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One of my favorite bands, Windir, are from Sogndal in Norway. For that reason, most of their songs are written in their native dialect, Sognamål. I have heard many Norwegians from other regions say that even they have difficulty understanding the dialect. I don't necessarily desire fluency, but I think it would be cool to learn the basics so that I can understand most of the lyrics without using possibly inaccurate online translations. Where can I begin my research?

Thanks in advance!

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  • Har du allerede lært deg bokmål eller nynorsk? – Tommi Jun 3 '20 at 8:07
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    It should be easier to find materials on Bergen spoken dialect than Sognamål. My understanding is that they are quite close. But someone with better knowledge of Norwegian dialects should correct me if I'm wrong about that. – AML Jun 3 '20 at 13:58
  • @Tommi Not really, but I could almost understand that sentence without Google Translate. (BTW for some reason it translated Bokmål to "Spanish", though, good thing I know it doesn't mean that :)) I listen to other music in normal Norwegian, Swedish, etc. so I have been exposed to Scandinavian languages a lot. – Micah Windsor Jun 3 '20 at 14:49
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    Trying to learn Sognamål before bokmål sounds a lot like someone just starting to learn English who chooses a Highland Scottish dialect and accent. Interesting, but unlikely to end well. – K Man Jun 10 '20 at 1:25
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I tried looking for resources for the dialect in general, but quick online searches did not give anything particularly useful.

I would thus recommend starting by learning Norwegian (nynorsk and bokmål). The målform used in the Sogn area is nynorsk, so you might want to focus on that, but it is much easier to find resources for bokmål. Up to you; knowing one will help a lot with the other. Many of the differences are systematic.

After learning sufficient Norwegian, start investigating the dialect in question. You will have a broader understanding of the culture and will already know most of the language, so you have a good basis.

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