What is the New Nordic Lexicon and how did it come about?

The new nordic lexicon

Media coverage of the Nordic region is often dominated by clichés. Commercial and political branding can quickly reduce ‘Norden’ to easily understandable messages, such as ’gender-equal’, ’consensus-orientated’, ’little or no corruption’, ’green’ etc. The main purpose of the New Nordic Lexicon is to provide a more nuanced and research-based approach to the Nordic countries by giving a popular voice to researchers and to disseminate this to young people in the Nordics.

The lexicon is a collection of articles about topics within Nordic society, history, and culture. It is written by researchers, and accompanied by a series of research-based podcasts and films. It has been developed with the input of researchers and students from across the Nordic countries. Young peoples’ input …

It’s just not quite the same


On 21 September 2019, I was invited to give a speech at the departure reception of Professor Morten Kyndrup, former executive director and founder of Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies, honoring his work in establishing the institute. I ended my address with a mention of a short skit I did with a Dutch friend for a Norwegian-American friend’s birthday in August 2019. The birthday deal? No gifts, only performances.

My Dutch friend and I had been speaking a lot about a concept we were both enamoured by and heard often in Denmark spoken by Danes to non-Danes when the latter try to make sense of many things Danish: “Well, you see, it’s just not quite the same.”

The sketch went

An exciting month awaits Lingoblog’s English speaking readers…

bog sommer mindre scaled

Lingoblog publishes new, original blog posts about language(s) and linguistics every week, but as regular readers may have noticed, most of our posts are in Danish.

This summer, we are making more posts accessible to our non-Danish speaking readers as we publish English translations of blog posts originally written in Danish! There will be a new translation on the blog each Tuesday during the next five weeks, starting today with Kristoffer Friis Bøegh’s post on African languages in the 1700s Danish West Indies.

Not enough summer reading for you? Then check out our holiday-reading recommendations for English-language books on languages and linguistics!

We wish all of our readers a wonderful summer – and happy reading!

Cover photo by rawpixel.com

Is she biased? Are you?


Gender equality in machine translation

Many times I have heard of my weird – or original, as I like to say – mother tongue, Finnish. It belongs to the same language family as Hungarian but is geographically isolated in the North, and not related to the neighbouring Nordic languages nor Russian. However, I’ve always been proud of the uniqueness of my language.

Each language has its unique way of capturing and categorizing the world, but in the case of Finnish, one could rather talk about non-categorizing: Finns don’t have articles nor grammatical genders, like “a” and “an” in English, or like feminine and masculine forms in French. In fact, there is no apparent gendering almost at all in the language. …