4 feb. 2016

Noreg? NOREG?! / Postcrossing Incoming! Norway (Noruega)

Yesterday I received 3 great postcards from Trond in Kongsvinger, Norway.

I was most impressed by one of the stamps, that one with the pretty "Hjort" below.... "NOREG", instead of "NORGE"!

Did I just found an ultra valuable error stamp that will instantly make me a millionaire?!
 Not quite...


The Kongsvinger postcard that nice stamp was attached to.

"Noreg" is just one of the official spellings of Norway's name in Norwegian, and so it's used alternatively with "Norge" on their stamps. "Norge" and "Noreg" sound the same in Norway, the difference in writing comes from the country's heritage. There are two written languages in Norway, Bokmal and Nynorsk. The "Noreg" spelling is in Nynorsk, while "Norge" is from the more common Bokmål. “Norwegian Bokmål” is the writen language used by most Norwegians, while “Norwegian Nynorsk” is used by about 12% of the population, and official in 26% of its municipalities.

Right: Official languages in Norway: Blue for Nynorsk, orange for Bokmål, grey for neutral municipalities. By Røed on Wikipedia.

Bokmål has a lot of influence from Danish, which was the official language during the times Norway was dominated by Denmark, while Nynorsk was precisely created by Norwegian poet Ivar Aasen a an ideal true-Norwegian language, based on his research on dialects native to the country.

(By the way, other legacy from the Danish-Norwegian union is that Greenland is today part of Denmark, despite being originally a colony of Norway).

A detailed explanation of where Nynorsk is most widely used, from Wikipedia: "The prevailing regions for Nynorsk are the rural areas of the western counties of Rogaland, Hordaland, Sogn og Fjordane and Møre og Romsdal, in addition to the western/northern parts of Oppland, Buskerud, Telemark, Aust- and Vest-Agder, where an estimated 90% of the population writes Nynorsk. Usage of Nynorsk in the rest of Norway, including the major cities and urban areas in the above stated areas, is scarce. In Sogn og Fjordane county and the Sunnmøre region of Møre og Romsdal, all municipalities have stated Nynorsk as the official language, the only exception being Ålesund, which remains neutral. In Hordaland, all municipalities except three have declared Nynorsk as the official language.".

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