Learning Norwegian

Photo: Colourbox

Learning Norwegian

Written by: Student Bergen

Photo: Colourbox

While the majority of Norwegians speak excellent English, learning Norwegian offers a number of advantages. 

About Norwegian

Norway has two official written languages, Bokmål ("book tongue") and Nynorsk ("new Norwegian"). Bokmål is used by 85-90% of Norwegians. It closely related to Danish, as Denmark governed Norway for hundreds of years and during that time (16th-19th century) Danish was Norway's standard written language. Nynorsk has been chosen as the official written language in Hordaland in all but Bergen and two other municipalties. It was developed in the middle of the 19th century to be based on Norwegian dialects, in order to more accurately reflect how Norwegian is spoken. However, there is no one standard spoken language, and Norwegian has many regional dialects that differ in accent, vocabulary, grammar and syntax. Understanding unfamiliar dialects can be challenging, especially for those learning Norwegian as a foreign language. 

Why learn Norwegian?

Learning Norwegian allows international students to participate more fully in Norwegian culture, events and activities. It allows for a deeper understanding and appreciation of Norway. Learning Norwegian may also increase the chances of building friendships with native Norwegians.

Ways to learn Norwegian:

There is a wide range of opportunities to increase your Norwegian language skills as an international student. Some of these are free, while others have fees. Click on the articles below for more information.

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