Norwegian is a Germanic language spoken in Norway. Norwegian is closely related to and generally mutually intelligible with Swedish and Danish. Together with these two languages as well as Faroese and Icelandic, Norwegian belongs to the North Germanic languages (also called Scandinavian languages). Native speakers of Norwegian are, for the most part, quite proficient in understanding Danish and Swedish in spoken as well as written form. From the 16th to the 19th centuries, Danish was the standard written language of Norway. As a result, the development of modern written Norwegian has been subject to strong controversy related to nationalism, rural versus urban discourse, and Norway’s literary history.