Thanks to a robust education system and lots of bad American television and movies, the majority of Norwegians speak perfectly good English! It’s not hard to communicate both in public and business settings.
That being said, learning even a small amount of Norwegian can help you build camaraderie with Norwegians. If you plan to stay in Norway for a while, there is some expectation in society that you’ll learn the language. Foreigners that stay here for five or more years can be looked down upon if they have yet to grasp the language, so it’s recommended you make some effort in this area. It’s typically always best to show both some admiration of and desire to learn the language to your work colleagues as well.
Your pronunciation will likely be dreadful at first, and if Norwegians see you struggle, they’ll be eager to switch to English for your comfort and theirs. However, if you let them know you’re really trying to learn and appreciate their support it’ll go a long way. Although Norwegians are typically too polite to correct your bad Norwegian.
Want some help learning the language? Join a Sprakkafe to meet up and practice with other immigrants.
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Working with Norwegians is the guide to work culture in Norway.
Living with Norwegians is the guide for moving to and surviving Norway.