What nations speak Norwegian?

Introduction: What Nations Speak Norwegian?

Are you curious about the countries where Norwegian is spoken? In this article, we will explore the nations where Norwegian is an official language or widely spoken. Norwegian, a North Germanic language, holds a significant place in the linguistic landscape of Scandinavia. Whether you are planning a trip or simply interested in linguistic diversity, this guide will provide you with valuable insights into the countries where Norwegian is spoken. Let’s delve into the fascinating world of Norwegian-speaking nations!

Nations where Norwegian is an official language


Norway is the primary nation where Norwegian is the official language. Situated in Northern Europe, Norway is known for its stunning fjords, picturesque landscapes, and vibrant cultural heritage. With a population of approximately 5.4 million people, Norwegian is spoken by the majority of its inhabitants. The language is deeply rooted in Norwegian history and plays a significant role in the country’s identity.


Svalbard, an archipelago situated in the Arctic Ocean, is another nation where Norwegian holds the status of an official language. Despite its small population of around 2,600 people, Norwegian is widely spoken and used in various aspects of daily life on the islands. Svalbard is renowned for its untouched natural beauty, polar bear population, and unique Arctic ecosystem.

Jan Mayen

Jan Mayen, a remote volcanic island located in the Arctic Ocean, is also among the nations where Norwegian is an official language. Although uninhabited, the island is under the jurisdiction of Norway and serves as a meteorological station. Norwegian is the language used for official purposes and communication on Jan Mayen.

These nations, namely Norway, Svalbard, and Jan Mayen, embrace Norwegian as their official language, showcasing the linguistic diversity and cultural richness of the Norwegian-speaking world.

Nations where Norwegian is a recognized minority language


Norwegian is recognized as a minority language in Sweden. The country shares a long history and cultural ties with Norway, which has resulted in a significant Norwegian-speaking population in certain regions of Sweden. The main areas where Norwegian is spoken include the border regions of Halden, Strømstad, and Bohuslän.

In these areas, you can find Norwegian-speaking communities where the language is actively used in daily life, business, and education. There are also Norwegian-language schools and cultural organizations that aim to preserve and promote the Norwegian language and heritage.


In Finland, Norwegian is also recognized as a minority language. The Finnish municipality of Utsjoki, located in the northernmost part of the country, has a significant Norwegian-speaking population. This is due to its proximity to Norway and the historical ties between the two countries.

The Norwegian language is officially recognized in Utsjoki, and it is used in various aspects of community life. Norwegian-speaking residents have the right to receive public services in their language, and there are initiatives to support Norwegian language education and cultural activities in the area.


Denmark, the neighboring country of Norway, is home to a notable Norwegian-speaking community. While Danish is the official language of Denmark, there are regions along the border with Norway where Norwegian is spoken as a minority language.

The southernmost part of Denmark, known as South Jutland, has a historical connection with Norway, leading to the presence of Norwegian-speaking communities. The town of Tønder, in particular, has a significant Norwegian-speaking population. In Tønder, you can find Norwegian-language schools, cultural events, and various organizations that celebrate the Norwegian language and heritage.

In conclusion, Norwegian is recognized as a minority language in Sweden, Finland, and Denmark. These nations have Norwegian-speaking communities that actively preserve and promote the language, contributing to the rich linguistic diversity of the region.

Nations where Norwegian is spoken as a second language

United States

Norwegian is spoken as a second language by a significant number of individuals in the United States. With a large population of Norwegian Americans, particularly in the Upper Midwest region, the Norwegian language has found a place in various communities. It is not uncommon to find Norwegian language classes, cultural organizations, and events that promote the use and preservation of the language and its traditions. Additionally, Norwegian heritage and ancestry play a significant role in shaping the cultural identity of many Americans.


Germany is another country where Norwegian is spoken as a second language. Due to its close proximity to Norway and strong economic ties between the two countries, there is a considerable Norwegian community in Germany. Many Norwegians migrate to Germany for work or study purposes, leading to the establishment of Norwegian language schools and cultural centers. Additionally, the Norwegian language is also taught in some German schools and universities, further contributing to its presence in the country.

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, Norwegian is spoken as a second language by a small but dedicated group of individuals. With a historical connection through the Viking era, there is a mutual interest in the languages and cultures of Norway and the United Kingdom. Norwegian language classes, study groups, and cultural events can be found in various cities across the UK. Moreover, with the ease of travel between the two countries, there is a continuous exchange of language and cultural practices, strengthening the presence of Norwegian as a second language in the United Kingdom.

These three nations provide examples of places where Norwegian is spoken as a second language. The language’s influence can be seen through the efforts of communities, educational institutions, and cultural organizations that strive to maintain and promote the use of Norwegian, ensuring its preservation for future generations.

Norwegian is primarily spoken in Norway, where it is the official language. However, Norwegian is also spoken in some other countries, primarily due to historical and cultural ties. These include neighboring countries such as Sweden and Denmark, where Norwegian is recognized as a minority language. Additionally, Norwegian communities can be found in the United States, Canada, and Australia, among other countries, as a result of Norwegian emigration over the years. While the majority of Norwegian speakers are concentrated in Norway, the language has a presence in various nations around the world, reflecting its rich history and global influence.

Share This Post: