Languages of Svalbard

Languages Of Svalbard

Languages of Svalbard

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Svalbard has a population of approximately 2,400 people as of 2005. Approximately 70% of the people are Norwegian; the remaining 30% are Russian, Ukrainian and Polish. The official language of Svalbard is Norwegian. Russian is used in the Russian settlements, but formerly, Russenorsk was the lingua franca of the entire Barents Sea region.

The annual population growth is -0.02%, but as may be seen from the following chart, the ex-Soviet population has atrophied, while the Norwegians have been increasing.

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Norwegian is the official, and main language, of the archipelago. The weekly Svalbardposten is published in it.

Mainly Norwegian speaking settlements include Longyearbyen, the capital, Ny-Ă…lesund and Sveagruva


There is a Polish Station at Hornsund.


Mainly Russian-speaking settlements include Barentsburg

Some Russian is spoken in Svalbard's capital Longyearbyen, and appears in some signage.

Abandoned communities which spoke Russian include Grumant until 1961, Pyramiden until 2000.


The Arctic Yellow River Station was established in 2003, by the People's Republic of China.


Smeerenburg was Dutch speaking until about 1660. The name itself is Dutch for...
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