Ancestors from Norway - Norwegian-English dictionaries
   Index    |    Norwegian genealogy resources    |    Norwegian-English dictionaries

Norwegian-English dictionaries

As far as I know, there are only a handful of Norwegian-English dictionaries currently available on the Internet. In my opinion, none of these are sufficiently comprehensive for genealogy purposes. Furthermore, purchasing a good Norwegian - English dictionary is a small investment that will be tremendously useful to you in your genealogy research. There are many such dictionaries available, but most of them have been written for tourists and do not contain the obscure (and frequently outdated) words that are found in genealogy research.
The best Norwegian-English dictionary currently available is Einar Haugen's "Norwegian-English Dictionary".  You can order this book either through your local bookstore or through the Ancestors from Norway bookstore (operated in association with


Norwegian - English Dictionary is a dictionary that I have written. It is meant to be used as a supplement to a regular Norwegian - English dictionary. Feel free to print a copy of this dictionary for your own personal use. It is approximately 65 pages long.

Norwegian - English Dictionary by Otto Jørgensen is another very good dictionary. His web site My links to the world also has a very good collection of links to Norwegian genealogy resources!

Christian F. Scheel's home page is a fantastic resource! Among other things, it includes a Norwegian - English dictionary of genealogical terms and a list of family history books published in Norway! This is a "must visit" web page!

Danish-English dictionary also comes in handy, as many words that you will find are from a time period when Norwegian was even more similar to Danish than it is today, and many of the priests were educated in Denmark.

 The LDS Family History web site includes a Norwegian Genealogical Word List as well as a Danish genealogical word list. Both of these are very handy to print out for future reference.

The Nordic Characters is a very nice article by Johan Borgos that explains the three Nordic characters Æ, Ø, Å.

Tolken99 by Borje Hagsten is a translation software program that translates Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, French, German, English and Spanish. (It translates from any of these languages into any of the others). Several members of the Norway-L mailing list use this program and have put together a supplement file that greatly increases the vocabulary of this program. The software program costs $30.00.

The Norwegian Language Counsel has a great web page with information about the Norwegian language.

If you have old letters, family bibles, etc. that you want to have translated you can also try some of the following approaches:

  1. Hire a Norwegian international student from a local university to translate the documents;
  2. Contact local nursing homes to see if an elderly Norwegian may want to earn some extra money by translating the documents for you; or
  3. Contact a local historical society or archive in Norway to see if they would like copies of the documents and translate them for you in return.

Please notify me of any links that are not working
properly as well as any suggestions for additional links.

Unfortunately my schedule does not permit me to answer
individual requests for assistance with genealogy research

John Follesdal
Copyright 1996 - 2002
This page was created 12 December 1996
Last updated on 06 October 2002