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Which one is the most useful scandinavian Language to learn?

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  • Which one is the most useful scandinavian Language to learn?

    Hey everyone!
    I really like nordic culture and history and always have been fascinated by the way the nordic languages sound like. Until now I can speak fluently 4 languages but I would like to add one more to the list, I just can't decide which one. As I am a beginner when it comes about scandinavian languages I must admit that they sound all very similar to me. I know some are almost the same when written, just the pronounciation is different and so on but still I would like to know which of these languages ( Norwegian, Swedish, Danish and Icelandic) is the easiest to understand by the others.
    Example:
    What is easier for a swede to understand, danish or norwegian or icelandic? and so on for the others.
    I would like to learn the one which will be understood by the largest amount of people.

    Thanks in advance.

    I also take opinions based on aspects like beauty of the language and importance of its country, but the main thing for me is, again, that a lot of people can understand it.

    Greetings from Colombia

    Andrés
    23
    Norwegian
    13.04%
    3
    Swedish
    69.57%
    16
    Danish
    4.35%
    1
    Icelandic
    4.35%
    1
    Finnish
    8.70%
    2

  • #2
    If you want to be able to communicate with as many people as possible you should learn Swedish. Sweden has the largest population out of all countries in Scandinavia and Swedish is also an official language in Finland. All Finnish students have to study Swedish in school. If you know Swedish you can also understand almost everything in Norwegian and if you listen carefully you can understand some Danish. Icelandic is more difficult but if you listen really hard you can understand some of it.

    The Finnish language is completely unrelated to the Scandinavian languages so no matter if you learn Swedish, Norwegian, Danish or Icelandic you won't be able to understand Finnish.

    From what I've been told it's easier for Danish people to understand Norwegian than Swedish and as a Swede it's easier to understand Norwegian than Danish. Norwegian is also the language that is closest related to Icelandic so I guess you could say that Norwegian is the middle ground for all the Scandinavian languages. I think that the easiest 2nd language to understand for Norwegians is Swedish. Swedish and Norwegian have more similarities that differences.

    • Choose Norwegian if you're planning on learning multiple Scandinavian languages and you want to start of by learning the language that has the most in common with as many other languages as possible.
    • Choose Swedish if you want to be able to communicate with as many people as possible and if you're interested in Finland as well as Scandinavia.

    I think you should learn more about the different countries and base your decision on what country you're most interested in. Personally I think that Norway and Iceland have the most beautiful nature and Icelandic is the coolest sounding language. Sweden has the largest economy, biggest population size, largest land area (If you don't count Greenland as a part of Denmark) and is the most powerful and internationally important country in Scandinavia. (Yes I'm biased. XD ). But then again Norway is rich on Oil and Denmark have good beer. It's difficult to decide.
    Either way everyone in Scandinavia speaks English so you really don't have to learn any Scandinavian language to be able to get by and communicate with people.

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    • #3
      I would also add that Icelandic is the most similar to Old Norse. In my opinion, it sounds great but it is not really useful.

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      • #4
        Primate Wow thats such a complete answer, thanks! It was very helpful!
        Morrighann I think so too, but as you said it's not really useful, thanks for sharing your opinion!

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        • #5
          This doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the usefulness, but I've heard about a thousand times how Swedish is the easiest language in the world. I'm Finnish, and my Swedish teacher always used to say this - and I admit, it's really not that hard. And as someone who's not a native, I can confirm Norwegian, Swedish and Danish are really similar in written form, so knowing any of those helps you read the others a lot. I can't understand Danish at all when it's spoken, but quite a lot when it's written because of the similarities. So that's nice! I do think that Swedish is the easiest one to pronounce, but if a native Dane or Norwegian pronounces clearly and without thick dialect, they aren't impossible either. You can always ask them to pronounce more clearly, so don't worry too much about that! :-) A few days ago there was a new story about Norway, and I had almost no idea what the Norwegian girl was saying because of the dialect, but when an official started to speak clearly, it was easy to understand based on Swedish. I don't think it really matters which one you pick, just choose the one that you want! :-)

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          • #6
            Momoandthewhale Thank you!

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            • #7
              Definitely Swedish. Not so much in useful but moreso what you could settle with
              I'd say Norwegian with especially since you can learn languages easier if you know that.

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              • #8
                Firenzee thanks!

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                • #9
                  Norwegian, and perhaps only Norwegian. Even that for no other reason but the opportunity to earn good money there.

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                  • #10
                    -Lauri- Thanks, thats a good reason haha still not sure if I would learn a language only because of that

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                    • #11
                      Maybe Norwegian...because:

                      1) Norwegians seem to be the ones who understand the other Scandinavians the best.
                      2) The other Scandinavians seem to have no issues with understanding Norwegians. As it's kind of a "middle ground" between Danish and Swedish.
                      3) In writing, Norwegian is very similar to Danish. But also to Swedish, quite a bit. Whereas Swedish and Danish can be quite different to one another.

                      But I think you'd be good with either language you choose to learn. I'm a native Danish speaker and I don't really have any issues with either Norwegian or Swedish. Well, maybe spoken Swedish can be a bit difficult to understand for a lot of Danes (and vice versa), but we do understand each other, usually.

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                      • #12
                        Learn Faroese, no one else does

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                        • #13
                          "Norwegian is Danish spoken in Swedish". Also, most people in the Nordic countries are rather proficient in English.

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                          • #14
                            Norwegian. "Norwegian is Danish spoken in Swedish". and this is SO true!
                            I speak Norwegian and I have no problems reading Danish but if they start talking, you better get some drinks otherwise that won't work out for you. But don't tell them they should remove the potato (or the not so kids friendly word) out of their mouth
                            I talked Norwegian in Sweden and had no problems at all.

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