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Norwegian Words, Expressions, and Useful Phrases

Norwegian Words, Expressions, and Useful Phrases

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

English Norwegian
Hello Hei
How are you? Hvordan har du det?
Good morning God Morgen
Good day God Ettermiddag
Good evening God Kveld
Bye Hade
Welcome Velkommen
See you Vi ses
Good bye Adjø/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.

English Norwegian
Yes Ja
No Nei
How are you? Hvordan har du det?

Hvordan går det med Deg?

Good Bra
Bad Dårlig
Maybe Kanskje
Much Mye
More Mer
What’s your name? Hva heter du?
Excuse me Unnskyld
Excuse me (more polite) Unnskyld meg
Thank you Takk
Thank you very much Tusen Takk
You’re welcome Værsågod
Please Vennligst
I don’t understand Jeg forstår ikke
I don’t german very well Jeg 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.

English Norwegian
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 Rare Medium
Well-done Gjennomstekt
Rare Blodig
What could you recommend? Hva kan du anbefale?
Enjoy your meal Nyt måltidet dit
Could you pass me the…? Kan du sende meg saltet?
How much will it cost? Hvor mye vil det koste?
Check, please Kan 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

English Norwegian
Breakfast Frokost
Lunch Lunsj
Dinner Middag

Norwegian Food and Drink phrases

English Norwegian
Shrimps Reker
Meatballs Kjøttboller
Ham Skinke
Meat Kjøtt
Chicken Kylling
Fish Fisk
Vegetables Grønnsaker
Ice-cream Is
Dessert Dessert
Salt Salt
Peppar Pepper
White wine Hvitvin
Red wine Rødvin
Beer øl
Coffee Kaffe
Soda Brus
Water Vann
Water without gas Vann uten kullsyre
Water with gas Vann 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.

English German
Here Her
Left Venstre
Right Høyre
Straight forward Rett fram
In the beginning of.. I begynnelsen av..
Close Nær
In the end of.. På slutten av
Behind Bakom
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.

English German
One En
Two To
Three Tre
Four Fire
Five Fem
Six Seks
Seven Syv
Eight Åtte
Nine Ni
Ten Ti
Eleven Elleve
Twelve Tolv
Thirteen Tretten
Fourteen Fjorten
Fifteen Femten
Sicteen Seksten
Seventeen Sytten
Eighteen Atten
Nineteen Nitten
Twenty Tjue
Twenty one Tjueen
Twenty two Tjueto
Thirty Tretti
Forty Førti
Fifty Femti
Sixty Seksti
Sevety Sytti
Eighty Åtti
Ninety Nitti
One hundred Ett hundre
Thousand Ett tusen
One million En 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!

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Karl Lund

Sunday 15th of July 2018

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.