… who asked Why are Swedes So Stupid?

A retired Norwegian linguistics professor has described Swedes as “stupid” for not being able to understand Norwegian. Norwegians have no problem with Swedish, the professor points out.

Finn-Erik Vinje has caused an escalation in what is promising to become an all out language war, by publishing a post on his blog last week asking, “Why are Swedes so stupid?”.

… The basis of Vinje’s assertion is that Swedish viewers of Himmelb√•, a Norwegian television series based on the British production “Two Thousand Acres of Sky”, have complained that the language is too difficult to understand and would prefer to see a series in Swedish, with Swedish actors, in a Swedish setting.

Vinje reacts to a review of the series in the Expressen newspaper in which Norwegian is described as an “incomprehensible and ugly language”.

“Line Verndal in the female lead can look as much like (the Swedish actress) Lena Endre as she likes. But she is still speaking that strange double Dutch,” Expressen’s Nils Schwarts writes.

Vinje [claims] it is… unnecessary for Swedish to be subtitled on Norwegian television although adds that perhaps it may be useful to do so for some of the Norwegian dialects…

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2 Responses to “Heard the one about the retired Norwegian linguistics professor…”

  1. Bill Gleason Says:

    Oh, boy…

    Since I live in Minnesota there is a lot of Finnish/Swedish/Norwegian jostling, most of it in good fun.

    The general hierarchy seems to be Swedes, Norwegian, Finns. But Osmo Vanska turned this on its head as a Finnish conductor of the Minnorch. I know a good joke about Finns and Norwegians, but it is too long to post here. It ends with the Norwegian getting his head blown off because the Finn (deliberately) mistranslated…


    Bill Gleason

  2. theprofessor Says:

    The "double Dutch" insult is a good one.

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