A North Germanic language, Norwegian derived from the Indo-European language family. Swedish and Danish have similar historical background with Norwegian as Danish was the official language of Norway from the 16th to the 19th centuries. There are about 5 million Norwegian speakers in the world.
Norwegian can be categorized into 5 main dialects which are quite different from each other, especially in the two official writing forms regulated by the Norwegian Language Council. Even some native speakers sometimes find it difficult to read Nynorsk “new Norwegian” and Bokmal “book language”.