Re: Danish & Norwegian sorting

From: Keld J|rn Simonsen (
Date: Tue Sep 15 1998 - 15:58:28 EDT

> Is anyone familiar with the current practice in Denmark & Norway for
> collating AE vs Æ (A-E-ligature), OE vs Ø (O-stroke) and AA vs. Å (A-ring)?

Some official wordings taken from the new ISO/IEC 15897 cultural
register on Danish is:

   Ordering in Danish is defined in Danish Standard DS 377,
   3rd edition (1980) and the Danish Orthography Dictionary
   ("Retskrivningsordbogen", 2. udgave, Aschehoug, København
   1996. ISBN 87-11-10000-1).

   Normal <a> to <z> ordering is used on the Latin script, except
   for the following letters: The letters <æ> <ø> <å> are
   ordered as 3 separate letters after <z>. <ü> is ordered as <y>,
   <ä> as <æ>, <ö> as <ø>, <ð> as <d>, <þ> as <t><h>, French <?>
   as <o><e>. Two <a>s are ordered as <å>, except when denoting two
   sounds (which is normally the case only in combined words).
   Nonaccented letters come before accented letters, and capital
   letters come before small letters, when words otherwise compare
   equally. There is no explicit ordering of accents specified
   in "Retskrivningsordbogen", and whether case or accents
   are the most important is not specified.

Data from the ISO/IEC (and CEN) cultural register is available

> I'm receiving conflicting requirements for these characters, as well as
> confusing information about collating borrowed words containing A/O/U with
> diaresis (umlaut). My understanding is that the correct sort sequence is:
> A, B, C, .... X, Y, Z, AE/Æ, OE/Ø, AA/Å
> but that many commercial situations have decided to sort the letter pairs
> as in English, and sort only the Danish characters after Z. I have no idea
> where to place the German letters: should the U-umlaut be sorted after U or
> with Y, the A-umlaut after A or with Æ?

The above answers that for Danish. There is a Norwegian standard
also, which is very much like the danish specification.

> What does Dansk Standardiseringsråd say? I believe there's also a Dansk
> Sproginstitut (or something like that): anyone know what their view is on
> this?

The above is a Dansk Standard submission to the cultural register.
(Dansk Standardiseringsråd changed name to Dansk Standard some
years ago.

Keld Simonsen

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