Old Norse language

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Old Norse
Dǫnsk tunga ("Danish tongue")
Norrœnt mál ("Norse speech")
Native toScandinavia
RegionNordic countries, Great Britain, Ireland, Isle of Man, Normandy, Newfoundland, the Volga and places in-between
Eradeveloped into the various North Germanic languages by the 14th century
Early forms
Runic, later Latin (Old Norse alphabet)
Language codes
ISO 639-2non
ISO 639-3non
Glottologoldn1244[1]
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Old Norse is a Germanic language that was spoken in Scandinavia, during the Viking Age, until about year 1300. It was also spoken in Iceland, the Faeroe Islands, Orkney Islands and other places, where Scandinavians started settlements (similar to colonies).

Languages that came from Old Norse[change | change source]

Modern Icelandic is the modern language, that looks most like Old Norse, when written. Another language, similar to Old Norse, is Elfdalian. Other languages that come from Old Norse, are Swedish, Danish, Faroese, and Norwegian.

The Rök Runestone in Östergötland, Sweden, is the longest surviving source of early Old East Norse. It is inscribed on both sides


  1. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Old Norse". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.