Velkommen til Norsk 101! To learn a language properly you need to have a lot of practise in speaking it, hearing it, writing it and reading it. This poses a challenge to beginners as the Norwegian that is taught in class is bokmål – a written language. Even though it is very accepted for beginners to use bokmål as a spoken language, in real life people speak ‘dialect’ Norwegian. Dialect changes from city to city and town to town, which makes it difficult to listen to and pick up when in class you are used to hearing bokmål. However, Norwegians are very accommodating people and will adjust to bokmål after hearing your first awkward sentence (but good luck to understanding their accent! lol)
We will be skipping the ‘complete’ beginner stuff – you can go to the Learn Norwegian pages to learn this – alphabet, greetings, Thank Yous, common phrases, etc. So in our first lesson we are going to dive into the good stuff straight away. Even though these Norwegian lessons might be a little weak in the speaking and hearing department due to the medium being used, they will get you familiar with reading and writing basic Norwegian. Hopefully you are lucky enough to have a Norwegian speaker close by so you can have a chat and impress them with your new vocab.
Rather than learning just words and their meanings (you can find this in any English-Norwegian dictionary or even Google translate) I will be focusing on sentence structure, grammar, using verbs, tense and gender, etc, in everyday conversational language.
These lessons are self guided, meaning you can go at your own pace so don’t feel pressured that you have to keep up with me everyday. (I have a schedule I need to keep if I want to finish level A1 and A2 by August.) So, go at your own pace – you will learn a lot more that way. Also, what you get out of the lessons depends on what you put into them. Practise is key. If you don’t understand something the best thing to do is try to work it out yourself. If you learn how to teach yourself then you will learn much quicker. (I also leave a lot of clues in each lesson to help you do the exercises – so if you play detective you will always work out the answers!) The next best thing is to ask! I will be adding answers to some of the exercises in the comments section – but don’t be shy – if you don’t ask we won’t tell you ;D.
It will be good for you to get used to looking up the meaning/translation of words – it’s one of the best ways to develop your vocabulary and spelling. If you don’t have an English-Norwegian dictionary, you can make your own by using an excel sheet (as it is easier to alphabetise) and insert your new words from the “gloser” with meaning/translations from each lesson. Or you can also use an online program such as Google translate (but take everything with a pinch of salt).
I hope you enjoy your first lesson.
Norwegian Lesson 101
The below are Norwegian commands which will be used to signify active learning tasks.
Les og Si
a. Practice saying the Alphabet phonically. Use the Alphabet section in the Learn Norwegian pages.
Nina: Hei! Hvordan går det?
Hans: Fint, og du?
Nina: Jeg har det bra.
Nina: Jeg heter Nina. Hva heter du?
Hans: Jeg heter Hans.
Nina: Hvor kommer du fra?
Hans: Jeg kommer fra Alta.
Nina: Jeg er fra Oslo.
Listen to the sound of the dialogue above. Read along.
b. You will find that many Norwegian words are recognisable. Read the dialogue above and see if you can make out what is being said. Use Google Translate or an English-Norwegian dictionary if you need to.
c. Say the above dialogue out loud. Use the Alphabet section in the Learn Norwegian pages to help you with phonics.
d. Answer the questions about Hans and Nina using Norwegian sentences.
1. Hvordan går det med Nina?
2. Hvor kommer Hans fra?
3. Hvem kommer fra Oslo?
4. Hvem har det fint?
Spørsmål – Si
a. Answer the questions below with a sentence in Norwegian. (You can use the dialogue as a guide.)
1. Hvordan går det?
2. Hva heter du?
3. Hvor kommer du fra?
b. Ask questions for the below answers.
1. Jeg heter Peter.
2. Jeg er fra Bergen.
3. Jeg har det fint.
4. Nina har det bra.
5. Hans kommer fra Alta.
c. Fill in the blanks.
Lise: Hei! _____ går det?
Dag: Jeg har det _____, og _____?
Lise: _____. Jeg heter _____. Hva _____ du?
Dag: _____ er Dag. Jeg kommer _____ Moss. _____ kommer du fra?
Lise: Jeg _____ fra Danmark.
Read over all exercises above with your answers. Think about what is being said in each sentence to familiarise yourself with the words.
It is important to listen to dialect Norwegian when learning (so you can listen in real life too). Hvordan lage bløtkake sends you to a Norwegian online cooking segment “How to make a layer cake”. The girl is speaking Oslo dialect which raises in pitch at the end of each sentence (so it seems like she is asking questions all the time). Even though you might not understand what she is saying you will know by her actions – you will also hear the rhythm of the language. Plus you’ll get to see how to make one of Norway’s most famous cakes!