a job and certainly definitely improve your quality of life. And in fact, knowledge of one of the Scandinavian languages is enough to make learning another language just a pleasure.


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