‘Skam’ hailed for making Norwegian language cool

The popular Norwegian series ‘Skam’ (Shame) was given the Nordic Language Award for 2016 on Monday for its ability to engage a young Nordic audience.

‘Skam’ hailed for making Norwegian language cool
Skam characters like Isak and Even have made Norwegian 'dritt kult' amongst Scandinavians. Photo: NRK
The Norden Association (Foreningen Norden) honoured the NRK programme with its annual language prize for the programme’s ability to connect with young people across the Nordic region and for fostering positive attitudes about the region’s neighbouring languages. 
The prize jury said that the success of ‘Skam’ proves that there is no need to dub programming into the local language when aired in the Nordics. 
The programme, Norway's biggest online hit ever with around 200,000 viewers for each episode, has also been a massive hit in its original Norwegian in Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Iceland. 
The show has particularly struck a nerve in Denmark, where its popularity has sparked an intense interest in the Norwegian language and culture. 
Foreningen Norden said that the programme’s use of a young and hip Norwegian is “an important part of the viewer experience, an identity marker that is different, yet so familiar and similar to one's own that it can easily be taken up in their own repertoire.”
“Few have made our neighbour languages as fun, relevant and cool amongst young Scandinavians than this year’s winner,” the jury wrote. 
The editorial director of Norwegian broadcaster P3, which airs the programme, said the programme’s recognition was well deserved. 
“Skam has gotten the Scandinavian youth interested in Norwegian and shown them that we all belong to the same language family – the series builds language bridges to the rest of the Nordics,” he told NRK. 
Skam follows the lives of teenagers in Oslo and has received praise for taking on topics that resonate with teens, including sex, bullying, homosexuality and date rape.

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Here are the first glimpses of the American ‘Skam’

‘Skam’, the hugely successful Norwegian television series following the lives of Oslo teenagers, has been given an American remake.

Here are the first glimpses of the American 'Skam'
Will the US Skam enjoy similar levels of success to its Norwegian predecessor? Photo: Terje Bendiksby / NTB scanpix

The first clips from ‘Skam Austin’, which will be broadcast on Facebook’s US streaming service, were released via social media this week.

As with the original Norwegian series, ‘Skam Austin’ gives viewers insight and sneak previews of the lives of its characters via videos and other content posted on social media accounts.

Broadcaster NRK last year sold the rights to the series, which ended last year after a highly-popular four-series run, to several European countries as well as the United States.

And the first glimpses of what is to come have now been made available online by production company XIX Entertainment, which made the series for Facebook Watch.

Fans of the show initially began speculating after Facebook page ‘SKAM Austin’ began publishing video clips last week.

The first video, a teaser, confirmed that the first episode will be released on April 24th.

Further videos have since appeared online, as have Instagram accounts connected to characters from the new series.

Julie Andem, screenwriter on the original version of Skam, also directed the new US series.

“This proves that NRK has made something world class, and is being noticed all over the world,” the Norwegian broadcaster's director Thor Gjermund Eriksen said to NRK when the US series was announced last year.


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