Språkrådet, the Norwegian Language Council, tries very hard to come up with Norwegian words to replace English words.  Languages progress and in the world new words are being made up all the time such as computer, world wide web and cyberspace.  In order for Norwegian to stay 'Norwegian' it is necessary to  Norwegianise new words - such as data-maskin, verdensveven and kyberrom.  So Språkrådets job is to make up new words to keep the old language. However, sometimes Språkrådet get a bit silly with it.  For instance, the '@' sign is an old Latin symbol used to abbreviate words and specifically means 'at'.  Norwegians used to correctly call it 'at' but, because of the Språkrådet, Norwegians now have to  officially call it 'krøllalfa', which directly translates to 'curly alpha'.  Interesting, since most Norwegians don't know what 'angel-A' is - go figure.  (Just in case you don't know either, 'angel-A' is the English word for the Norwegian character 'Å'.) And there are some (well, many) new words and phrases that make Norwegian just plain fun.  The term 'broken-link' is lenkeråte, directly translating to 'chain rot'.  The word 'journalist' is blekksmører, directly translating to 'ink smearer'.  And one I just discovered the other day - dott kom. The Norwegian Language Council hasn't been game enough to push Norwegianised domain endings - the direct translation for '.com',  punktum-kommersiell, with six syllables, doesn't really roll off the tongue.  So the English domain versions have survived in Norway.  However, you'd think the Language Council would specifically come up with a different phrase than '.com' as Norwegian has already had the phrase 'dott kom' long before computers were around.  In fact, I was called a 'dott kom' the other day.  It wasn't the fact that Moose thought I was an internet domain, but pointing to my glasses sitting on my head after I had been looking for them for the last ten minutes, he said 'dott kom', of course, the direct translation: 'Oi, dufus!' 

Related posts: