Scandinavian languages on Duolingo

Language learning website Duolingo has recently added Swedish and Danish  to its list.

Duolingo  is a fee language learning app developed by Guatemalan entrepreneur Luis Von Ahn. It is now one of the world’s most popular language learning apps, with courses in Portuguese, Spanish, French and German amongst others, with courses for those looking to learn English in a wide variety of different languages also available.

Duolingo recently explained that while Norwegian would not be released immediately the course was currently in the  beta phase.

If you are considering learning Norwegian then it is inadvisable to start out with Swedish or Danish due to the intrinsic similarities with the languages, in particular Danish, which is almost identical when written but which sounds very different due to the variance in pronunciation.

Norwegian is not a popular language to learn – it has a relatively small pool of native speakers of less than six million – however it shares much in common with the English language. The complexity with Norwegian is that there is a ‘standard’ form known as Bokmal, however the everyday vernacular of the Norwegian language is different, with substantial regional differences in accent and slang.

Despite this the language is worth learning as the Norwegian economy is one of the strongest of Europe, even after the oil price crash and Norway is desperate for skilled immigrants to fill roles in engineering, technology, healthcare and finance. The Norwegian social safety net is also extremely generous, meaning that employers often struggle to fill roles or even find suitable candidates for positions.

So for those considering a career in Norway – an oil-rich nation with a strong safety net and low unemployment – the Duolingo course may well be worth waiting for.

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