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English Speakers Can Learn This European Language In 24 Weeks

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By Jessy Sloan - - 5 Mins Read
Girl poses for a photo holding the Norwegian flag
Featured photo | Voyagerix/Shutterstock

Interested in learning a new language? Norwegian is a beautiful and accessible choice for English speakers.


Norway, with its rich culture and history, is consistently rated as one of the best places to live in the world.


It is the only country where Norwegian is an official language, and its population barely exceeds 5 million people who are also pretty proficient in English and love riding bikes.

Why Learn Norwegian?


Learning the basics of the Norwegian language can open you to many unseen opportunities, like job opportunities, networking, etc.

Also read: This Small Country in Europe is Topping Every Traveler's Bucket List

Norwegian Language Basics


Having considered why you should learn the Norwegian language,  here are some tips you might need to know:


1. Norway officially uses 3 languages, Bokmal, Nynorsk, and Sami.


Sami is spoken by the Sami and used by less than 1% of the Norway population.


Nynorsk originated from a collection of Norwegian dialects assembled in the 9th century into a common language. It is spoken by 10- 15% of the Norwegian population, mainly in the country's west.


Bokmal is spoken by almost 90% of the population, adapted from Riksmal, a Norwegian standard of the Danish language. 

The little difference between Bokmal and Riksmål can be compared to American and British English. 


2. It uses three genders.


The Norwegian gender for nouns is et for male, ei for female and en for neutral.


Living beings have articles that align with their gender, e.g, a man- en mann, a woman- ei kvinne.


Norwegian words ending with -het, -sjon, or -else are usually male, -inne, and -ing are usually female, while the neutral article is commonly assigned to words ending with -ment, -em, -gram, etc. 

However,  there are a few exceptions, especially when the root word is originally from a foreign language.


The Norwegian alphabet has 29 letters, and æ, ø, and å are the last three, and they have a distinctive place as vowels and are a part of many words and names.

Though the Norwegian alphabet is 3 letters longer, it leaves out 5 letters: c, q, w, X, and z.


Arranged cubes displaying the 29 letters of the Norwegian alphabet

The Norwegian alphabet | kavring/Shutterstock


The letter å standing alone represents the English word "to," e.g å gå meaning to go.

Some of the uses of these alphabets include; en æ (an honor), å spørre (to ask), Åsa (a Norwegian name)


3. The pronunciation differs from its written words.

The Norwegian Verbs

Norwegian has irregular verbs but is a little more than 150.

Norwegian changes the ending of the verb past tense into either -et, -t, -d or -dd. Whatever group the individual verbs fall into depends on their root.

E.g å huske(to remember), huske(remember), husket(remembered), ha husket(have remembered)


The Norwegian Adjectives 


Nouns and verbs are not enough to make a sentence interesting. Adjectives are needed.

In placing a Norwegian adjective in a sentence, three forms need to be considered: male/female, which represents the original; neutral, which adds a 't' at the end; and plural, with an 'e'.

For example:

male/female: en gul blomst (a yellow flower)

neutral: at gult hus (a yellow house)

plural: gules biler (yellow cars)


Best Way to Learn Norwegian 


1. Start with the basics like alphabets and phrases.

2. Get familiar with the language.

3. Use language learning apps like Babbel and StoryLearning.

4. Practice!


Grab your map and set sail on your Norwegian language-learning journey!

With our tips and tools, you're ready to master the basics of the Norwegian language in 24 weeks.