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Language policy and corporate law: A case study from Norway

Journal article
Authors Guro R. Sanden
Published in Nordic Journal of Linguistics
Volume 43
Issue 1
Pages 59-91
ISSN 0332-5865
Publication year 2020
Published at Department of Applied Information Technology (GU)
Pages 59-91
Language en
Keywords corporate law; diglossia; domain loss; language policy; multidisciplinary; Norway
Subject categories Law and Society, Norwegian language


This paper investigates how 492 of the largest companies in Norway comply with the language requirement of the Norwegian Accounting Act Article 3-4. The results show that 36% of the companies presented their financial statements in Norwegian only, 45% in one or more language(s) in addition to Norwegian, while 19% had been granted dispensation and presented statements in English-only. The company’s ownership, use of English as a corporate language, and industry affiliation were the three most commonly mentioned reasons for dispensation, but the findings show significant differences between industry sectors in terms of language choice. The study contributes to corporate law research by examining the interpretation and application of the Norwegian Accounting Act by the Norwegian Directorate of Taxes; to sociolinguistics by shedding new light on the concepts of domain loss and diglossia; and to language-sensitive research in international business by analysing language use in Norwegian companies.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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