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
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.
° 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-0235 alt-0174 = ® alt-0169 = © alt-0186 = º
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.
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)
Published by McMillan Publishing Co.
(300 pages, 15.000 words)
Norwegian English Dictionary
by Einar Haugen
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, .
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.
ON THE NET
Learning Norwegian on WWW
Since people are involved in learning the Norwegian languge
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
MAT / FOOD
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.
ENGLISH NORWEGIAN ENGLISH NORWEGIAN
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
ENGLISH NORWEGIAN ENGLISH NORWEGIAN
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.