NAOB er her!

Free online Bokmål dictionary is launched


Photo: NAOB
NAOB dictionary homepage with search field,

M. Michael Brady
Asker, Norway

“It’s a national event,” said Nils Heyerdahl, president of Det Norske Akademi (short name in Norwegian for “The Norwegian Academy for Language and Literature”), the learned body dealing with modern Norwegian language of the Riksmål/Bokmål variety. He so opened the launch on Jan. 24 of NAOB, an acronym for Norsk Akademi Ordbok (Norwegian Academy Dictionary), and the official presentation of it to Minister of Culture Trine Skei Grande.

Minister Grande remarked that “NAOB is a key work for ensuring that Norwegian language will be able to survive as an independent language… as dictionaries comprise vital infrastructure for Norwegian culture.”

NAOB is a modernized, digitized continuation of a benchmark linguistic reference, Norsk Riksmålsordbok, that covered the Riksmål/Bokmål form of the written language and was published in six volumes from 1937 to 1995. The compiling of NAOB entailed nearly 17 years of work by up to 20 lexicographers. As launched, it comprises entries on 225,000 words supported by nearly 400,000 quotes from literature and media, arranged for free access via a computer, tablet computer, or mobile phone from the homepage at

Norwegian dictionary

Photo: Nsaa / Wikimedia Commons, Norsk Riksmålsordbok, second edition.

A similar effort is underway for the other variety of the written language, based on the 12-volume Norsk Ordbok, compiled and published from 1950 through 2016 and covering Nynorsk and dialects. At this writing, only the newer volumes, from I through Å, have been digitized, while the older volumes, from A through H, have yet to be digitized.

Further reading: NAOB er her! (NAOB is here!), official press release on the Jan. 24, 2018, launch of NAOB (in Norwegian), of which this article is a translated and amended extract, link:

M. Michael Brady was educated as a scientist and, with time, turned to writing and translating.

This article originally appeared in the July 27, 2018, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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M. Michael Brady

M. Michael Brady was born, raised, and educated as a scientist in the United States. After relocating to the Oslo area, he turned to writing and translating. In Norway, he is now classified as a bilingual dual national.