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The Norwegian language belongs to the Scandinavian sub-group of the Germanic language family. Norwegian is spoken by 4.6 million people, mainly in Norway. Norwegian speakers can readily understand spoken Swedish and read written Danish, as the three languages are closely related; the comprehension of written Swedish and spoken Danish takes additional effort, but has proven entirely achievable by UT undergraduate students. Many people, both linguists and non-linguists, maintain that Norwegian is the best starting point for non-Scandinavians wishing to become familiar with all three languages.
Knowing Norwegian will give you access to the unique culture and literature of this North European country. Three well-known Norwegian writers are Henrik Ibsen (known for many path breaking modernist plays, including A Doll's House and Hedda Gabler) and two Nobel Prize-winning novelists, Knut Hamsun and Sigrid Undset. Other notable Norwegians include composer Edvard Grieg; painter Edvard Munch (The Scream); explorers Fridtjof Nansen, Roald Amundsen and Thor Heyerdahl; Trygve Lie, first secretary-general of the United Nations; and actress Liv Ullmann.
Norwegians are passionate participators in outdoor sports. In prehistoric and modern times Norway has served as "the cradle of skiing" in both its cross-country and downhill forms.
Norwegian at UT is accelerated (two years' worth of course work in one year) with NOR 604 offered every fall and NOR 612 offered every spring. It is possible to major or minor in Scandinavian Studies, but not in Norwegian.