Norwegian Alphabet

As with any language that does not use the same form of lettering as the one that you are most familiar with, one of the biggest obstacles to your learning the Norwegian language will likely be learning the Norwegian alphabet. Learning these letters as well as their method of application will be important to your ability to truly understand the language as well as to communicate in it beyond simple speech. Fortunately, this alphabet is not as complicated or as difficult as the alphabets of many other languages so while you may face a challenge during this portion of your Norwegian lessons with the right resources and dedication you will be able to learn how to speak Norwegian as well how to read and write in the language as well.

The Norwegian alphabet, which is very similar to the Danish alphabet, is originally based on the Latin alphabet. After being standardized into its contemporary form in 1917 it has had 29 letters. Though they are technically a part of the alphabet, the letters c, q, w, x and z are not used when spelling indigenous Norwegian vocabulary. They are also not commonly seen in those words that are borrowed from other languages. This is because Norwegians have the habit of putting these so-called “loan words” into their own native sound and spelling.

There are some variations to the Norwegian alphabet that will apply the foreign letter forms more or less commonly. Often these letters are used to further clarify the exact meaning or context of the word such as in the frequent issue of homonyms, that is, words that look the same but do not have the same meanings. This can be especially helpful in the instance of loan words that may be difficult to translate or transliterate due to the specific meaning or particular contextual rules as are applied by the original language in which the words were created.

It is not absolutely compulsory to learn the Norwegian alphabet early in your learning of the language, but if you plan on learning how to speak Norwegian with any true authority and effectiveness, such as so that you can visit the country and understand written signs or other communication, you will need to develop an understanding of the alphabet.