Norwegian Sign Language


A language of Norway


4,000 (Van Cleve 1986).

Language Status

5 (Developing).


Holmestrand, Oslo, Trondheim. Intelligible with Danish [dsl] and Swedish [swl] sign languages with only moderate difficulty. Not intelligible with Finnish Sign Language [fse].


Finger-spelling system.

Language Use

Used since 1815. First deaf school in 1825; first club in 1878. Passed to the next generation mainly through schools. 3 dialects associated with 3 schools. Signed Norwegian used by teachers; pupils use Norwegian Sign Language among themselves. Interpreters required in court, provided some for college students, and mental health programs. Instruction provided for parents of deaf children. Many classes for hearing people. Committee on national sign language.

Language Development
Films. TV. Videos.