Norwegian Words, Expressions, and Useful Phrases

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Traveling to Norway? Then I recommend you to learn some Norwegian words and phrases. Not because you have to, but rather because it’s a nice and appreciated gesture.

Norwegians are generally very good at English, so there’s often no necessity to learn Norwegian phrases since you can easily get by without them. But as always while traveling, if you meet locals it’s always appreciated when a foreigner makes an effort. 

So, in order to maximize your trip, learn some of these Norwegian words and phrases below and you’ll have the best time ever in Norway! 

Norwegian greeting phrases

EnglishNorwegian
HelloHei
How are you?Hvordan har du det?
Good morningGod Morgen
Good dayGod Ettermiddag
Good eveningGod Kveld
ByeHade
WelcomeVelkommen
See youVi ses
Good byeAdjø/Farvel

Useful Norwegian words and phrases to memorize

These are probably the most useful phrases in German. Below you will find everyday phrases and expressions that will make life easier. It can be anything from small talk with hotel staff to a stranger on the town or staff in the shop.

EnglishNorwegian
YesJa
NoNei
How are you?Hvordan har du det?

Hvordan går det med Deg?

GoodBra
BadDårlig
MaybeKanskje
MuchMye
MoreMer
What’s your name?Hva heter du?
Excuse meUnnskyld
Excuse me (more polite)Unnskyld meg
Thank youTakk
Thank you very muchTusen Takk
You’re welcomeVærsågod
PleaseVennligst
I don’t understandJeg forstår ikke
I don’t german very wellJeg snakker ikke norsk
Do you speak English?Snakker du engelsk?
Where’s the toilet?Hvor er toalettet?

Norwegian is a singing language, which you will notice right away. Their pitch goes up and down while talking, and it’s one of the most charming languages in the world. It just makes you happy.

Norwegian Phrases for the restaurant

You’ll probably eat something while you travel around Norway, and you’ll likely end up in a restaurant. To help you along the way and let you impress the waiters, here are some useful Norwegian Phrases for your restaurant visit.

EnglishNorwegian
Could I see the menu, please?Kan jeg få se menyen, takk?
Would you like something to eat?Vil du spise noe?
Would you like something to drink?Vil du drikke noe?
Medium RareMedium
Well-doneGjennomstekt
RareBlodig
What could you recommend?Hva kan du anbefale?
Enjoy your mealNyt måltidet dit
Could you pass me the…?Kan du sende meg saltet?
How much will it cost?Hvor mye vil det koste?
Check, pleaseKan jeg få regningen, takk?
Can I pay with card?Kan jeg betale med kort?

Now you know some basic Norwegian restaurant phrases. Let’s learn some more food words and drinks.

Meals

EnglishNorwegian
BreakfastFrokost
LunchLunsj
DinnerMiddag

Norwegian Food and Drink phrases

EnglishNorwegian
ShrimpsReker
MeatballsKjøttboller
HamSkinke
MeatKjøtt
ChickenKylling
FishFisk
VegetablesGrønnsaker
Ice-creamIs
DessertDessert
SaltSalt
PepparPepper
White wineHvitvin
Red wineRødvin
Beerøl
CoffeeKaffe
SodaBrus
WaterVann
Water without gasVann uten kullsyre
Water with gasVann med kullsyre

Directions in Norwegian

Norwegians are generally helpful and friendly when approached by strangers, even though they might be a bit reserved too. To make things easier, you can learn the following Norwegian words and always know how to get to the places you wish for

Below are some of the most common directions and how to say them in Norwegian.

EnglishGerman
HereHer
LeftVenstre
RightHøyre
Straight forwardRett fram
In the beginning of..I begynnelsen av..
CloseNær
In the end of..På slutten av
BehindBakom
Excuse me, where is…?Unnskyld, hvor er..?

geirangerfjord

How to count in Norwegian

Many tourists buy souvenirs or other stuff while traveling, and while bargaining isn’t a common practice in Norway, it might be useful to know some counting words in Norwegian, especially if you visit a local market.

Of course, the Norwegians know how to count in English, but it’s still a lot more fun to count in Norwegian as a tourist. It’s pretty easy as well when you get a hang of it.

Once you learn 1-10, you’ll have it much easier to count more since you just add those numbers when counting upwards. For example, one is “en” and twenty is “tjue”, so to get twenty-one, you just add “en” after “tjue” which will be “tjueen”. The same goes for thirty, fourty. fifty, sixty, seventy and so on.

If you want to say fifty-two, you just say “femtito” and to say sixty-five, you just say “sekstifem”. You see? Pretty simple!

Below you can see how to count from 1 to 100 in Norwegian.

EnglishGerman
OneEn
TwoTo
ThreeTre
FourFire
FiveFem
SixSeks
SevenSyv
EightÅtte
NineNi
TenTi
ElevenElleve
TwelveTolv
ThirteenTretten
FourteenFjorten
FifteenFemten
SicteenSeksten
SeventeenSytten
EighteenAtten
NineteenNitten
TwentyTjue
Twenty oneTjueen
Twenty twoTjueto
ThirtyTretti
FortyFørti
FiftyFemti
SixtySeksti
SevetySytti
EightyÅtti
NinetyNitti
One hundredEtt hundre
ThousandEtt tusen
One millionEn million

There you go. Now you know how to count to one million in Norwegian, or at least one hundred.

Bonus Phrases

  • Happy Birthday = Gratulerer med dagen
  • Shall we dance? = Skal vi danse?

Funny Norwegian Words

  • Rumpetroll = Tadpole (literally meaning the butt troll)
  • Hekseskudd = Lumbago (literally meaning the witch’s shot)
  • Bobil = Caravan (literally meaning living car)

The Norwegian Language

Did you know that there are two written languages in Norway? The most common version is the one you’ve learned today in this article. That language version is known as Bokmål. The other written language is called Nynorsk, which is used by around 10-12% of the total population.

When it comes to speaking, there are various dialects depending on which region you visit.

The Norwegian language is quite similar to both Danish and Swedish, so while not every Scandinavian understand one another, it’s quite easy to understand each other for most of the times. Especially if you learn the counterwords.

Translate Norwegian to English

I recommend Google Translate for translating Norwegian to English while you travel. However, be prepared for some errors that could potentially make you say something stupid or make the locals laugh, but don’t worry.

At least you make an effort. You can also buy a dictionary, even though I personally think Google Translate is more convenient.

Learn Norwegian

If you have a smartphone, you can learn some more basic Norwegian words and phrases with the app called Duolingo.


Have some more suggestions for Norwegian phrases and expressions? Leave a comment below!

July 14th, 2018|

One Comment

  1. Karl Lund 07/15/2018 at 9:05 pm - Reply

    I’m not 100% sure, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there is not a single restaurant in Norway where you can’t pay with a card. I’m a Norwegians living in Norway, and the last time I had to use cash was in a restaurant in London a couple of years ago.

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