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How close is Norwegian to its neighbours?

The Local Norway
The Local Norway - [email protected]
How close is Norwegian to its neighbours?
A screengrab of the European word translator created by data wiz James Trimble

Want to check out the geography of the word 'yes'? If you have even a speck of linguistic geekiness within you, this European word translator map could keep you busy a long time.

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Why does Norwegian share the word 'hund' with Sweden, Denmark, Germany and The Netherlands, while English uses the word 'dog'?  
 
Why is the word for  'boy' a very similar 'pojke' and 'poike' In Swedish and Finnish, but a seemingly unique  'gutt' in Norwegian? 
 
The European Word Translator, created by James Trimble at UK Data Explorer, raises a lot more questions than it answers. But by fusing Google Translate with a map of Europe, it allows you to visualise the relationships and discontinuities in the way people speak across the continent. 
 
Obviously, it's only as good as Google Translate, so far from perfect.  
 
But you can see, for instance, how the Germanic word 'ja' for 'yes' runs in a line right down from the top of Norway to Slovenia, while the Slavic 'da' juts in from Russia all the way Croatia's Adriatic coast. 
 
 
 

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