Language is a powerful tool that not only allows us to communicate thoughts and events, but that inherently transmits the context and world within which each letter, document, or record was produced. Genealogical research is not simply about identifying dates and names, but about building a relationship with those who have gone before. By understanding the nuances of the language used to record this information, we are given a glimpse into the times in which our ancestors lived, breathing life once more into a world long past. This presentation will walk through the history of Norwegian from the earliest times to the present day, exploring the overarching context of each stage in the history of the Norwegian language. Ultimately, it will conclude by looking at ways and tips that we as researchers can use to both more fully make sense of the records we read and more vividly contextualize the information the records contain.