Talk:North Germanic Languages
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Talk:North Germanic Languages

Would we really need citations for all these statements? A lot of them seem rather uncontroversial to me. Wakuran (talk) 23:46, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

I agree, and have removed them all in preference to a single {{refimprove}} tag at the top of the section. I've also removed some of the most egregious bullshit, such as the idea that German speakers can understand Danish better than Swedish, while English speakers can understand Norwegian better than Danish (or something, I forget the exact wording now). Neither German speakers nor English speakers can understand any of the North Germanic languages at all unless they've learned them, or unless the sentence is very simple and coincidentally very similar to one's own language. For example: I saw a Swedish movie once where someone calls up to a man on a balcony, Kan vi kom' upp?, which I understood as "Can we come up?" even without the benefit of subtitles. But that doesn't mean English and Swedish are even remotely mutually intelligible. +Angr 10:15, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
Good job on removing that sentence. I was going to delete it earlier, but I figured that since there were "" tags everywhere else in that section, I could hardly justify removing just one portion of it. Indeed, while there are many cognates in English and the North Germanic languages, they are far from being mutually intelligible. Hayden120 (talk) 10:59, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

East and West Scandinavian

It would be great if someone with access to relevant sources could add some info on what linguistic changes distinguish East Scandinavian from West Scandinavian. Especially since there's a common perception that Norwegian shares its phonology with Swedish and its lexicon with Danish, but Swedish and Danish share neither with each other, it would be interesting to know why historically Swedish and Danish are considered to belong to the same subbranch of NGmc while Norwegian (at least Nynorsk) belongs to the other branch (together with Faroese and Icelandic). +Angr 13:43, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

It's assumed that there's been a parallel evolution historically, as far as I've understood it. Yet, that influence has been really weakened after 500 years of Danish rule over Norway and a century of significant Swedish impact. (I think since the 1800's, the main source for loanwords in Norwegian have been English and Swedish.) Wakuran (talk) 15:25, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Old Norwegian was closer to Old Norse and therefore also Old Icelandic and Icelandic. As far as I know Swedish and Danish did not go this route, and were slightly more close to German and English at this point. But when Norway came under Danish rule, the official written language of Norway became Danish, which severed some of the ties to Old Norwegian. However, when we came under Swedish rule later on there was a fear that the Swedes would force the official written language to be Swedish, which caused a bit of an uproar. Therefore they ended up gathering words from the dialects, which were rooted in Old Norwegian (Note: due to the geography of Norway the migration and change of dialects would be rather slow). Norwegian (Bokmål) is closer to Danish, as they made it closer to Norwegian again. Instead of deciding on having one written language Norway now has two, and both are still in use.
As I have no citations for this I will not put it in the article. It is just stuff I vaguely remember from school. - Broken angel (talk) 16:40, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

North Germanic or Nordic Languages versus Scandinavian Languages

This Article should speak only of Scandinavian Languages in the context of Swedish, Danish and Norwegian as spoken in Sweden, Denmark and Norway, the Scandinavian Countries. Iceland, Faeroe, Finland and Aland are not part of Scandinavia.Jochum (talk) 01:21, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

Mutual intelligibility

Icelanders learn Danish (or Norwegian or Swedish) as the second foreign language in school. Faeroes learn Danish as their first foreign language at school. Their is Mutual intelligibility between Icelandic and Faroese. Their is no Mutual intelligibility between Faroese or Icelandic and the three Scandinavian languages.Jochum (talk) 01:50, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

Norwegians may have a better grasp of Swedish as throughout Norway we get at least three Swedish TV channels. However as there was only one Norwegian television channel (NRK) until 1992, and TV3 had a Norwegian branch (it was considered Norwegian, but it was transmitted from Sweden, thus not a Norwegian TV Channel). TV3 had, unlike NRK, more programs directed towards children. The cartoons showed on TV3 were only dubbed in Swedish, therefore it would not be a big surprise that children who grew up watching TV3 have a better understanding of Swedish. As the influence of Danish is less now than it was before, it is more likely that the understanding of Danish will be more of a regional thing, due to certain Norwegian dialects in the South are considered to be more Danish sounding. - Broken angel (talk) 16:15, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

This (claimed) intelligibility is much dependent on actual and somewhat frequent exposure to the neigbour languages. In modern days (the past century) this is mostly attained via TV (and previously, Radio). Example: In Denmark, the people of Jutland (Jutes, "jyder") usually have a low-to-non-extant understanding of Swedish, but then they generally have a much better command of German than people in the rest of the country. To the opposite, the people of Sealand (Sealanders, "sjællændere") generally have a good understanding of Swedish, but a low-to-non-extant understanding of German. (This of course is a generalization and exceptions abound, but it is the general rule). These significant differences stem from the fact that (before digitalization) for many years (South) Jutes could receive German Television while Sealanders could not, and Sealanders could receive Swedish TV while Jutes could not. clsc (talk) 01:56, 24 December 2016 (UTC)
I believe it is as much dependent on attitude and need. If you ask as Stockholmer never interacting with Norwegian language many say no. But fcing a norwegian and needing to understand a context the result will be very different. It is like Poles understanding of Russian, there many of them don't want so the say no, but they do. Same thing with Finns and Swedish and French with English. And a Stockholmer facing true Gotlanish or Kalix language wouldn't understand a thing.
The second issue is hearing or understanding dependent on pronounciation (especially Danish with soft consunants, need some experience for a Swede but with it no problem. Getting the context, the words right it comes to vocabulary and experessions.
And vocabulary and experessions is a huge hurdle for external immigrants, dependent on size of their vocabulary. A regular Scandinavian has a huge vocabulary and it is indeed very common between the languages. But a Swede would never experess like a Dane, but understand what tha Dane says. But feel the Dane is speaking old fashion and the Dane have the same impression. This is because frequent used words in one language is rarly used in the other. As a side effect external immigrants normlly don't understand a thing of the other Scandinvian languages.
Zzalpha (talk) 23:05, 14 August 2019 (UTC)

Should the table have 10 instead of N/A? Speaking your own language is highly applicable. It also shows that the maximum is 10. Eur (talk) 08:01, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

Family tree

When we talk about the modern languages we should scrap the distinction between the east and west North Germanic languages (using Scandinavian languages is still worse) and keep to insular and continental.Jochum (talk) 01:56, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

Grammar Phonology

Am I really alone in that I am more interested in the languages themselves, that is their phonology, their grammar, what sets North Germanic apart from other Germanic languages, than in the question to what extent they are mutually intelligible? I think that an article this big about a language group should at least have some information about the languages themselves.--Merijn2 (talk) 14:43, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

Bokmål and nynorsk

Bokmål and nynorsk are two different writing/spelling norms in Norway, they are not spoken languages. How many people prefer to spell their words in a certain way is completely irrelevant information when listing how many speakers the different languages have. -- Preceding unsigned comment added by Jrgen (talk o contribs) 08:01, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

I agree. Its misleading and I have removed this info.--Orakologen (talk) 20:58, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

Nordic council: "One language"

The claim that the Nordic Council has been referring to the three as one language seems dubious. The only example given is "subscribe to thenewsletter (Scandinavian language)", but that could be interpreted as short for "in a Scandinavian language" or "in any of the Scandinavian languages" . I have searched through the site of the Nordic Council for the string "Scandinavian language" and the context invariably implies that there are several different ones.-- (talk) 12:21, 15 October 2011 (UTC)

Nordic languages instead of Scandinavian languages

Icelandic, Faroese, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish are Nordic languages, only last 3 are Scandinavian. Someone should correct it. -- Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:26, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

In English they call them Scandinavian, even if the Scandinavians think this is rubbish, we have to accept it.--Orakologen (talk) 20:44, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

To use the term "Nordic" is problematic, as Nordic also includes Finnish, which is not at all related to the other languages. Sometimes the term "Scandinavian" is used, even though Scandinavia includes only Norway, Sweden and Denmark. Personally I think "North Germanic" is the most appropriate term when one includes Faroese and Icelandic. --Oddeivind (talk) 08:11, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

Languages and dialects

I have removed two Swedish dialects from the language list. I think this practice of declaring Swedish dialects to be languages has gone too far. There is some scholarly evidence, that Elfdalian can be considered a separate language, so I havent removed it, but every dialect with its own orthography is not a language. Scanian and Bornholmian also have their own unofficial orthographies. We will end up with 20-25 different Scandinavian languages if we continue down this path.--Orakologen (talk) 20:44, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

That depends on whether you are talking about written or oral languages. If you talk about oral languages, I would say that Norwegian and Swedish is the same language (possibly also Danish, although because of pronunciation Danish is a borderline case), while Elfdalian is a separate language, closer to Faroese and Icelandic than to the Swedo-Norwegian language. --Oddeivind (talk) 08:17, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
I think another topic is the most important for the distinction between language and dialect. Even though Elfdalian, Kalixish and rural Gotlandish is by far harder to understand for a Stockholmer than Danish or Norwegian they are still dialects, because of no own army and no own navy. And most of all no own law. Making a contract in regular Swedish with a Gotlander is no problem, both understands everything to the detil falvours. That is the environment a Gotlander lives in. Making a contract with a Norwegian in Bokmål is a very bad idea, because the legal context of a contract in Bokmål is regulated by Norwegian institutions out of reach for a Swede and not familiar. There re legal traps nd some word traps like ganska means partly in Swedish and completely in Norwegian, Danish and German, what the French is calling a false friend, a trap. While writing the Contract in a third language like English or German both parties are on equal basis. A language is backed by law. In Finland Swedish is a legal language with Finnish and Russian. A contract in Gotlandish can't be legally regulated.
Or the distiction between languages and dialects must be split into three dialects, languages and legal languages. The issue is can the language exist without being able to carry formalities?
Zzalpha (talk) 23:20, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
Legal impact on languages and dialects
We have legal distinctions between Swedish Swedish and Finland Swedish dependent on legislation and adaption after 1809 (Sweden and Finland were seprated to two countries, with two governments and each with own later laws both written in Swedish (and after 1919 also in Finnish language in Finland)).
A zebra/pedestrian crossing is "övergångsställe" in Swedish Swedish and "skyddsväg" in Finland Swedish, related to different expressions of law in each country. The zebra crossing is a construction of authorities or municipals and without governmental administrative initiatives they do not exist. The basic things about it, is the legal regulations. It is hard to understand what a skyddsväg is for a Swedish Swede not knowing later (1809<) Finnish law in Finnish Swedish. Svenska Akademiens ordlista by the Swedish Academy (the official current Swedish dictionary) do include Finland Swedish expressions like skyddsväg. Is the academy covering one or two languages? (And this topic is no way applicable to Elfdalian, Kalixish and rural Gotlandish.)
The impact of Legal definitions
But it doesn't end there, because it is difficult to understand in one language in one country. The Swedish traffic law says "40§ Fordon eller spårvagnar får inte köras om strax före eller på ett obevakat övergångsställe, en obevakad cykelpassage eller en cykelöverfart." meaning Vehicles or trams must not be overturned just before or at an unattended pedestrian crossing, an unattended bicycle pass or a bicycle crossing.
  • But the law don't define "omkörning" overturn or "övergångsställe" zebra/pedestrian crossing, who does and what does actually the law mean?
In Swedish and Finnish governmental administrative law since 1632 the independent (here road) authorities do, and in the rest of the world the government. The basic constitutional idea in Sweden/Finland is that you ask the authorities of what to do and how and follow the instructions, and you are always safe. The civil servants were legally until 1970 forced to answer, not knowing find the answers or being legally target for prosecution of mismanagement. So the civil servants maintain the concise language for hundreds of years of development. This way the civil servants and the independent (governing by law) authorities (legal implementation) policies of law have had a huge impact on Swedish language.
The rank of interpretation of legal road component Swedish (if the hight don't define a lower has to to):
1 Svenska Akademiens ordlista by the Swedish Academy (the official current Swedish dictionary)
2 Språkrådet The Swedish Language Council, database that includes "omkörning" overturn
  • "passage av annat eller andra fordon på samma väg eller gata och med samma rörelseriktning" passage of other or other vehicles on the same road or street and with the same direction of movement
3 The authority, here the road authority Trafikverket and the municipalities (their organisation SKL) that define "övergångsställe" zebra/pedestrian crossing in their manual for road construction.
  • "del av en väg som är avsedd att användas av gående för att korsa en körbana eller en cykelbana och som anges med vägmarkering eller vägmärke" part of a road intended to be used by pedestrians to cross a lane or cycle lane and indicated by a road mark or road sign. By definition a Refuge island is not a part of a lane but of the street and so a passage with a Refuge island is two zebra/pedestrian crossings with a Refuge island inbetween. (And the prohibition of overturning by zebra/pedestrian crossing is not logically valid over Refuge island because the Refuge island is protection from this danger. Overtaking on another side of a Refuge island is legal.)
(And this topic is no way applicable to Elfdalian, Kalixish and rural Gotlandish.)
However the world is changing.
In the appeal to the Stockholm Supreme Court (Svea hovrätt) case Ö 6610-19 the complainants question the District courts right of calling a main hearing without a logically plausible prosecution title. It is not possible with a car to overtake a lorry on a zebra crossing with one lane, no space making it plausible. The complainants state that the law says the court can't call for a main hearing without a plausible case, something (a conflict) to judge and when there are no governmental plausible alternative in the prosecutors summon there is only one possible verdict. The case is based on that the policemen and the prosecutor have another definition of "omkörning" overturn (a long process in stages) or "övergångsställe" zebra/pedestrian crossing (are over streets and not just lanes) than the authorities and looks to get away with it in the district court? We also see often civil servants refusing to answer direct questions as a part of a general shift (especially after the mid 1990ies) from legal governing (the civil servant getting legally hit by no answer) to power governing (the civil servant get hit by power, answering something the boss don't like), and the limitations of appeal rights in the same process. In fact a common trend today.
This is not only changing the governmental (and traffic crime) legal situation but also have a huge impact on language development. In fact a Power administration works as well expressed in languages as in dialects, when law and formalities are set aside. Most likely dialects that have been more and more unpractical in the development of a formal society and legal definitions, suddenly might very well get energy and grow in power talk. We see a strong trend of political topics about "someone/everyone else but themselves are to blame for the miseries in life", that is also a result of power governing (and the electrates decrease in identification with the governing visions). If the police don't like you and being able to safely hit you with fines of no reason, people getting convicted for non-plausible crimes, people get opinions about it. Often much more flavoured in dialects (and not meant for everyone to understand but the close group).

--Zzalpha (talk) 12:55, 15 August 2019 (UTC)

two languages called "Norwegian"

There are not two languages called Norwegian. Bokmal and Nynorsk are written standards, not spoken languages. You can't have one language in two places in a tree unless (a) there is disagreement as to its classification, in which case that should be noted, or (b) there are two languages with the same name. Neither is the case here. -- kwami (talk) 04:38, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

The distinction between spoken language and writing standards is a true issue of all Scandinavian languages because the way of speaking the words/expressions (the song) has such a big impact in the message in spoken scandinavian language, that written standards are quite different from spoken languages. Not just writing standards for Norwegian and all of them could very well have multiple writing standards, but only Norwegian do. But Swedish spoken language did not change by the big writing reform in the early 1900ds, warvf and varv is pronounced the same in spoken Swedish languge. Writing standrads are politics (ask the Norwegians), spoken language isen't.
Zzalpha (talk) 23:37, 14 August 2019 (UTC)

Family tree, a dialect list ?

User Kwamikagami claims this is supposed to be a "list of dialects", please edit the header, introduction and content, if this is correct. Wikarth (talk) 19:30, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

I'm not sure if I understand what you want changed. It looks ok as it is to me. CodeCat (talk) 21:10, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

Why prevent a specific "Scandinavian language" ?

North Germanic languages includes Icelandic and the language spoken at the Faroe Islands. Together stands 20 million people whose different dialects may be more difficult to understand than one of the other Scandinavian languages, if spoken as beginners (from unrelated languages) learn them. "The Nordic countries" includes Finland, a country with fewer and fewer Swedish speaking people, and is located on the Russian side of the Bothnian Gulf, have a notably colder climate, and are not Scandinavians simply. And in the North Atlantic lives probably not more than 400,000. (Iceland 300,000 , Faroe Icelands 50,000 and Greenland also 50,000). Norwegian is usually well understood in most of Denmark and Sweden, the the other way around as well. In southern Sweden (including the West Coast) do most people also understand Danish. And most Danish understands Swedish. And of those who do not understand the two other Scandinavian languages, most have never visited that country, but can rather soon begin to understand for instance news on television. And during all circumstances can all Scandinavian speakers read both the two other languages, with very few exceptions. While Icelandic and the language on the Faroe Islands are far more difficult for Norwegians, Danish and Swedish to understand. In wrighting also. Dutch isn't more difficult than what Icelandic is. And if it wasn't for the German grammar (and the grammar alone) that would be very easy for Scandinavians to learn, I gather. Even easier than English is, but the German grammar is indeed a major problem. Anyways, I believe there is space also for an article about Scandinavian languages. Please note again, I do not want to remove this article, but just also have an article about Scandinavian languages. In order to examine similarities and diffrencies. Boeing720 (talk) 03:44, 30 March 2016 (UTC)

Scandinavian Languages and North Germanic Languages are almost synonymous. With North Germanic historically being split between the East and West Norse languages, and modernly between Continental and Insular Scandinavian languages. If you want to split it any other way, or rename the article, you have to demonstrate that is how it is named in the field now, otherwise it would be independent research and frowned upon here.Carewolf (talk) 07:59, 30 March 2016 (UTC)
"North Germanic languages" is a term used in genetic linguistics. Non-Scandinavian linguists also sometimes refer to this group as Scandinavian languages, understood as a genetic-linguistic term. However, the terms "Scandinavian"/"Scandinavian language"/"Scandinavian languages" have also been used in government usage and by the Nordic Council to refer specifically to the modern Danish, Norwegian and Swedish languages (i.e. not as a genetic-linguistic term, but a term for the group of mutually intelligible modern North Germanic languages found in Scandinavia). This more narrow, practical meaning should of course be mentioned in appropriate articles, including this one. I'm not quite sure of whether it merits a separate article. --Dijhndis (talk) 21:08, 28 April 2016 (UTC)

Origin of term "North Germanic"?

Does anybody have a clue as to who coined the term "North Germanic", and when? I know it's technical jargon from Linguistics, but what is the origin, exactly? If we can get a sourced origin for the term, the article should include it, imho. Thanks in advance for any help, and excuse my ignorance. clsc (talk) 01:20, 24 December 2016 (UTC)

"North Germanic" vs Old Norse?

The region mentioned on this page is the region where Old Norse was spoken. But, the page has little mention of Old Norse, and fails completely to explain the exact relation between Old Norse and "North Germanic". Are they synonyms? Did Old Norse evolve into "North Germanic", or was it the other way around? Is Old Norse a subgroup of "North Germanic"? A dialect? Is "North Germanic" a historical language group (and if so, in what time period did it exist? and if it didn't, what time frame does it apply to?), or is it used as an umbrella term for all the languages in this region regardless of age (ie both modern Swedish and Old Norse)? What is "North Germanic", exactly? A writtten/spoken/attested/proven language, or some meta construction? And what is the exact relation between the known, attested, language of Old Norse, and this concept/construct "North Germanic"? The page comes off very technical which may be fine for a linguist, but a layman has little benefit of it, as it is - it seems key concepts are supposed to be known by the reader, and (imho) you just can't assume that. clsc (talk) 22:16, 24 December 2016 (UTC)

North Germanic is a language family, so it's not a language but a group of languages sharing a common ancestor. It includes this common ancestor and all descendants of it. In the case of North Germanic, the last common ancestor was Proto-Norse rather than Old Norse. CodeCat (talk) 23:00, 24 December 2016 (UTC)
Thanks :) We should write this somewhere on-page; even if it's a short explanation it helps a lot! So, if I understand correctly(?), "North Germanic Languages" is: Proto-Norse, and every single language and dialect descending from Proto-Norse throughout history (and as such future developments will also be included). Or, is this definition too inclusive? It seems it's a rather large group compared to "just Old Norse". clsc (talk) 23:12, 24 December 2016 (UTC)

English as north germanic

Can someone add this article that suggests English might fit into this category? -- Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:20, 2 October 2017 (UTC)

It doesn't, it just says there was language contact. - filelakeshoe (t / c) ? 14:50, 2 October 2017 (UTC)

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"Tree of life"?

Under "Classification", the following is stated: Another way of classifying the languages -- focusing on mutual intelligibility rather than the tree-of-life model -- posits Norwegian, Danish, and Swedish as Continental Scandinavian, and Faroese and Icelandic as Insular Scandinavian. The wikilink to tree-of-life however, points to an article that has nothing to do with languages and how they evolve. No links on the tree of life disambiguation page includes language evolution either. Is there a better way of writing this? Fomalhaut76 (talk) 08:51, 11 June 2018 (UTC)

I'd suggest "rather than it's phylogeny" or "... phylogenic tree". Same thing, really, but with wider application.
Andejons (talk) 13:34, 11 June 2018 (UTC)

"Scandinavian languages"

If this term only refers to the languages spoken in Scandinavia, then why is it "Insular Scandinavian languages" and not "Insular North Germanic languages"? Article seems to cite mostly non-English sources when explaining terminology, which may not reflect English usage. Might it be that in English "Scandinavian languages" refers to the entire North Germanic languages family? Ultimately all the languages are of Scandinavian origin. Rob984 (talk) 16:56, 9 August 2018 (UTC)

Scandinavian languages is another name for North Germanic languages, but not the traditional term among linguistics since Scandinavia was not even a thing back when North Germanic languages were first defined, but was when insular and contintal scandinavian languages was. You might as well complain abouth the rest of the Germanic languages being called "West" Carewolf (talk) 08:33, 12 August 2018 (UTC)
Granted but currently the first mention of this term is in the second paragraph and isn't even referring to English usage. Why not wack it in the lead sentence like any other common alternative name would be? Rob984 (talk) 18:52, 19 August 2018 (UTC)
Reverted. In current usage Scandinavian does not include Faroese and Icelandic. ·maunus · snun· 19:04, 19 August 2018 (UTC)
The Arne Torp source given for the supposed "insular scandinavian" group does not in fact use that term but distinguished between "ønordisk" (insular nordic) and "scandinavian".·maunus · snun· 19:07, 19 August 2018 (UTC)
Apparently there are a couple of articles by Jónsson and Eythórsson that use the term "insular scandinavian", and a couple of articles by Platzack and Ho,berg that have adopted that use (or maybe originated it). But this is a confusing misnomer, and it seems much more useful to use Insular Nordic/Scandinavian as Torp does - and there are at least as many articles using that phrase.·maunus · snun· 19:13, 19 August 2018 (UTC)
(edit conflict) That's not what the sources in this very article suggest. As for you snarky edit summary, of course I read the sentence. I acknowledged this in my edit summary. But different languages obviously use transliterate terms to mean different things. Implying Scandinavian usage reflects English usage is daft. Rob984 (talk) 19:14, 19 August 2018 (UTC)
There is no reason to think that there is any particular "scandinavian" usage as opposed to an English usage here. Both are being used in English language sources. If anything "insular scandinavian" seems to be a specific Icelandic usage since it is pretty much only Jónsson and Eythórsson that use it. What is daft is to choose the least accurate and most confusing translation of two possible ones.·maunus · snun· 19:21, 19 August 2018 (UTC)

Classification and influence

The article claims that Nynorsk does not confirm to the east-west split model, but Bokmål does, since the former is closer to Swedish, and the latter to Danish. This seems very suspect. Danish and Swedish are both Eastern Scandinavian languages. One could suspect that the difference noted might instead been due to influence in the other direction: Danish might have picked up a few Western traits due to Denmark having control over the entire Western area (with a few minor exceptions) for hundreds of years.

Andejons (talk) 16:38, 6 September 2020 (UTC)

"East Nordic" listed at Redirects for discussion

Information.svg A discussion is taking place to address the redirect East Nordic. The discussion will occur at Resource: Redirects for discussion/Log/2021 January 2#East Nordic until a consensus is reached, and readers of this page are welcome to contribute to the discussion. Hildeoc (talk) 02:11, 2 January 2021 (UTC)

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