Language of the Week: Norwegian


If I mention Norway, what is the first thing that you think of? Did the word Viking pop into your head? That is because Norwegian comes from Old Norse, which was the language of the Vikings. There are actually two written forms of Norwegian, one called Dano-Norwegian or Bokmål, which comes from the 1500s when it was under rule of Danemark, and the second is Nynorsk, which only 8% of the population uses.

Norwegian is very similar to English and hence is said to be pretty easy for English speakers to learn. There are 29 letters in their alphabet, the first 26 are the same as the English alphabet, the other three letters below are the special ones:

æ/Æ ø/Ø å/Å
pronounced similarly to the vowels in “hat” and “man” pronounced similarly to the vowels in “bird” and “heard” sounds like the vowel in “fall” and “more”


If you do get the chance to visit Norway, you’ll realize that a good chunk of the population does speak English, but don’t fret, here are a few words that might come handy in your travels.

Norwegian English
Hallo Hello
Ja Yes
Nei No
Tusen takk Thank you very much
Vær så snill You’re Welcome
Unnskyld meg Excuse Me
Jeg forstår ikke I don’t understand
Flypass Airport

As you may know, Norway is a great place to view the northern lights, the best time to go see them is during the autumn and spring equinox ( 21 September – 21 March) above the arctic circle away from places with a lot of lighting. AND most importantly, make sure to dress warm!

Ha det! Bye!

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