Saturday, March 26, 2011

Northerners Say It Best

Can one dialect sound more appealing than another? For Norwegians, this seems to be the case. In a recent survey conducted by InFact AS, Norwegians chose nordlendingene—those living in the far north of Norway—as most attractive sounding.

More than ten percent of respondents chose Norway's northernmost dialects as their favorite. It's perhaps a bit surprising, then, that sørlandsk—the dialect spoken in the far south—came in second place. The dialects spoken in Trondelag and Bærum (an community southwest of Oslo) tied for third place.

Why not judge for yourself? You can hear samples of all these dialects and dozens more on this audio database. The instructions are in Norwegian, but you can hear a sample by clicking the map of Norway. When the larger map appears, chose any location. Each dialect is identified by place (sted), municipality (kommune) and county (fylke). Listen to the sample by selecting one of the audio files (.wav or .mp3).

Want to learn more about Norwegian dialects? You can check out my feature story "What Did You Say?" in the March issue of Viking!

Amy Boxrud is editor of Viking magazine. She lives with her family in Northfield, Minn., where she’s a member of Nordmarka 1-585.)

Map image by NordNordWest.

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