"no" vs. "nb" and "nn"

Kent Karlsson kent.karlsson14 at comhem.se
Tue Mar 18 09:52:16 CET 2008

Karen Broome wrote

> It seems to me that "no" should be used when the language is 
> spoken. The written forms should use "nb" or "nn."

Certainly not. Although, as for most (if not all) languages, the
dialect structure is much more detailed than that, the (official)
spoken forms of "bokmal" and "nynorsk" are different, just as the
written forms are.

I would say that the code "no" is simply obsolete (in an informal

Had the RA (at the time) decided to do what it later did for
Frisian, "no" would have been "clarified" as "bokmal" and just
added "nn" rather than also adding "nb". In the current situation
it would be best to regard "no" as a collective code; I know that
ISO 639-3 (currently) considers "no" to be a "macrolanguage" code.

	/kent k

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