A recent suggestion to resolve this conflict has been put forward by Lars Alvik
(user:Profoss) on the debate on no:, and I think it is a very honorable
1. Bokmål stays at no: for these reasons:
* Interwiki-links will otherwise need to be corrected
* Other active links (e.g. Google) will be rendered dead
points to en.wikipedia.org
, which is the major language
2. The interwiki-name is changed. "Norsk" is changed to "Norsk
"Nynorsk" is changed to "Norsk (nynorsk)".
3. Both Bokmål and Nynorsk wikis make sure to prominently "advertise" each
on the respective main pages.
4. Bokmål and riksmål will be recognised languages on the Bokmål Wiki, using
similar guidelines in regards to editing as American vs British English on en:
Other arguments for keeping no: has been
* It is the better-known name as it equates with the top-level domain .no
* Less work
I am happy to see that we may come close to an agreement and I agree with
everything, but unless a few conditions are fulfilled I don't agree with
point 1. My argument is outlined in my response to Lars Aronsson's post to the
Lars Aronsson wrote:
Are there really any no.wikipedia contributors who
want this? I mean,
outside of those who prefer the nn.wikipedia? Is this a "we should
change our name" or "they should change their name" kind of issue?
Or, if someone supports this change, how do we know they are among the
"we" people and not covert nn.wikipedia supporters?
I think you're right. All contributors to the debate so far who are active on
both nn: and no: have been biased towards the "nb:" solution, while those who
are only active on no: are for keeping this code (at least 3 of the more than
100 active users who have spoken out as yet, I am worried others may be
deterred by comments like "we've had this discussion before" and
"I'm tired of
this debate" from several administrators).
This is not in any way covert - I am quite open about my preference towards nn:,
but I also look at myself as eligible for an opinion about what should happen
at no: through being a user there, and through being more likely to help future
work on BOTH if I think the situation is fair.
I personally don't think it is right that the language with the greatest amount
of users gets to use our common (umbrella if you like) ISO code "no:" and
mistakable with the top-level domain ".no" when there already is a perfectly
good code, nb. It is interesting to note also that Swedish uses its ISO-code
(sv:), as does the Danish Wiki (da:) despite their respective top-level domains
of .se and .dk.
I'm Swedish and not contributing to any of no or
nn, even though I
have no problem in reading and understanding them. As much as I
appreciate the efforts made to support dialects and small languages
such as Icelandic and written Nynorsk, I think it would be a pity to
abandon no.wikipedia and "Norwegian" as the name for it. To most
non-Norwegians, and I think also for many Norwegians, the concept of
the "Norwegian" language (written and spoken) is easy to understand
and unambigious, with Nynorsk being little more than a written
dialect, such as we all have spoken dialects in various parts of our
countries. We also have no problem with American English being called
"English" or Hochdeutsch being called "German", despite their
separation from England and Plattdeutsch (Low Saxon). Some 10--15
percent of Norwegians write in Nynorsk, about twice the population of
Iceland. The no.wikipedia currently has 10 times more articles than
nn.wikipedia. Even if the gap is closing, it seems likely that
no.wikipedia will continue to be the larger one by a factor of 2 or
The concept of "Norwegian" language (written and spoken) is easy to understand
and unambiguous for non-Norwegians you say. I think this debate has proven the
opposite. It is hard even for us! The concept of "Norwegian" language has been
an inflamed issue for hundreds of years, and despite many bokmål users attempts
at trying to call they're own language for "norsk" and my preferred language
"nynorsk" this is far from the definition recognised by any authority, whether
reference works or the Norwegian government. I wouldn't exactly call a language
with a user base of 400,000-800,000 a small language either, on a Scandinavian
scale, although it is the minor of the four.
I agree, it could be argued that Nynorsk, is like a "written dialect" if you
want, but is no more so than the three other written languages of Scandinavian
language, Swedish, Danish and Bokmål. From a linguistic point of view, these
languages are not true languages as they are all mutually intelligible but
rather strong dialects (each with theire won contiunuae of dialects). Only
history and political borders have defined them as languages (cf the situation
with Chinese languages, which is kind of the reverse). In fact, Nynorsk and
Swedish lies roughly equally far away from Bokmål.
About your final point about nynorsk always being smaller, that is possibly
true, and may be predicted since we are the smaller group. It must be pointed
out, however, that we have grown to a size of 10% of a 3 year old wiki within 2
months. I have no doubts that we will have a much higher production of articles
in proportion to our user base than any of the other Scandinavian languages -
very many people are excited about this first Nynorsk reference work in 40
years, and new contributors arrive regularly.
The conditions that will make me agree with Profoss' suggestion about retaining
no: for bokmål are proposed below:
1. This is a temporary solution until its contributors feel ready to switch to
nb:, something which should happen within, say, a year.
2. We state explicitly on the front pages of both nn: and no: why Bokmål is
erronously situated on no: and that we are actively working towards a common
Scandinavian wikipedia where UI-language can be customized, there is a common
search function, common login, parallel texts and a common URI. (Maybe the
Scandinavian wikis can be a testing ground for developers with the aim of
implementing a similar system Wikipedia-wide?).
Finally I would like to say that I think that if having bokmål on no: is
recognised as not entirely correct, there should be no poll. If it is a
mistake, it doesn't really matter whether the majority would like to keep this
Bjarte Sørensen, Sydney, Australia