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The Language Council of Norway

About The Language Council of Norway
The Language Council of Norway is the consultative body for the Norwegian state and government on language issues. The Language Council is a part of the Ministry of Culture. The Language Council is led by the Director, and has about thirty-five employees. The Board of the Language Council is appointed by the Minister of Culture. The Language Council of Norway has four specialist advisory boards composed of members from different professional backgrounds who have expertise on and a passion for the Norwegian language. These specialist boards provide input and advice on issues concerning their various fields of expertise.

The charter of the Language Council of Norway states that the Language Council should work on strengthening the status of the Norwegian language now and in the future, as well as administering the two forms of the Norwegian language. This work includes both the Norwegian language in general and Nynorsk in particular.

The Council is, moreover, to protect the cultural heritage which Norwegian language, written and spoken, represents, to promote measures for heightened knowledge of the language and to further tolerance and mutual respect in the language community.

The Council’s activities have so far not been regulated by a particular legal act. Its statutes are about to be revised, following a political decision to confer upon the Council the responsibility also for looking after national minority languages, sign language and new immigrants’ languages.

About the work of the Language Council of Norway
The goal of the work of the Language Council is that the Norwegian language should be used in all parts of society into the future, and that it should not be forced out by English.

Our aim is to make public administration, the business sector and people in general appreciate that the Norwegian language is a fully adequate means of communication, and we work to increase public knowledge about the Norwegian language.

The work of the Language Council of Norway on the strengthening of the Norwegian language includes the following:

  • Our web pages contain information about correct and good Norwegian.
  • Every year we answer approximately 10,000 questions about the language by e-mail and telephone.
  • We arrange the conference ‘Språkdagen‘ (‘The Language Day’) every year to generate debate about current challenges for the Norwegian language.
  • We have a language service for government agencies advising government employees on how to use plain language in their writing.
  • We work towards the aim that information and communication technology products should be based on Norwegian text and speech, and we work on developing Norwegian technical language and terminology.
  • We award businesses that have good, creative, Norwegian names.
  • We approve dictionaries for use in schools.
  • We monitor all government agencies to ensure that they follow the rules for the relative distribution of Bokmål and Nynorsk.
  • We advise on the spelling of place-names on maps and road signs.
  • We cooperate with public and private institutions on measures to strengthen the use of Norwegian.
  • We administrate the orthography of Nynorsk and Bokmål and record the development of the language.
  • We observe language developments.

A brief history
The Language Council of Norway was technically established as of 1 January 2005, but is the direct continuation of the former «Norwegian Language Council», which was in operation during the period 1972–2004. The «old council», in its turn, continued the work of the Norwegian Language Committee, which functioned in the period 1952–1971. So, all in all, the new Council, carries on a long and unbroken tradition.

Contact us
Postboks 8107 Dep
0032 Oslo


Page last updated: 28th March 2011


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