Norwegian Made Easy: Even Dummies Can Learn Norwegian
Learning Norwegian is not as much of a time commitment (and not as hard) as you might think. With Babbel, learning Norwegian online is easy, intuitive and under your control: learn at your own pace, choose the lessons you want, and review and practice vocabulary on the go. Norwegian closely related to English with half of their vocabularies in common. Although mastering the very different accent and pronunciation can be difficult at first, Babbel’s online courses and mobile app include speech recognition so you can quickly become comfortable with speaking. Read the how-to tips below and then test your skills with a free Norwegian lesson.
The Viking Invasion
English is technically a West Germanic language so, even though it borrows more than half of its vocabulary from French and Latin, the core of English is firmly Germanic. About 1500 years ago, the Angles and the Saxons came to England from what is now Germany and the Netherlands. A couple hundred years after that, the Vikings swooped down from Scandinavia and left their mark, both in terms of settlements and the influence of North Germanic words and grammar. The evidence remains in modern English, which is closer to modern Norwegian than it is to Old English.
Basic Norwegian phrases
- Ja / No – Yes / No
- Hei – Hi
- Farvel – Goodbye
- Vær så snill – Please
- (Mange) Takk – Thank you (very much)
- Eg heiter … – My name is…
- Eg er frå… – I’m from…
- Unnskyld meg – Excuse me / pardon me
- Jeg har et spørsmål – I have a question.
- Eg forstår (ikkje) – I (don’t) understand.
Hjelp meg! (help me!)
Being able to ask a few questions is a good way to start speaking a language. Not only can you start communicating right away, but the answers to your questions will provide you with new vocabulary.
- Kvar er stasjonen? – Where is the train station?
- Kvar er du frå? – Where are you from?
- Kva heiter du? – What is your name?
- Korleis har du det? – How are you?
- Kva kostar denne? – What does this cost?
Unlike English, which has no gendered nouns (the is the only definite article), every noun in Norwegian is either masculine (en) or neuter (ett). In Norwegian the definite article is added to the end of a noun, while it comes before the noun when it is indefinite: compare en fisk (a fish) with fisken (the fish).
Verbs in Norwegian are always conjugated, which means the verb has a different ending depending on whether you, I, we, she, or they are doing the verb. To get you started, here are a few useful verbs in the I form:
- Eg treng… – I need…
- Eg ønsker… – I want…
- Eg har… – I have…
- Eg er… – I am…
How To Practice Your Norwegian
Try your first Norwegian lesson with Babbel for free. One of the advantages of the Babbel system is that you are immersed in Norwegian from the beginning. The process is easy and intuitive (with lots of helpful hints when you need them), and you can learn at your own pace and set your own lesson plans. Babbel’s Norwegian course is affordable, accessible online and via mobile devices, and proven to strengthen your reading, listening, speaking and comprehension skills. You can master Norwegian by yourself, or use Babbel’s community features to connect with other learners, find tandem partners and share expertise. Use the tips above and see which level you can achieve.