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The Nordic languages, also known as North Germanic, is a group made up of related languages including Swedish, Danish and Norwegian.

There are around 20m native speakers of a Nordic language ranging from Iceland in the North to Denmark in the South of the region.

The Nordic languages are very closely related and generally speaking, with a little bit of effort speakers from each of the countries can understand their counterparts across borders.

Popular culture such as TV shows, films and books have introduced slang from parts of the region to other countries in the group to such an extent that they have become mainstream, particularly amongst the young.

Although all sharing common traits, there are a wide variety of major languages and sub-dialects in this group with the ‘island languages’ of Faroe and Iceland being quite different from the so-called ‘mainland’ languages. Differences in pronunciation make the island versions more difficult for the mainlanders to understand.

Official texts for people in Scandanavia will typically be presented in three of the main languages, often Finnish, Icelandic and one out of Danish, Swedish and or Norwegian.

As can be expected with so many tightly packed countries the use of various languages in any area is widespread. For example, in Denmark and Norway laws were always written in Danish and administrators would speak either Danish or Norwegian.

This means that anyone wanting a translation from a document that originates in Scandanavia would be well advised to find a multilingual, native-speaking translator as the provenance of any text can be somewhat convoluted.

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