Norwegian – American



This list contains Norwegian words with their English translations.
The words included here are those that you are likely to find in genealogical sources.
If the word you are looking for is not on this list,  please consult a Norwegian – English dictionary. (See «Additional Resources» section below.)

Norwegian is a Germanic language like Swedish, Danish, and Icelandic.
There are two official dialects in Norway.
Prior to 1915 most Norwegian records are in a language closer to written danish than modern Norwegian.
You may also want to refer to the Danish Genealogical Word List (Series LANG -DAN, 1).
Records published after 1915, such as family and local histories, are in modern Norwegian.
Most differences between modern and old Norwegian are simply a matter of spelling.
Carefully study the section below on spelling This will help you find words on this list.

Variant Forms of Words

In Norwegian, as in English, the forms of some words will vary according to how they  are used in a sentence.
Who—whose—whom or marry—marrries—married are examples in English with variant forms.
The endings of a word in a document may differ from those in this list, for example:

Mann – man Kone – wife
Mannen – the man Kona – the wife
Menn – men Koner – wives
Mennene – the men Konene – the wives

Alphabetical Order

The Norwegian dictionaary has three additional letters: Æ (æ), Ø (ø) and Å (å).
In most record sources prior to 1915,  Å is written as Aa (aa) and filed at the beginning of the alphabet.
Modern Norwegian dictionaries, indexes, the locality section of the Family History Library Catalogue,  and this word list use the following alphabetical order:


aa used for å j used for gj f used for v w used for v
b used for p ld used for ll g used for k x used for ks
c used for k nd used for nn i used for j ch used for k
d used for t q used for k tj used for kj hj used for j
e used for æ ae used for æ oe used for ø u used for v

gjorler spelled as giørler
mann spelled as mand
kvinne spelled as quinde

The ASCII character map for the Norwegian characters
enables you to write whatever characters you like even if you don’t have them on the keyboard.

Æ alt-0198
æ alt-0230
Ø alt-0216
ø alt-0248
Å alt-0197
å alt-0229

° alt-0176 (degree symbol)

Ä alt-0196 alt-0188 = ¼ alt-0189 = ½ alt-0190 = ¾
ä alt-0228 alt-0185 = ¹ alt-0178 = ² alt-0179 = ³
Ë alt-0203
ë alt-0235 alt-0174 = ® alt-0169 = © alt-0186 = º
Ö alt-0214
ö alt-0246 alt-0163 = £
Ü alt-0220 alt-0177 = ± alt-0167 = §
ü alt-0252 alt-0233 = é alt-0201 = É alt-0224 = à

(Hold down the ALT button and at the same time type the four digit number)

See also Accessing Special Characters
to have more information of all characters.

Windows – Alt Key Numeric CodesALT Key Codes & Charts Additional Resources

This word list includes words only most commonly found in genealogical sources.
For further help, use a Nowegian-English Dictionary.
Several Norwegian-English Dictionaries are available at the Family History Library.
These are in the Scandinavian collection. Their call numbers begin with 439.82321.
Family history centers can obtain the following dictionaries on microfilm:

Scavenius, H. Gyldendals Ordbøker; Norsk-Engelsk
[Glydendal’s Dictionaries; Nowegian-English] Oslo: Gyldendal Norsk Forlag, 1945.
(FHL film 1,224,705, item 4).

Scavenius, H Gyldendals Ordbøker; Engelsk-Norsk.
[Glydendal’s Dictionaries; English-Norwegian] Oslo: Gyldendal Norsk Forlag, 1945.
(FHL film 1,224,705, item 3).

W . Kirkeby, Kunnskapsforlaget (Ashehoug – Gyldendal) Norsk – engelsk (blå ordbok)
1993, ISBN 82-573-0301-1
(580 pages, 52.000 words)

ISBN 0-02-964560-3
Published by McMillan Publishing Co.
(300 pages, 15.000 words)

Norwegian English Dictionary
by Einar Haugen
ISBN 0-299-03874-2
Published by The University of Wisconsin Press
(520 pagers, 60.000 words)

Additional dictionaries are listed in the subject section of the
Family History Library Catalog under NORWEGIAN LANGUAGE DICTIONARIES or in
the locality section under NORWAY – LANGUAGE AND LANGUAGES

A helpful guide for reading Scandinavian language genealogical records is:
Scandinavian Records Extraction, An Instrluctional Guide  (Salt Lake City, Utah: The Church of Latter Day Saints, [1988].
In addition to a glossary of names and genealogical word,  this guide includes instructions in reading the handwriting.

Residents of the United States and Canada can order this guide (stock # PEGS0023) from  the Salt Lake Distribution Center, 1999 West 1700 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84104.
Addresses of distribution centers in other countries are available from the same address.

Learning Norwegian on WWW

Since people are involved in learning the Norwegian languge

Bokmåls- og Nynorsk-ordbok


A multi-language translation program, shareware, USD15.

It translates Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, French, German, English and Spanish.
It converts any of these to any of the others

This is a preliminary list of Norwegian words for family relations

Getting into the Norwegian census

Norwegian Naming Practices

About the Norwegian languages

Language resource Norwegian on the Internet

The Norwegian class on the Net – Norwegian Pronunciation

On-line dictionary that has about 6500 words back and forth between Norsk & Engelisk.

Census abbreviations used in the on-line 1865-1900 census records

Norwegian Census Records (John Føllesdal)

Norwegian kirkebøker – parish registers (John Føllesdal)

SweGGate – Knowledge center (Swedish)

Archaic Medical Terms

AllChars works on Windows 95, 98, ME, NT 4, 2000 and XP (and there is an old 16-bit version)

Mål og vekt i eldre tider (Norsk Forlishistorisk Forening)

Ordbog til det ældre danske sprog (1300-1700) (Otto Kalkar) (Dansk)

Ordliste (only in Norwegian of Old Words)

Danish to English Dictionary
English to Danish Dictionary


Celiac Foods / Cøliaki


Gotisk håndskrift (Statens arkiver (DK))

Old Handwriting Styles

Online kurs i Gotisk samt alfabet

Norwegian units of measurementKEY WORDS
In order to find and use specific types of Norwegian records,  you will need to know some key words in Norwegian.
This section lists key genealogical terms in English and the Norwegian words With  the same or similar meanings.


banns lysinger                                                  death døde, død
birth fødte, født                                                engagement forlovelse, trolovelse
burial begravelse, jordet                                father far
census folketelling                                          female kvinnekjønn
child barn                                                         husband ektemann
christening døbte, døbt                                 index register
clerical district prestegjeld                           male mandkjønn
confirmation konfirmasjon, marriage       copulerede, egteviede
konfermerede gift, vielse

military militær                                              parents foreldre
mother mor                                                     parish sogn
moving in innflytning                                   probate skifte
moving out utflytning                                   vaccination vacccinerede,
name, given                                                    fornavn wife hustru
name, surname                                              etternavn year år


This general word list includes words commonly seen in genealogical sources.
Numbers, months and days of the week are listed both here and in sections  that follows this list.
Parentheses in the English column clarify the definition.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Æ Ø Å 0-9