Norwegian and English have many similarities, but the way we use capital and
lowercase letters is not one of them. Here, we'll go over the similarities and differences so you can learn how to use capital and lowercase letters in Norwegian.
First, let’s go over the similarities.
1. This one is simple. Always capitalize the first word in a sentence.
Correct: Hunden sover. (The dog is sleeping.)
Correct: Det er hyggelig å møte deg. (It's nice to meet you.)
2. Capitalize people's names (first, middle, and last names).
Correct: Jeg heter Stine Emilie Olsen. (My name is Stine Emilie Olsen.)
Correct: Katten min heter Frank. (My cat's name is Frank.)
3. Capitalize the names of countries and cities.
Correct: Jeg er fra Spania. (I am from Spain.)
Correct: Jeg elsker Paris om våren. (I love Paris in the springtime.)
But that's it... Here are the times that we don't use capitalization where in English one would:
3. Don't capitalize days of the week.
Correct: I dag, er det torsdag. (Today, it's Thursday.)
Correct: Jeg liker å sove lenge på lørdager. (I like to sleep in on Saturdays)
4. Don't capitalize months of the year.
Correct: Den korteste måneden i året er februar. (The shortest month of the year is February.)
Correct: Jeg har bursdag i april. (My birthday is in April.)
5. Don't capitalize holidays.
Correct: Vi gikk på ski i påskeferien. (We went skiing over Easter break.)
Correct: Jeg elsker julemusikk. (I love Christmas music.)
6. Don't capitalize languages.
Correct: Jeg snakker litt norsk. (I speak some Norwegian.)
Correct: Jeg snakker ikke italiensk. (I don't speak Italian.)
7. Don't capitalize nationalities.
Correct: Min beste venn er marokkansk. (My best friend is Moroccan.)
Correct: Jeg elsker koreansk mat. (I love Korean food.)
8. Don't capitalize names of religions.
Correct: Et tradisjonelt hinduistisk bryllup er lyst og fargerikt. (A traditional Hindu wedding is bright and colourful.)
Correct: Naboen min er buddhist. (My neighbour is a Buddhist.)
9. Don't capitalize eras, time periods, or historical events.
Correct: Man kan se mange gravhauger fra jernalderen i Norge. (One can see many burial mounds from the Iron Age in Norway.)
Correct: Min bestefar var oberst under andre verdenskrig. (My grandfather was a colonel during World War II.)
10. Finally, only capitalize the first letter of titles, such as books, songs & movies.
Correct: Ringenes herre (The Lord of the Rings)
Correct: Harry Potter og ildbegeret (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) *note the exception that both Harry and Potter are capitalized because they're a person's name!
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