Learning the Norwegian language

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.

Learning a new language can be an incredibly rewarding experience, opening doors to new cultures, people, and opportunities. Norwegian, with its rich history and vibrant modern culture, is a language well worth exploring. Whether you plan to travel to Norway, connect with Norwegian-speaking friends and family, or simply expand your linguistic horizons, this article will guide you through the process of learning the Norwegian language.

  1. Understand Your Motivation

Before diving into any new language, it’s essential to understand your motivation and goals. Are you learning Norwegian for travel, business, family, or pure personal interest? Your reasons will influence the learning path you choose, your commitment, and the pace at which you study.

  1. Choose a Dialect

Norwegian has multiple dialects, which can differ significantly from one another. The two main written standards are Bokmål and Nynorsk. Bokmål is more common and resembles Danish, while Nynorsk is a modern written language based on various Norwegian dialects. Your choice of dialect may depend on your personal preferences or specific goals.

  1. Learn the Basics of Norwegian Pronunciation

The Norwegian language features unique sounds and pronunciation that may be challenging for non-native speakers. It’s essential to familiarize yourself with these sounds, so consider taking a pronunciation course or using online resources to practice.

  1. Start with the Basics

Begin with the fundamentals of Norwegian, such as the alphabet, numbers, greetings, and basic phrases. There are many online resources, language apps, and textbooks designed to help beginners get started.

  1. Grammar and Vocabulary

Building a strong foundation in Norwegian grammar and vocabulary is crucial. Regularly practice verb conjugations, noun genders, and sentence structure. Create flashcards or use language learning apps to expand your vocabulary.

  1. Immerse Yourself

Immerse yourself in the Norwegian language and culture. Watch Norwegian films, listen to Norwegian music, and try reading books or news articles in Norwegian. These activities will help you get used to the language’s flow and improve your understanding.

  1. Take a Language Course

Enrolling in a language course, whether in a traditional classroom or through online platforms, can provide structured learning and access to expert guidance. Look for courses that suit your proficiency level and goals.

  1. Practice Speaking

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Speaking with native speakers or fellow learners is one of the best ways to improve your language skills. Consider language exchange programs, conversation partners, or language meetups in your area.

  1. Keep a Language Journal

A language journal can help you track your progress, reinforce your learning, and keep you motivated. Write daily entries, record new words and phrases, and reflect on your language journey.

  1. Visit Norway

If possible, visit Norway to immerse yourself fully in the culture and language. Practice your skills with locals and gain a deeper understanding of the language’s context.

  1. Stay Consistent

Consistency is the key to language learning success. Set aside time each day for language practice, and stick to it. Over time, you’ll see substantial improvements in your Norwegian skills.

  1. Embrace Language Challenges

Learning a new language can be challenging, but it’s essential to embrace the difficulties and stay motivated. Celebrate your progress and use mistakes as opportunities to learn and grow.


Learning the Norwegian language is a rewarding endeavor that opens doors to a unique culture and a fascinating linguistic world. By understanding your motivation, choosing the right dialect, and following a structured learning plan, you can achieve fluency in Norwegian. Remember, consistency and immersion are vital, and don’t be afraid to embrace the challenges along the way. Lykke til! (Good luck!)

Getting Settled in Norway

One you arrive in Norway here is a few things to start getting setup so you can get settled.

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