If you are considering learning a new language, Norwegian is a great choice. Many English speakers struggle with grammar rules when learning a foreign language, but thankfully Norwegian grammar is very similar to English. Both languages share Germanic roots (old English and old Norse have a lot in common) and, besides a lot of words that sound alike, English and Norwegian share a similar rhythm and intonation.
Norwegian is even more similar to the other North Germanic languages spoken in Scandinavia. Once you are able to understand it, you should find yourself able to hold a conversation with a Swede or Dane as well, as these three languages are, for the most part, mutually intelligible. Many people find that it is the least complex of the three and falls between the other two in terms of intelligibility – making it the most versatile of the three.
Reasons for learning Norwegian
Being able to speak foreign languages is a great way to distinguish yourself in the business world, especially in the era of online communication and low cost flights. Picking a less common language will give you a more specialized skill, look great on your CV and open up new employment and networking opportunities. Plus, once you can confidently put Norwegian on your resumé, it will only take a little more practice to be able to add Danish and Swedish too.
Norway is an immensely appealing tourist destination: majestic fjords; clean, safe, bustling cities; and literally endless summer nights are just some of the attractions. Being able to speak the language will make visiting much more enjoyable. Although many locals speak English, it is not an official language so there is no requirement to learn it. Besides, having at least a basic grasp of the language will automatically put you in better standing with people you meet. If you want to break through the superficial tourist layer, speaking Norwegian will help you to experience the country on a deeper level.
How easy is it to learn?
English people often struggle with grammar and word order when learning other languages. However, Norwegian is much closer to English in this sense. As in English, words do not change depending on who you are talking about (yourself, another male or another female), and to form past tense, -te is usually put on the end of a word, much like we would use –ed in English.
Rarities of the language
Like any language, there are some words that do not conform to the rules. However, many of these occur where they would in English. An example of this is the word ‘drink.’ In English, the past tense becomes ‘drank’ rather than ‘drinked.’ Similarly, ‘drikke’ becomes ‘drakk.’ Both words sound very similar to their English counterparts, which again, helps it feel more familiar and therefore easier to learn.
Learning with Babbel
Babbel is a great way to learn Norwegian. Babbel is designed to be as easy and intuitive as possible to use, with bite-sized steps and interactive tasks making learning both fun and easy. In addition to Norwegian courses, you have free access to the Babbel community where you can connect with other learners and native speakers; start practicing your Norwegian right away with real people, no matter where in the world you are. The subscription prices are very reasonable, but try your first lesson for free and see just how easy and enjoyable it is to learn a language with Babbel.