September’s featured text
The Swedish language belongs to a northern offshoot of the Old Germanic, which in course of time gave origin to two slightly differing forms of speech, known to Scandinavian grammarians as Forn-Svenskan, the Old Swedish, and Forn-Norskan, the Old Norse. The former of these was spoken by the Svear and Götar, or ancient Swedes and Goths; while the latter, as the name implies, was the language of the Norsemen, and probably identical with the Norræna, or Dönsk Tunga, of the Northmen who first made themselves known to the nations of Christian Europe.
We have evidence that these two main branches of the Old Northern never deviated sufficiently from each other to interfere with their comprehension by all the Scandinavian peoples, although each possessed certain inherent and persistent characters peculiar to itself, of which traces may still be found in the modern forms of cultivated speech, which we distinguish as Swedish, and Dano-Norwegian. These distinctive survivals of the original twin forms of the Old Northern have been best preserved in the provincial dialects of the northern kingdoms, and considerable light has been thrown on the history of the development of the Swedish language by a study of the various forms of the so-called "bondespråk," or peasant-speech, which still maintain their ground in different parts of Sweden.
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