Get up to 35% Off With The Summer Sale. Ends Soon!
Get up to 35% Off With The Summer Sale. Ends Soon!

NorwegianClass101.com Blog

Learn Norwegian with Free Daily
Audio and Video Lessons!
Start Your Free Trial 6 FREE Features

Hva er klokka? – Learn Norwegian Time-Telling

Thumbnail

Being able to tell time is an important part of learning a new language. It helps you both when conversing with others as well as when planning events, meetings, or other activities. On top of this, it also gives you a great opportunity to use your prior knowledge of numbers and simple sentence structure

Are you often late? If you are, make sure you’re on time in Norway! Being on time in Norwegian culture is important. Arriving late is considered rude, and in Norway, it’s important to respect each other’s time. If you arrive late, without notice, it will seem like you don’t respect them or their time. 
Keep in mind that if a specific time isn’t set, for example “around eight,” Norwegians generally don’t care when you arrive. That is, if you arrive within one or two hours after.

Man Late for Date

Norway uses the time zone GMT +2 in the summer, and GMT +1 in the winter. “Daylight Saving Time” is called Sommertid, meaning “Summertime.” Sommertid starts in March and ends in October.

In Norway, the twenty-four-hour clock, also called military time, is used. If someone uses the 12-hour clock, they don’t say “A.M.” or “P.M.” – instead, Norwegians know what time someone’s referring to based on the time of day. If this isn’t clear, it’s normal to ask På kvelden eller morgenen? meaning “At night or morning?” This can be confusing at first, but luckily it means that you can use the same phrases for both day and night!

To learn how to tell the time in Norwegian, the only prior knowledge you should have is how to count from 1-60. However, you could get away with only knowing the numbers 1-12. Even if you’ve just started learning Norwegian, or are brushing up on some knowledge, this is a very simple system and you should learn it in no time using this article!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Time Phrases in Norwegian Table of Contents
  1. What Time is it?
  2. Hour and O’Clock
  3. Minutes
  4. Hours Divided into Minutes
  5. General Time Reference of the Day
  6. Time Adverbs
  7. Time Proverbs and Sayings
  8. How NorwegianClass101 Can Help You Learn Even More Norwegian!

1. What Time is it?

Time

Before you can tell time in Norwegian, you need to know how to ask about time and how to recognize when you’re being asked about time in Norwegian. Norwegian has two ways of asking for the time and they both mean the same thing. There’s no formal way of asking this question; they’re both polite.

Hva er klokka? “What time is it?”
Hvor mye er klokka? “What time is it?”

Hva er klokka? literally means “What is the clock?” and Hvor mye er klokka? means “How much is the clock?” This might seem a little strange in English, but as shown above, they both mean “What time is it?”

Please keep in mind that klokka can also be pronounced or written as klokken. Which one is used depends on if the person has a dialect or not.

1 – Do you have the time please?

Here’s a very similar way of asking for the time in Norwegian. The only difference is that the word unnskyld, meaning “excuse me” and/or “sorry” is placed in front of the question to make it more polite.

Unnskyld, hvor mye er klokka? “Excuse me, what time is it?”

Unnskyld, vet du hvor mye klokka er? “Excuse me, do you know what time it is?”

Man Checking Watch

How to Answer

Now that you know how to ask for the time in Norwegian, let’s take a look at how you can answer. As always, there are many ways of answering this question. We’ll go through the most common ones. 

As a rule, you should always use the proper answer when learning Norwegian. As you learn more and become more confident in your Norwegian language skills, you can start using the other phrases to sound more natural.

As mentioned earlier, when asking about the time in Norwegian, you actually ask “What is the clock?” In Norwegian, the word for “time” isn’t used the same way as in English when telling or asking about time. Instead, the word klokka, meaning “clock,” is used.

Let’s have a look at the most proper way of answering:

Q: Hva er klokka? “What time is it?”
A: Klokka er 5. “The time is 5 p.m.”

The above example is also the most common and polite way to answer the question. 

There are two other ways of answering when asked about the time in Norwegian. These are shorter, and are commonly used among friends and family. This way of answering is more casual, but it’s still not considered rude. They’re just simply less polite.

Q: Hva er klokka? “What time is it?”
Q: Den er 5. “It’s 5 p.m.”

Q: Hva er klokka? “What time is it?”
Q: 5. “5 p.m.”

2 – What time is the ___?

As mentioned, an important reason for knowing how to tell time in Norwegian and ask for it is for planning. This can be for events, meetings, and other things that are going to happen. 

There are two ways to ask when something is in Norwegian. Again, one is a longer version and the other is a shorter version. 

Hvilken tid er [møtet]? “What time is the [meeting]?”

This one can seem a little confusing if you’re familiar with the Norwegian adjectives. Hvilken does, in fact, mean “which” in English, but is at times used as “what.” The more you learn about the Norwegian language, the more natural this will become and you’ll know when to use it. But for now, don’t worry about it! Just be aware that it’s used in this setting.

Hvilken tid er møte? is the most polite way of asking. It’s generally used less often than the shorter version below, simply because it’s longer. 

Når er [møtet]? “When is the [meeting]?”

See why this is more commonly used? It means the same thing, even if the word “time” isn’t included. It’s more simple to say, and it gets the same message across. Norwegians love their shorter sentences, so this sounds very natural in Norwegian.

In the above examples, the word “meeting” was used as an example. But not everyone is in Norway for meetings. Take a look at the list below to practice for other situations where you might need to know the time.

Hvilken tid er festen? “What time is the party?”
Hvilken tid er timen? “What time is the class?”
Hvilken tid er middagen? “What time is the dinner?”
Hvilken tid er treningen? “What time is the training?”
Hvilken tid er bryllupet? “What time is the wedding?”
Hvilken tid er avreise? “What time is the departure?”

Airplane Taking Off

How to Answer

Answering these questions is nearly identical to answering what the time is in Norwegian. The only difference is that you’ll switch out the word klokka with what you’re being asked about. 

Q: Hvilken tid er middagen? “What time is the dinner?”
A: Middagen er 5. “The dinner is at 5 p.m.”

Q: Når er møtet? “When is the meeting?”
A: Møtet er 5. “The meeting is at 5 p.m.”

You can alternatively say Møtet er klokken 5, meaning “The meeting is at 5 o’clock,” but this isn’t very common. 

As you might already have guessed, the three other ways of answering are actually the exact same as how you would answer when asked what the time is in Norwegian. The only difference is that the pronoun changes depending on what event or situation you’re mentioning. 

When answering what the time is, notice how you’re answering with Den, as in Den er 17. When you’re answering when a meeting is, this pronoun will change to Det.

Q: Når er møte? “When is the meeting?”
A: Det er 5. “It’s at 5 p.m.”

Q: Når er festen? “When is the party?”
A: Den er 5. “It’s at 5 p.m.”

As for the last way of answering, this one is the same.

Q: Når er møte? “When is the meeting?”
A: 5. “5 p.m.” 

2. Hour and O’Clock

Improve Listening

We briefly mentioned this earlier, but it’s important to remember that Norwegians use the twenty-four-hour clock. In the beginning, this can seem confusing, but if you know the numbers, it should be easy to learn! 

An important thing to note is that when telling time in Norwegian, “1” is actually written and pronounced ett instead of en

1 – Hours

Using the twenty-four-hour clock means that Norwegians have two ways of saying the time. 

Q: Hva er klokka? “What time is it?”

A1: Klokka er fem. “It’s 5 p.m.”
A2: Klokka er sytten. “It’s 5 p.m.”

Confused? No worries. When someone is telling you the time in Norwegian, you can both get 17 or 5 as an answer if the clock is 5 p.m. Both are right, and which one is used depends on the person answering. We’ll take a look at all the hours so that you can learn this!

In Norwegian, the word “o’clock” isn’t used; however, there is a Norwegian equivalent. This equivalent is hel, which in English means “whole.” Keep in mind that while Norwegians use this word, it’s not used together with a number. When hel is used, it’s used as its own answer. Hel is used when the speaker assumes you know what time it is.

Q: Hva er klokka? “What time is it?”
A: Den er hel. “It’s on the hour.”

Look weird? That’s because it sort of is. 

Let’s say you’re hanging out with a friend. You have to leave at 18:30, and the last time you had a look at the clock it was 17:40. After a while, you decide to ask your friend what time it is. He assumes you have knowledge that the clock is around or soon 18:00. He then answers Den er hel, meaning “On the hour.” He doesn’t specify what actual time it is, but is assuming that you know. 

This is a very common answer to get in Norwegian.

“Hour” in Norwegian is time. This is used when talking about lengths of time. 

Now that you understand some of the basics of how the Norwegian clock system works, let’s go through the hours! The chart below will not only show you what each hour is called, but will also teach you how to write time in Norwegian.

Norwegian (A.M.)English (A.M.)Norwegian (P.M.)English (P.M.)
00.00 MidnattMidnight12.00 Klokka tolv12 p.m.
01.00 Klokka ett1 a.m.13.00 Klokka ett1 p.m.
02.00 Klokka to2 a.m.14.00 Klokka to2 p.m.
03.00 Klokka tre3 a.m.15.00 Klokka tre3 p.m.
04.00 Klokka fire4 a.m.16.00 Klokka fire4 p.m.
05.00 Klokka fem5 a.m.17.00 Klokka fem5 p.m.
06.00 Klokka seks6 a.m.18:00 Klokka seks6 p.m.
07.00 Klokka sju7 a.m.19:00 Klokka sju7 p.m.
08.00 Klokka åtte8 a.m.20.00 Klokka åtte8 p.m.
09.00 Klokka ni9 a.m.21.00 Klokka ni9 p.m.
10.00 Klokka ti10 a.m.22:00 Klokka ti10 p.m.
11.00 Klokka elleve11 a.m.23.00 Klokka elleve11 p.m.

As mentioned earlier, Norwegians often answer the time in two different ways. For example, when the time is 11 p.m., you can choose if you want to say tjuetre (23) or elleve (11). Both are correct and both will be understood. If you want to be clear that something is happening at 11 p.m. and not 11 a.m., you should say tjuetre so that it’s understood that it’s in the evening.

2 – Using hours in a sentence

Now that you know how to say all the hours in the day, let’s put this new knowledge into a sentence!

Jeg har norsktime klokka ni. “I have the Norwegian lesson at 9 a.m./p.m.”

Jeg har norsktime tjueen. “I have the Norwegian lesson at 9 p.m.”

Taking a Language Lesson

Notice how when saying 21 (tjueen), we omit the word klokka. Also notice that you can say ni for both 9 a.m. and p.m. Usually, the people you talk to will understand whether it’s in the evening or morning based on what the subject is and the current time. However, if you want to be very clear, the safest bet is to say tjueen instead of ni if you’re referring to the evening.

Q: Hva er klokka? “What time is it?”
A: Den er nitten. “It’s 7 p.m.”

Q: Hva er klokka? “What time is it?”
A: Den er syv. “It’s 7 a.m./p.m.”

Q: Hva er klokka? “What time is it?”
A: Nitten. “It’s 7 p.m.”

3. Minutes

So far we’ve only gone through how to tell the time in Norwegian when it’s a round number, or “o’clock.” Now we’ll take a look at minutes and how to add minutes to the hour. With the knowledge you’ve gained so far in this article, this should be easy! 

“Minute” and “minutes” in Norwegian are spelled similarly to how they are in English. 

Minutt “Minute”
Minutter “Minutes”

Vi drar om ett minutt. “We’re going in one minute.”
Vi drar om to minutter. “We’re going in two minutes.”

Adding -er to minutt makes it plural. This applies to a lot of other words as well, so make a mental note for the future!

When telling time in Norwegian and adding minutes, the minutes are always added first. Normally, the word minutt or minutter isn’t added, but again, this depends on what you or the person you’re talking to prefers. We’ll show you both ways in the examples below. The examples will also have the direct translations so that you can understand how the sentences are structured.

16:23 (4:23 p.m.)
Klokka er sju på halv fem. “The time is seven to half five.”
Klokka er tjuetre over fire. “The time is twenty-three over four.”

16:23 (4:23 p.m.)
Klokka er sju minutter på halv fem. “The time is seven minutes to half five.”
Klokka er tjuetre minutter over fire. “The time is twenty-three minutes over four.”

There are no particular rules for which one to use, as these all mean the same thing: 16:23. However, most people would say Klokka er sju på halv fem, since this is the easiest. 

Now let’s take a look at how to say when a time is “five minutes past” and “five minutes over” in Norwegian.

16:25 (4:25 p.m.)
Klokka er fem på halv fem. “The time is five to half five.”

Klokka er fem minutter på halv fem. “The time is five minutes to half five.”

16:35 (4:35 p.m.)
Klokka er fem over halv fem. “The time is five over half five.”
Klokka er fem minutter over halv fem. “The time is five minutes over half five.”

Since this is Norwegian, again, we can make the sentences shorter! This is almost always used when talking with friends and family. Here, we also have some of the assumptions that you, or the one asking, has some knowledge about what time it was earlier since the actual hour isn’t mentioned.

Q: Hva er klokka? “What time is it?”
A: Fem (minutter) over halv. “Five (minutes) past half.”

Q: Hva er klokka? “What time is it?”
A: Fem (minutter) på halv. “Five (minutes) to half.”

1 – Seconds

So what comes after minutes? Seconds. Or in Norwegian: Sekunder!

Sekund “Second”
Sekunder “Seconds”

Gi meg ett sekund! “Give me a second!”
Gi meg to sekunder! “Give me two seconds!”

4. Hours Divided into Minutes

Now that you have knowledge about how the sentences are structured when asking and telling time in Norwegian, we can take a look at how Norwegian works when we’re dividing the hour into minutes.

Hours Divided into Minutes


1 – Half

As you might have noticed from the examples above, where the examples were directly translated, Norwegians say “half past” differently than in English. Instead, Norwegians simply say “half” followed by the next hour.

13:30
Klokka er halv to. “The time is half past one.”

This is the correct translation over to English. However, in Norwegian, we’re actually saying “The time is half two.” Below are two examples that are directly translated into English.

14:30
Klokka er halv tre. “The time is half three.”

15:30
Klokka er halv fire. “The time is half four.”

2 – Quarter

Telling time in quarters is the same in Norwegian as in English!

13:45
Klokka er kvart på to. “The time is a quarter to two o’clock.”

13:15
Klokka er kvart over to. “The time is a quarter past two o’clock.”

You can also say Femten minutter over, meaning “Fifteen minutes over” and Femten minutter på, meaning “Fifteen minutes to.” However, Kvart på is used most often.

3 – A third

We already had a look at thirds when talking about minutes. Thirds use the exact same structure as when you’re telling minutes in Norwegian.

14:07
Syv (minutter) over to “Seven (minutes) past two”

13:53
Syv (minutter) på to “Seven (minutes) to two”

Femtitre “Fifty-three (minutes)”


When you’re asking about time and the clock is after XX:30, you can either get the actual number (like 53) or the minutes until “o’clock.” Both are correct and frequently used.

Below are some more examples of how to say different hours so that you can practice and figure out which way you prefer!

13:30
Klokka er halv to. “The time is half past one.”
Halv to “Half past one”
Halv “Half”

13:45
Klokka er kvart på to. “The time is a quarter to two.”
Kvart på to “Quarter to two”
Kvart på “Quarter”

13:40
Klokka er ti over halv to. “The time is twenty past one.”
Ti over halv to “Twenty past one”
Ti over halv “Twenty past”

13:02
Klokka er to over ett. “The time is two past one.”
To over ett “Two past one”
To over “Two past”

13:12
Klokka er tolv over ett. “The time is twelve past one.”
Tolv over ett “Twelve past one”
Tolv over “Twelve past”

13:52
Klokka er åtte på ett. “The time is eight to one.”
Åtte på ett “Eight to one”
Åtte på “Eight (to)”

Klokka er femtito. “The time is fifty-two”
Femtito “Fifty-two”

5. General Time Reference of the Day

Afternoon Sun

As mentioned multiple times before, in Norway p.m. and a.m. aren’t used. It’s assumed that you know what time of day it is, and what time of the day people are referring to. If you’re unsure, it’s very useful to know the words for points of time throughout the day. This way, you can always ask På kvelden eller dagen?, meaning “In the evening or day?”

1 – Words for time reference of the day

Morgen “Morning”
Soloppgang “Sunrise”
Formiddag “Noon”
Dagtid “Daytime”
Tidlig ettermiddag “Early afternoon”
Ettermiddag “Afternoon”
Kveld “Evening”
Solnedgang “Sunset”
Natt “Night”
Midnatt “Midnight”

2 – When time references of the day are used

So, let’s look at what time period is referenced when these words are used. Note that this does depend on the person and is more of a general idea of what to expect.

Morning 05 to 09 (5 a.m. – 9 a.m.)
Noon 09 to 12 (9 a.m. – 12 p.m.)
Daytime 09 to 19 (9 a.m. – 7 p.m.)
Early afternoon 13 to 15 (1 p.m. – 3 p.m.)
Afternoon 15 to 18 (3 p.m. – 6 p.m.)
Evening 18 to 23 (6 p.m. – 11 p.m.)
Night 00 to 04 (12 a.m. – 4 a.m.)
Midnight 00   (Midnight)

No one is going to raise an eyebrow if you say “night” when it’s 05. It’s a running joke to often say the wrong word, for example, God Kveld! meaning “good evening,” when it’s actually afternoon or morning.

6. Time Adverbs

Basic Questions

When you’re telling time in Norwegian, and especially when planning something or talking about when something is going to happen, it’s very useful to know time adverbs. This will also make your Norwegian sound a lot more natural. 

1 – Adverbs in sentences

EnglishNorwegian
Right nowAkkurat (nå)/nå

Jeg sto akkurat opp.
Jeg sto opp akkurat nå.

“I just woke up.”
“I just woke up right now.”
CurrentlyFor tiden

Hva jobber du med for tiden?
“What are you currently working with?”
MeanwhileI mellomtiden / I mens

Jeg venter her i mellomtiden, Jeg venter her imens
“I’ll wait here in the meanwhile.”
At the same timeSamtidig

Vi drar samtidig
“We go at the same time.”
BeforeFør

Kom før klokka fem.
“Come before five.”
AfterEtter

Kom etter klokka fem.
“Come after five.”
SoonSnart

Jeg kommer snart.
“I’m coming soon.”
AlmostNesten

Jeg var nesten til tide.
“I was almost on time.”
In a little whileOm en liten stund

Jeg kommer om en liten stund.
“I’ll come in a little while.”
For a long time(På) Lenge

Jeg har ikke sett deg på lenge.
“I haven’t seen you for a long time.”
AnytimeNår som helst

Du kan komme når som helst.
“You can come anytime.”
As soon as possibleSå raskt / Fort som mulig

Kan du gi meg pengene tilbake så fort som mulig?
“Can you give me the money back as soon as possible?”

7. Time Proverbs and Sayings

Norwegian has many proverbs and sayings. They’re used quite commonly, but less frequently among younger people. Usually they’re used more as a joke and in a sarcastic way when younger people use them. However, among older people, and especially the elderly, you’ll definitely hear a lot of proverbs and sayings about time.


1 – Common proverbs and sayings

Time Is Money

Here are some of the most commonly used proverbs and sayings about time.

Time is money. Tid er penger.
Time flies. Tiden flyr.
An inch of gold will not buy an inch of time. Tid kan ikke kjøpes.

Time heals all wounds. Tiden leger alle sår.
Better late than never. Bedre sent enn aldri.


2 – Sayings in dialects and Bokmål

A lot of Norwegian sayings are in dialect, as Norway has hundreds of different dialects. A longer Norwegian equivalent of “Time flies” is below so you can take a look at both the dialect version and the Bokmål version!

English“Time flies, you don’t know where it went, suddenly it’s gone.”
BokmålTiden flyr, du vet ikke hvor det blir av den, plutselig er den borte.
DialectTida flyr, du veit ikke hvor det blir av han, plutselig er han borte.

8. How NorwegianClass101 Can Help You Learn Even More Norwegian!

As mentioned many times in this article, there are many different ways of both asking and telling time in Norwegian. Which way you want to ask and tell time is completely up to you. Maybe you want to sound like a natural and casual Norwegian; maybe you want to practice your pronunciation; or maybe you want to use the proper and polite ways of asking and telling time. 

Hopefully, this article has given you some ideas on how you want to sound and present yourself when speaking Norwegian.

Telling the time in Norwegian is something that’s very important, especially if you’re living in Norway and want to interact with the Norwegian communities. To both know the current Norwegian time and how to ask for it is a great conversation starter, and very useful when planning events and other activities.


You can also check out NorwegianClass101 if you want to learn more Norwegian. Here, you can find in-depth articles that will help you on your way to learning the Norwegian language. Maybe you need to learn more about numbers to tell time? Then feel free to check out our video on the numeric system in Norwegian. This will help you in many other ways, including telling time in Norwegian.

NorwegianClass101 has articles for both beginners and advanced users, so no matter where you are in your learning curve, you’ll find something that can help you on your way to mastering the Norwegian language.

Before you go, let us know in the comments how you feel about asking about and telling the time in Norwegian! Do you feel more confident now, or are you still struggling with something? To practice, write us a few questions and answers about time in the Norwegian language in the comments. 🙂 We look forward to hearing from you! 

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Time Phrases in Norwegian

Essential Vocabulary for Directions in Norwegian

Thumbnail

Do you know your left from your right in Norwegian? Asking for directions can mean the difference between a heavenly day on the beach and a horrible day on your feet, hot and bothered and wondering how to even get back to the hotel. Believe me – I know! On my earlier travels, I didn’t even know simple terms like ‘go straight ahead’ or ‘go west,’ and I was always too shy to ask locals for directions. It wasn’t my ego, but rather the language barrier that held me back. I’ve ended up in some pretty dodgy situations for my lack of directional word skills.

This never needs to happen! When traveling in Norway, you should step out in confidence, ready to work your Norwegian magic and have a full day of exploring. It’s about knowing a few basic phrases and then tailoring them with the right directional words for each situation. Do you need to be pointed south in Norwegian? Just ask! Believe me, people are more willing to help than you might think. It’s when you ask in English that locals might feel too uncertain to answer you. After all, they don’t want to get you lost. For this reason, it also makes sense that you learn how to understand people’s responses. 

Asking directions in Norway is inevitable. So, learn to love it! Our job here at NorwegianClass101 is to give you the confidence you need to fully immerse and be the intrepid adventurer you are.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Around Town in Norwegian Table of Contents
  1. Talking about position and direction in Norwegian
  2. Getting directions in Norwegian
  3. Conclusion

1. Talking about position and direction in Norwegian

Have you ever tried saying the compass directions of north, south, east and west in Norwegian? These words are good to know, being the most natural and ancient method of finding direction. In the days before GPS – before the invention of the compass, even – knowing the cardinal directions was critical to finding the way. Certainly, if you were lost somewhere in the mountain regions now and using a map to navigate, you’d find them useful. Even more so if you and a Norwegian friend were adrift at sea, following the stars!

In most situations, though, we rely on body relative directions – your basic up, down, left and right, forward and backwards. Most cultures use relative directions for reference and Norwegian is no exception. Interestingly, in a few old languages there are no words for left and right and people still rely on cardinal directions every day. Can you imagine having such a compass brain?

A black compass on a colored map

Well, scientists say that all mammals have an innate sense of direction, so getting good at finding your way is just a matter of practice. It’s pretty cool to think that we were born already pre-wired to grasp directions; the descriptive words we invented are mere labels to communicate these directions to others! Thus, the need to learn some Norwegian positional vocabulary. So, without further ado… let’s dive in.

1- Top – topp

If planting a flag at the top of the highest mountain in Norway is a goal you’d rather leave for  adrenaline junkies, how about making it to the top of the highest building? Your view of the city will be one you’ll never forget, and you can take a selfie  for Twitter with your head in the clouds. 

man on the top rung of a ladder in the sky, about to topple off

2- Bottom – bunn

The ‘bottom’ can refer to the lower end of a road, the foot of a mountain, or the ground floor of a building. It’s the place you head for after you’ve been to the top!

What are your favorite ‘bottoms’? I love the first rung of a ladder, the base of a huge tree or the bottom of a jungle-covered hill. What can I say? I’m a climber. Divers like the bottom of the ocean and foxes like the bottom of a hole. Since you’re learning Norwegian, hopefully you’ll travel from the top to the bottom of Norway.

3- Up – opp

This is a very common and useful word to know when seeking directions. You can go up the street, up an elevator, up a cableway, up a mountain… even up into the sky in a hot air balloon. It all depends on how far up you like to be!

Hot air balloons in a blue cloudy sky

4- Down – ned

What goes up, must surely come down. This is true of airplanes, flaming arrows and grasshoppers – either aeronautics or gravity will take care of that. In the case of traveling humans who don’t wish to go down at terminal velocity, it’s useful to know phrases such as, “Excuse me, where is the path leading back down this mountain?”

5- Middle – midt

In Lord of the Rings, Tolkien’s characters live in Middle-earth, which is just an ancient word for the inhabited world of men; it referred to the physical world, as opposed to the unseen worlds above and below it. The ancients also thought of the human world as vaguely in the middle of the encircling seas.

When we talk about the ‘middle’, we’re referring to a point that’s roughly between two horizontal lines – like the middle of the road or the middle of a river. While you’re unlikely to ask for directions to the ‘middle’ of anything, you might hear it as a response. For example, “You’re looking for the castle ruins? But they’re in the middle of the forest!”

Castle ruins in a forest

6- Center – midten

Although similar in meaning to ‘middle’, this word is more specific. Technically, it means the exact central point of a circular area, equally distant from every point on the circumference.  When asking for directions to the center of town, though, we don’t mean to find a mathematically-accurate pinpoint!

Bull’s eye on a dartboard

7- Front – foran

The front is the place or position that is seen first; it’s the most forward part of something.  In the case of a hotel, the front is going to be easy to recognize, so if you call a taxi and are told to wait “in front of the hotel”, you won’t have a problem. It’s pretty cool how just knowing the main Norwegian directional words can help you locate something if there’s a good landmark nearby.

8- Back – baksiden

I once rented a house in a charming little street that was tucked away at the back of a popular mall. It was so easy to find, but my boss took three hours to locate it from 300 meters away. Why? Well, because she spoke no English and I had no clue what the word for ‘back’ was. All she heard, no matter which way I said it, was “mall, mall, mall”.  As a result, she hunted in front of and next to the mall until she was frazzled. 

Knowing how to describe the location of your own residence is probably the first Norwegian ‘directions’ you should practice. This skill will certainly come in handy if you’re lost and looking for your way home. 

9- Side – side

If the place you’re looking for is at the ‘side’ of something, it will be located to the left or the right of that landmark. That could mean you’re looking for an alleyway beside a building, or a second entrance (as opposed to the main entrance). 

As an example, you might be told that your tour bus will be waiting at the right side of the building, not in front. Of course, then you’ll also need to understand “It’s on the right” in Norwegian.

Jeepney taxi parked at the side of a building

10- East – øst

If you’re facing north, then east is the direction of your right hand. It’s the direction toward which the Earth rotates about its axis, and therefore the general direction from which the sun appears to rise. If you want to go east using a compass for navigation, you should set a bearing of 90°. 

We think of Asia as the ‘East’. Geographically, this part of the world lies in the eastern hemisphere, but there’s so much more that we’ve come to associate with this word. The East signifies ancient knowledge and is symbolic of enlightenment in many cultures.

Monks reading on a boulder in front of a Buddha statue

11- West – vest

West is the opposite to east and it’s the direction in which the sun sets. To go west using a compass, you’ll set a bearing of 270 degrees. 

If you were on the planet Venus, which rotates in the opposite direction from the Earth (retrograde rotation), the Sun would rise in the west and set in the east… not that you’d be able to see the sun through Venus’s opaque clouds. 

Culturally, the West refers mainly to the Americas and Europe, but also to Australia and New Zealand, which are geographically in the East. The Western way of thinking is very different to that of the East. One of the most striking differences is individualism versus collectivism. In the West, we grew up with philosophies of freedom and independence, whereas in the East concepts of unity are more important. 

Food for thought: as a traveler who’s invested in learning the languages and cultures of places you visit, you have an opportunity to become a wonderfully balanced thinker – something the world needs more of.

12- North – nord

North is the top point of a map and when navigating, you’d set a compass bearing of 360 degrees if you want to go that way. Globes of the earth have the north pole at the top, and we use north as the direction by which we define all other directions.

If you look into the night sky, the North Star (Polaris) marks the way due north. It’s an amazing star, in that it holds nearly still in our sky while the entire northern sky moves around it. That’s because it’s located nearly at the north celestial pole – the point around which the entire northern sky turns. Definitely a boon for lost travelers!

The North Star with the Big Dipper in a night sky

13- South – sør

South is the opposite of north, and it’s perpendicular to the east and west. You can find it with a compass if you set your bearings to 180 degrees. 

The south celestial pole is the point around which the entire southern sky appears to turn. In the night sky of the southern hemisphere, the Southern Cross is a very easy to find constellation with four points in the shape of a diamond. If you come from the southern hemisphere, chances are your dad or mum pointed it out to you when you were a kid. You can use the Southern Cross to find south if traveling by night, so it’s well worth figuring it out!

14- Outside – utenfor

This word refers to any place that is not under a roof. Perhaps you’ve heard talk about some amazing local bands that will be playing in a nearby town on the weekend. If it’s all happening outside, you’ll be looking for a venue in a park, a stadium or some other big open space. Come rain or shine, outside definitely works for me!

A young woman on someone’s shoulders at an outdoor concert

15- Inside – inne

I can tolerate being inside if all the windows are open, or if I’m watching the latest Homeland episode. How about you? I suppose going shopping for Norwegian-style accessories would be pretty fun, too, and that will (mostly) be an inside affair. 

16- Opposite – motsatt

This is a great word to use as a reference point for locating a place. It’s right opposite that other place! In other words, if you stand with your back to the given landmark, your destination will be right in front of you. 

17- Adjacent – ved siden av

So, the adorable old man from next door, who looks about ninety-nine, explains in Norwegian that the food market where he works is adjacent to the community hall on the main road. ‘Adjacent’ just means next to or adjoining something else, so… head for the hall! 

While you’re marveling at the wondrous and colorful displays of Norwegian food, think about how all of these delicious stalls lie adjacent to one another. Having a happy visual association with a new word is a proven way to remember it!

Outdoor food market fruit display

18- Toward – mot

To go toward something is to go in its direction and get closer to it. This word can often appear in a sentence with ‘straight ahead’, as in:

“Go straight ahead, toward the park.”

If you’ve come to Norway to teach English, you might have to ask someone how to find your new school. Depending on what town you’re in, you could simply head toward the residential area at lunch time. You’ll see (and probably hear) the primary school soon enough – it will be the big fenced building with all the kids running around the yard!

19- Facing – vende mot

If you look at yourself in a mirror, you’ll be facing your reflection. In other words: you and your reflection look directly at each other.  Many plush hotels are ocean-facing or river-facing, meaning the main entrance is pointed directly at the water, and the beach out front faces the hotel. 

20- Beside – ved siden av

I know of a special little place where there’s a gym right beside a river. You can watch the sun go down over the water while working out – it’s amazing. What’s more, you can park your scooter beside the building and it will still be there when you come out.

21- Corner – hjørne

I love a corner when it comes to directions. A street corner is where two roads meet at an angle – often 90 degrees – making it easier to find than a location on a straight plane. 

“Which building is the piano teacher in, sir?”

“Oh, that’s easy – it’s the one on the corner.”

The key to a corner is that it leads in two directions. It could form a crossroads, a huge intersection, or it could be the start of a tiny one-way cobblestone street with hidden treasures waiting in the shadow of the buildings.

A white and yellow building on the corner of two streets

22- Distant – fjernt

When a location is distant, it’s in an outlying area. This Norwegian word refers to the remoteness of the site, not to how long it takes to get there. For that reason, it’s a very good idea to write the directions down, rather than try to memorize them in Norwegian. Even better, get a Norwegian person to write them down for you. This may seem obvious, but always include the location of your starting point! Any directions you’re given will be relative to the exact place you’re starting from.

Man lost on a dusty road, looking at a road map and scratching his head

23- Far – langt

This word has a similar meaning to the previous one, but it speaks more about the fact that it will take some time to get there. If you’re told that your destination is “far”,  you’ll no doubt want to go by public transport if you don’t have your own vehicle. Get your hands on a road map and have the directions explained to you using this map. Don’t hesitate to bring out the highlighters. 

24- Close – nær

This word is always a good one to hear when you have your heart set on a very relaxing day in the sun. It means there’s only a short distance to travel, so you can get there in a heartbeat and let the tanning commence. Remember to grab your Nook Book – learning is enhanced when you’re feeling happy and unencumbered. Being close to ‘home’ also means you can safely steal maximum lazy hours and leave the short return trip for sunset! 

A smiling woman lying in a hammock on the beach

25- By – med

This word identifies the position of a physical object beside another object or a place. A Bed and Breakfast can be ‘by the sea’ if it’s in close proximity to the sea. 

‘By’ can also be used to describe the best mode of transport for your route, as in:

“You can get there by bus.”

26- Surrounding – omringe

If something is surrounding you, it is on every side and you are enclosed by it – kind of like being in a boat. Of course, we’re not talking about deep water here, unless you’re planning on going fishing. Directions that include this word are more likely to refer to the surrounding countryside, or any other features that are all around the place you’re looking for.

A polar bear stuck on a block of ice, completely surrounded by water.

27- All sides – alle sider

Another useful descriptive Norwegian term to know is ‘all sides’. It simply means that from a particular point, you will be able to see the same features to the front, back and sides of you. It doesn’t necessarily imply you’ll be completely surrounded, just more-or-less so. Say, for example, you’re visiting the winelands for the day. When you get there, you’ll see vineyards on all sides of you. How stunning! Don’t neglect to sample the local wines – obviously. 

28- Next to – ved siden av

The person giving you directions is probably standing next to you. The place being described as ‘next to’ something is in a position immediately to one side of it. It could refer to adjoining buildings, neighbouring stores, or the one-legged beggar who sits next to the beautiful flower vendor on weekdays. ‘Next to’ is a great positional term, as everything is next to something! 

“Excuse me, Ma’am.  Where is the train station?”

“It’s that way – next to the tourist market.”

29- Above – over

This is the direction you’ll be looking at if you turn your head upwards. Relative to where your body is, it’s a point higher than your head. If you’re looking for the location of a place that’s ‘above’ something, it’s likely to be on at least the first floor of a building; in other words, above another floor.

‘Above’ could also refer to something that will be visible overhead when you get to the right place. For example, the road you’re looking for might have holiday decorations strung up from pole to pole above it. In the cities, this is very likely if there’s any kind of festival going on.

View from below of a carnival swing, with riders directly above the viewer

30- Under – under

Under is the opposite of above, and refers to a place that lies beneath something else. In the case of directions in Norwegian, it could refer to going under a bridge – always a great landmark – or perhaps through a subway. In some parts of the world, you can even travel through a tunnel that’s under the sea!

Of course, you might just be missing your home brew and looking for an awesome coffee shop that happens to be under the very cool local gym you were also looking for. Nice find!

2. Getting directions in Norwegian

The quickest and easiest way to find out how to get where you’re going is simply to ask someone. Most people on the streets of Norway won’t mind being asked at all and will actually appreciate your attempt to ask directions in Norwegian. After all, most tourists are more inclined to ask in their own language and hope for the best. How pedestrian is that, though?

Asking directions

I know, I know – you normally prefer to find your own way without asking. Well, think of it like this: you obviously need to practice asking questions in Norwegian as much as you need to practice small talk, counting, or ordering a beer. Since you can’t very well ask a complete stranger if they would please help you count to five hundred, you’ll have to stick with asking directions!

We spoke earlier about body relative directions and these tend to be the ones we use most. For example:

“Turn left.”

“Go straight.”

“Turn right.” 

Remember, too, that your approach is important. Many people are wary of strangers and you don’t want to scare them off. It’s best to be friendly, direct and get to the point quickly.  A simple ‘Hi, can you help me?” or “Excuse me, I’m a bit lost,” will suffice. If you have a map in your hand, even better, as your intentions will be clear. 

The bottom line is that if you want to find your way around Norway with ease, it’s a good idea to master these basic phrases. With a little practice, you can also learn how to say directions in Norwegian. Before you know it, you’ll be the one explaining the way!

3. Conclusion

Now that you have over thirty new directional phrases you can learn in Norwegian, there’s no need to fear losing your way when you hit the streets of Norway. All you need is a polite approach and your own amazing smile, and the locals will be excited to help you. It’s a chance for them to get better at explaining things to a foreigner, too. Most will enjoy that!

I advise keeping a few things handy in your day pack: a street map, a highlighter, a small notebook and pen, and your Norwegian phrasebook. It would be useful to also have the Norwegian WordPower app installed on your phone – available for both iPhone and Android

Here’s a quick challenge to get you using the new terms right away. Can you translate these directions into Norwegian?

“It’s close. Go straight ahead to the top of the hill and turn left at the corner. The building is on the right, opposite a small bus stop.”

You’re doing amazingly well to have come this far! Well done on tackling the essential topic of ‘directions’ – it’s a brave challenge that will be immensely rewarding. Trust me, when you’re standing at a beautiful location that you found just by knowing what to ask in Norwegian, you’re going to feel pretty darn good.

If you’re as excited as I am about taking Norwegian to an even deeper level, we have so much more to offer you. Did you know that we’ve already had over 1 billion lesson downloads? I know – we’re blown away by that, too. It’s amazing to be bringing the world’s languages to people who are so hungry for learning. Let me share some of our best options for you:

  • If you haven’t done so already, grab your free lifetime account as a start. You’ll get audio and video lessons, plus vocabulary building tools. 
  • My favorite freebie is the word of the day, which will arrive in your inbox every morning. Those are the words I remember best!
  • Start listening to Norwegian music. I’m serious – it really works to make the resistant parts of the brain relax and accept the new language. Read about it here for some tips.
  • If you enjoy reading, we have some great iBooks for your daily commute.
  • If you have a Kindle and prefer to do your reading on a picnic blanket,  there are over 6 hours of unique lessons in Norwegian for you right there.

That’s it for today! Join NorwegianClass101 to discover many more ways that we can offer you a truly fun and enriching language learning experience. Happy travels!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Around Town in Norwegian

Learn the Best Compliments in Norwegian for Any Occasion

Thumbnail

What would you say to lift the spirits of a special person you know? No doubt, you have dozens of kind words that come to mind in English, but do you know many compliments in Norwegian?

A compliment can be described as a polite expression of praise, admiration, encouragement or congratulations. It’s sometimes used in absolute sincerity and sometimes to flatter, but either way, human beings love to receive compliments!

Table of Contents

  1. The Importance of Compliments
  2. Compliments you always want to hear
  3. Conclusion

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Norwegian

1. The Importance of Compliments

Giving and receiving compliments is so important in society, that you can be considered rude if you’re a person who never acknowledges anyone. We all need to hear words of affirmation to feel good about ourselves or our achievements, whether big or small. Life is full of daily challenges that can feel overwhelming sometimes – both in terms of the things we have to accomplish and the way we look at the world.

Call it vanity, but it’s a basic human need to hear kindness and appreciation from other people. In the same way, we need to be giving out some of that kindness and helping others to feel good about themselves. Remember the saying “It’s better to give than to receive”? Well, that applies to compliments in a big way. The cool thing is that when you’re generous with your words, you more than likely will invite the same back from people.

So, where did this wonderful idea originate? The word ‘compliment’ has its origins in the mid-17th century; back then it meant ‘fulfilment of the requirements of courtesy’. There was a time when it was normal to compliment others upon meeting for the first time. In some cultures, that’s still the norm. If only we could have more of that today!

If you think about how much it means to receive a genuine compliment from someone whose opinion matters to you, it’s easy to reverse that and realize they probably feel the same way. There is no way around this: it’s vital to pay compliments to each and every person who is a part of your life, and to do so regularly and with sincerity.

2. Compliments you always want to hear

Smiling cat toys

The nuances in the type of personal compliments you’ve been hearing all your life are so deeply present with you by now, that you have a very specific emotional response to each of them. It will be a little different for each of us, since we’ve had different input from the people around us since childhood – especially from family and close friends – but we’re individually used to certain words and as a result, we can detect when they’re spoken with sincerity. How we perceive and receive compliments from specific people has a lot to do with how much we value them, too.

Put yourself in a foreign country and suddenly you’re having to think about the words you’re hearing, doing mental and emotional arithmetic to determine the speaker’s intent. It’s tricky business! When you’ve only been learning Norwegian for a little while, you’ll get the gist, but some of the speaker’s truth might be lost on you.

Can you see where I’m going with this? When it comes to compliments in Norwegian, do yourself a great favor and use them often. Learn the real meaning and impact of what you’re saying, and you’ll be able to start feeling those squishy emotional responses in no time. You’ll also be able to pay genuine compliments in Norwegian that will win people over and earn you a valued place in their hearts.

A compliment in Norwegian culture is as important as one in any other culture – perhaps even more so. Part of fitting into your new community means having a likeable and approachable nature, so bring on the compliments and start winning people over!

NorwegianClass101 has fifteen great compliments to teach you for various situations. Enjoy!

Five hands giving a thumbs up against a cloudy blue sky

1- You’re handsome. – Du er kjekk.

Do you know how to compliment a guy in Norwegian? This is one of the best Norwegian compliments you can pay a man if you want to make him feel attractive. What man doesn’t like to hear that he’s handsome? The younger generation may see it as quite an old-fashioned word, yet men of all ages respond well to “You’re handsome”.

There are many other ways to tell a guy that he’s good-looking, of course, but these particular words carry a timelessness that is only ever good. It doesn’t have any subtle meanings or flirtatious implications, so it’s pretty safe to say to a man who you have no romantic intentions with. Of course, it certainly can also be said romantically! As with most things, it’s all in the way you do it.

Girl kissing her laughing beau on the cheek

2- Great job! – Flott jobb!

When you’ve worked really hard at something, you want your efforts to be appreciated. There isn’t one of us who doesn’t feel that way. You might know you’ve done a great job, but you need to know that other people have noticed and are appreciative of your effort. Otherwise, why bother giving it your all? Part of our basic makeup as humans is the need to be pleasing to others.

How much more so in a work environment, where your performance could determine the trajectory of your career? We seek validation from our bosses mainly because this is vital information that tells us whether we’re heading for success or failure.

Smiling woman giving a thumbs-up

3- Your resume is impressive. – CV-en din er imponerende.

It’s pretty much a given that attending a job interview is going to be nerve-wracking and the first thing you want to be sure of is that your resume looks good to the interviewer. Hearing the above words will give you hope and help you to relax before the questions start. In other words, these are important Norwegian praise words to know if you’re job-hunting. Next time you’re being interviewed by a Norwegian boss, listen for these words, as they’re a positive sign.

In my experience working abroad, I found that the most important requirement interviewers had was just that they like me. By the time you get to the interview, you’ve already been screened, so what’s next in the deciding factor? It’s simple: chemistry. The energy between two people is a huge factor in how well you’ll work together, and that magic happens in the first ten minutes. First impressions go a long way!

Man and woman in an interview

4- Your inside is even more beautiful than your outside. – Du er enda vakrere på innsiden enn på utsiden.

Isn’t this just a wonderful compliment to hear? It sure is, and that makes it equally wonderful to give. If you meet someone who has a heart of gold, use these words!

Most women love to be complimented on their external beauty, but being seen as attractive can feel like a burden if it’s the only thing people notice. When paying compliments in Norwegian to a woman, try to think of her personality and what her perception of your words will be. Women want different things from different people, and someone who cares about you will care a lot about how you see her on the inside. Looks are fleeting; the people we trust to stick around forever are those who’ve seen beneath the surface and still want in.

It seems to be true that the more self-aware and ‘conscious’ a person is, the more they’re going to appreciate being valued for their place and importance in this world, above their looks. Men or women – we’re the same in this way. It doesn’t mean you should stop telling people that they’re physically beautiful, just that you should balance it with thoughtful observations about the person’s character. Psychologically, we crave this balance and without it, insecurity gets a foot in the door.

Men are no different. Compliments directed to a man’s inner core are highly prized by guys. For his self-esteem, he needs to know he is valued for who he is deep down.

Pair of people enjoying themselves at a party

5- You make me want to be a better person. – Du får meg til å ville bli en bedre person.

Do you know someone who inspires you so much, that their mere existence makes you want to move those metaphorical mountains and become the absolute best version of yourself?

This phrase is a lovely thing to say to someone who you care about on a personal level. It’s the kind of compliment reserved for the few special individuals who mean so much to us, that our greatest desire is to have them see us ‘becoming’ – not for anyone’s profit, but just for the sake of love and personal growth.

You might feel this way about a romantic partner, a very close friend or a family member. If you feel this way, don’t hold it in! That person needs to hear it. You will make them feel good and help them to know that the love they put into nurturing your heart is noticed. Chances are, they feel the same way about you.

When you look for the good in others, you start to see the good in yourself. It takes a bit of thought to come up with a string of kind words that convey maximum positive truth about the other person; in those moments, you’re being unselfish and considering their needs before your own. I genuinely believe that paying someone a heartfelt compliment is an act of self-love. After all, giving is more important than receiving. When you give out compliments that are true, you do the world a service and create beauty in your circle. What’s more, you invite reciprocated words of affirmation – whether from the same person, or someone else. When you give, it will inevitably come back to you.

Pair of women hugging and laughing

6- That jacket looks nice on you. – Den jakken ser fin ut på deg.

Men secretly love to be complimented on their clothes. Yup – it makes a man feel good to hear these words, especially since a favorite jacket is something he’ll wear often in cooler weather or to work. If the fabric brings out his eyes, tell him!

Learning some practical and more specific Norwegian compliments like this one is a great idea, because it shows that you’ve actually thought about what you’re saying. Noticing details about a person’s outfit and commenting on them comes across well to the hearer and sounds more sincere than “You look good.” Think about the last time someone noticed your outfit, and you’ll know just what I mean. It makes you feel more confident as you go about your day.

Man showing off a jacket in front of a camera

7- I know that it was a tough project, but your performance exceeded my expectations. – Jeg vet at det var et tøft prosjekt, men opptreden din overgikk mine forventninger.

In the work environment, it’s vital to know some Norwegian praise words that encourage, uplift and express real appreciation. In this sense, compliments can be a form of leadership; a good leader helps his or her team to grow by building them up and pushing them on.

If you hear these Norwegian words, you can rest assured that your boss is very pleased with your work. If you’re a teacher at a Norwegian high school, this is also a great phrase to encourage learners with when they’ve worked hard on a project.

8- You’re smart! – Du er smart!

Smart, clever, brainy – these are all synonyms for intelligence and one of the best compliments you can give. Everybody likes being thought of as smart, so here’s a compliment that can be used in both casual and formal settings. We say this to boost the self-esteem of kids, to praise our friends when they have good ideas and to express awe of a colleague in the workplace.

Being ‘smart’ can mean you make good choices in general, that you have a particular area you excel in, or even that you have an above-average IQ.

Everybody likes the idea of having a high IQ, but it’s not as simple to determine what that even means as we once thought. When I was studying to work in Asia, there was a lot of buzz about Multiple Intelligences Theory as a more accurate determination of intelligence than traditional IQ testing. The theory was developed by Doctor Howard Gardner and the critical reception was complex, to say the least.

Gardner argues that there is a wide range of cognitive abilities, but that there are only very weak correlations among them. For example, a child who learns to multiply easily is not necessarily more intelligent than a child who has difficulty with this task; the child who seems better at art might actually understand multiplication at a fundamentally deeper level. Humans have different learning styles; if one appears to have difficulty grasping a certain concept, the first step is to change the teaching approach.

We’re all smart in our own way, so remind your reflection of that each morning!

Young man holding a solved rubik's cube

9- You are an awesome friend. – Du er en fantastisk venn.

On a more personal note – how good does it make you feel to hear that your friend appreciates you? I’d say it’s right up there with the best kinds of ‘thank you’. Knowing this, it makes sense to learn this phrase in Norwegian and use it next time your Norwegian friend has done something selfless and amazing for you. Let them know with this compliment in Norwegian and make their day.

The lovely thing about using these words is that they encourage even more acts of kindness and support from friends. When you put effort and energy into a friendship and aren’t afraid to share sentiments of love, such as this phrase, chances are the friendship will go the distance. If your sojourn in Norway is more than a few weeks, you’re going to need a good friend or two, so hold on to this friendly phrase!

Two dogs running together, holding one stick

10- You have a great sense of humor. – Du har en god sans for humor.

Did you know that chimpanzees, gorillas, bonobos, and orangutans engage in social laughter? It’s true! Laughter is an important form of social play that connects us and helps to relieve tension. It’s nice being around someone who makes us laugh or who finds us amusing.

I have a weird sense of humor that many people don’t get, but those who do seem to end up cry-laughing a lot in my presence and somehow that makes them my favorite humans. I’ve learned who I can and can’t be funny with. Have you had a similar experience?

Being able to tell someone that you like their sense of humor is important in your social circle. In fact, take these words along with you on a date. If he or she cracks you up, they will definitely appreciate hearing you say so in Norwegian.

11- Your smile is beautiful. – Smilet ditt er vakkert.

When paying aesthetic compliments in Norwegian, especially to a woman you don’t know very well, try to avoid talking about her body and say something like “Your smile is beautiful”, instead. It’s a guaranteed winner! It can be tricky complimenting women in this modern world, where ladies don’t always feel safe, but that’s no reason to stop expressing admiration altogether. Choose your words wisely and you’ll be well on your way to making their day!

Let’s not exclude men from this compliment, though – it’s an excellent choice for a guy you like and feel safe with. In fact, the beauty of this compliment is that you can say it to pretty much anyone, of any age, and it will likely be well-received. Next time you want to make a homeless person smile – this is the better word choice!

Compliments

12- I love your cooking. – Jeg elsker maten din.

If there’s one form of praise we can’t leave out, it’s how to give kudos for someone’s culinary skills. Norwegian compliments for food are a must if you want to be invited back for another home-cooked dinner at the home of the local masterchef. As much as the street food is to die for, nothing beats the experience of an authentic home-cooked meal in Norway. Be sure to read up on basic dining etiquette before you go, and don’t forget to download the Norwegian WordPower app to your phone so you can confidently ask the cook for tips.

Man in a kitchen, tossing food in a wok

13. You have good taste. – Du har god smak.

My sister is one of those people who’d rather be complimented on her taste than on her personality, brains or looks. Do you know someone like that? It’s usually the girl or guy in your group who’s always well-dressed and probably has a full-on feng shui vibe in their home. If you meet someone in Norway who loves their labels, only wears real leather and whose hair is always on-fleek, here’s a compliment they will appreciate.

To have good taste means knowing what is excellent and of good quality, with an eye for detecting subtle differences that make something genuine or not. People with good taste can discern what others find appealing, and tend to impress with their aesthetic choices. This friend will be the one you’ll go to when you aren’t sure what jacket to buy for your interview, or what gift to choose for your hosts.

So, is good taste about social conventions, or the genuine value of an item? Well, since it can refer to taste in music, art, design and fine wines as well as style choices, I think it’s an interesting combination of both. What do you think?

Well-dressed woman drinking red wine in a restaurant

14- You look gorgeous. – Du ser praktfull ut.

“Gorgeous” makes me think of powder blue lakes, newborn babies, wild horses and Terrence Hill in the 80’s. Synonymous with ‘stunning’, it’s a word that means something beyond beautiful and as such, it’s one of the ultimate words of admiration. The vocabulary.com dictionary suggests reserving this word for the kind of looks that take your breath away; in other words, save it for someone special – like a date you adore and definitely want to see again.

Does that mean you can only tell a captivating date that they look gorgeous? Of course not. You can say “You look gorgeous” to a friend dressed up to meet their beau, a child tolerating a bunny suit for the school play, or to anyone special who needs a confidence boost. As long as you’re being sincere, this is a wonderful phrase to express admiration.

Woman in a billowing red dress

15- You have a way with words. – Du har en måte å ordlegge deg på.

There’s always that one person in the group who’s great at articulating deep thoughts, writing intriguing social media posts or comforting others when they’re feeling low. Your companion with this skill is likely very empathetic and although the words seem to come easy for them, they might find it difficult to be vulnerable.

When your friend or lover has let their guard down and shown you that soft place, don’t be afraid to tell them that it’s good, because they need to hear it. “You have a way with words” is a meaningful phrase that lets them know they’ve made a positive impact and their words are wanted. Your kind compliment will ensure that their eloquent words keep coming.

Positive feelings

3. Conclusion

Next time you’re traveling or working in Norway, keep an ear open for the compliments you’ve learned, as they might be aimed at you! If you’re taking time to listen to native speakers on our YouTube channels or with Audio Books, it will also help a lot with the accent. Familiarizing yourself with the sound of compliments in the Norwegian culture is important for your journey and will make your overall experience more meaningful.

Being acknowledged by others helps us to feel accepted and secure, and these are two things we all want to feel when venturing into unfamiliar territory. Remember that although compliments have more impact in your own language, it’s only because you’ve spent a lifetime hearing them and have become accustomed to the fullness of their meaning. You can get there with Norwegian, too – it just takes a little time.

Don’t forget the golden rule: give more than you receive! Paying compliments to the people you meet will not only give you excellent language practice, but the reward will be new friendships and positive vibes.

Here are a few more ways you can practice daily:

  • Chat online with the guys and gals in our learning community. Nothing beats real-time information on how people are currently speaking. It’s a good way to hear some Norwegian colloquialisms.
  • Take time out to read. Reading is an excellent way to develop photographic memory of how the phrases look in Norwegian. We have both iBooks and Kindle books to choose from.
  • There are also some fantastic free podcasts you can listen to on iTunes. They promise to get you speaking after the very first lesson.

One last thought I want to leave you with: don’t forget to receive a compliment with grace. You deserve to hear good words, so get used to smiling and just feeling the kindness with gratitude.

Well, time for me to go! I hope you’ve enjoyed learning these useful compliments with us at NorwegianClass101 today. Now, go out and find some cool people who need to hear them!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Norwegian

Get Angry in Norwegian with Phrases for Any Situation!

Thumbnail

Anger is a natural response to pain of some sort; when you’re angry, you’re angry with a cause and want someone to pay! It’s so much harder when you’re traveling, because your routines are off-kilter, there’s culture shock to deal with and the smallest problems can seem overwhelming. How do you handle someone who’s just pushed your last button?

At home, we often have a go-to person who is good at calming us down, but emotions are tricky to deal with in a foreign country. Sometimes people may treat you unfairly, but you’re completely baffled as to why. You have to remember that people in Norway think differently to how you do and it’s not impossible to inadvertently cause offense. Don’t stress about it too much, because you’ll adapt! Once you feel at home in Norway and people get to know you, it will be easy to flow with the local rhythm and handle tensions well.

This brings us to two obvious reasons why you should learn some angry phrases in Norwegian: first, so you can understand when you’ve upset a Norwegian person, and second, to have the vocabulary to tell a person off when they absolutely have it coming. Not only will you be far more likely to solve the problem if you know some appropriate angry Norwegian phrases, but you’ll probably earn some respect, too! At NorwegianClass101 we’re ready to help you articulate those feelings.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Norwegian
Table of Contents

  1. Norwegian phrases to use when you’re angry
  2. Feeling negative in Norwegian
  3. Conclusion

1. Norwegian phrases to use when you’re angry

Complaints

Okay, so you’ve had a very frustrating day at your new teaching job in Norway and all you want to do is chill on your bed with ice-cream and a Nook Book, but you come home to find your landlord in your apartment, apparently doing an inspection of your personal possessions. How do you handle it? Do you have an angry Norwegian translation for “What the heck are you doing?”

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about confronting someone in their own country, it’s to press the pause button on my reactions and think first! Is my first thought worth expressing? Sometimes, you need to think like a chess player: if I make this move, what will happen next?

It’s always better to think ‘win-win’ in Norway. A good tactic is to keep a mental note of your personal speed limit before engaging. After all, you want a positive outcome!

So, do you know how to say “I am angry” in Norwegian? You will – NorwegianClass101 is about to teach you how to get mad! Here are fifteen great angry phrases in Norwegian.

1- It’s none of your business. – Det er ikke ditt problem.

As a foreigner in Norway, you’ll be a topic of interest. While most folks understand boundaries, there’s always that one individual who doesn’t!

Sometimes you feel that a person is getting way too involved in your affairs, and this expression is a commonly-used one for letting them know that. If said calmly and firmly, while looking them in the eye, it should do the trick and even earn you some respect.

Angry Blonde Girl Holding Up Her Hands to Warn Someone Away

2- I’m upset. – Jeg er lei meg.

I find this phrase useful for times when I need to express annoyance to someone I can’t afford to lose my temper with. A boss, for instance. As long as you say it without yelling, this can be a polite way of letting someone know that you are feeling bad and that you want those feelings validated. No matter what has happened, the result is that you are troubled and need some time to get over it. Depending on how you say it, “I’m upset” can also be a subtle invitation for the other party to address the problem.

3- You’re not listening to me. – Du hører ikke etter.

Isn’t this the most frustrating thing? You’re in a situation where you’re telling someone why you’re mad at them, but they just won’t look at the story from your point of view. Rather than resort to bad language, try to convince them to take a breather and hear you out. This expression is a great way to ask someone to stop talking and to listen to you properly.

Asian Couple Fighting Head-to-Head, Woman Blocking Her Ears

4- Watch your mouth. – Pass på hva du sier.

Where have you heard this before? Let your mind go back to all the times you were cheeky and disrespectful in your youth… that’s right – it was your parents! If you’re on the receiving end, this angry phrase means that you said something you shouldn’t have. It has an authoritative, challenging tone and it implies that there could be consequences if you don’t stop.

So, when can you use it? Well, be careful with this one; it may very well get you in trouble if not used with caution. It can also be seen as very rude if used on anyone you don’t actually have authority over!

5- That’s enough. – Nå er det nok.

Depending on your tone of voice when you say this, you could be calmly telling someone to stop doing what they’re doing, or you could be sternly ordering them to stop. In Norwegian, as in English, tone is key when it comes to making yourself understood. Just don’t be saying this to anyone, as it carries an authoritative tone and would be seen as rude if said to an older person.

Angry School Mistress Shaking a Ruler As If Reprimanding

6- Stop it. – Slutt med det.

One of the more common imperatives in any language, this is a basic way to warn somebody that you don’t like what they’re doing and want them to stop. You can use it in most situations where a person is getting under your skin. Often, “Stop it” precedes some of the weightier phrases one resorts to if the offender doesn’t stop and anger escalates. For this reason, I always add a “Please” and hope for the best!

7- Cut it out. – Kutt ut.

I think parents and teachers everywhere, throughout time, have heard variations of this expression of annoyance for as long as we’ve had tweens and teens on Earth! It’s a go-to command, thrown about frequently between siblings and peers, to stop being irritating. You’d generally use this on people you consider your relative equals – even though in the moment, you probably consider them low enough to stomp on!

8- What the heck are you doing? – Hva pokker er det du gjør?

Here’s an interjection for those instances when you can scarcely believe what you’re seeing. It denotes incredulity ranging from mild disbelief to total disgust or dismay. You would typically use this when you want an action to stop immediately, because it’s wrong – at least, in your perception of things.

It may be worth remembering that the English word “heck” doesn’t have a direct translation in Norwegian – or in other languages, for that matter; most translations are more accurately saying “What the hell.” We say “heck” in English as a euphemism, but that word is thought to come from “hex” – an ancient word for “spell” – so I don’t know which is better!

9- Who do you think you are? – Hvem tror du at du er?

I avoid this expression as it makes me nervous! It’s quite confrontational. I’m reminded of the time a clerk in a busy cellular network service store was being rude to me and a rich-looking man came to my rescue, aiming this phrase at the clerk loudly and repeatedly. At first, I was relieved to have someone on my side, but I quickly grew embarrassed at the scene he was causing.

Using this phrase has a tendency to make you sound like you feel superior, so take it easy. The irony, of course, is that someone who provokes this response is taking a position of authority or privilege that they aren’t entitled to! Now you look like two bears having a stand-off.

They call this an ‘ad hominem’ argument, meaning the focus has shifted from attacking the problem, to attacking the person. So, is it a good phrase to use? That’s up to you. If you’re in the moment and someone’s attitude needs adjusting – go for it!

Man and Woman Arguing, with White Alphabet Letters Coming from the Man’s Mouth and White Question Marks Above the Woman

10- What?! – Hva?!

An expression of disbelief, this is frequently said mid-argument, in a heated tone, and it means you cannot believe what you’re hearing. In other words, it conveys the message that the other person is talking nonsense or lying.

11- I don’t want to talk to you. – Jeg vil ikke snakke med deg.

This is a great bit of vocab for a traveler – especially for a woman traveling solo. Whether you’re being harassed while trying to read your Kindle on the train, or hit on by a drunk man in a bar, chances are that sooner or later, you will encounter a character you don’t wish to speak to.

The most straightforward way to make the message clear is to simply tell them, “I don’t want to talk to you”. If you feel threatened, be calm and use your body language: stand straight, look them in the eye and say the words firmly. Then move away deliberately. Hopefully, they will leave you alone. I’d go so far as to say learn this phrase off-by-heart and practice your pronunciation until you can say it like a strong modern Norwegian woman!

Highly Annoyed Redhead Girl Holding Up Her Hands As If to Say “Stop!”

12- Are you kidding me? – Tuller du med meg?

To be ‘kidding’ means to joke with someone in a childlike way and it’s used both in fun and in anger. Like some other expressions, it needs context for the mood to be clear, but it pretty much conveys annoyed disbelief. You can use it when a person says or does something unpleasantly surprising, or that seems unlikely to be serious or true. It’s a rhetorical question, of course; try to familiarize yourself with how it sounds in Norwegian, so next time it’s aimed at you, you don’t hunt your inner Norwegian lexicon for an answer!

Dark-haired Girl Giving a Very Dirty Look, with One Hand on Her Hip and Holding a Gift Box with Apparent Disgust

13- This is so frustrating. – Dette er så frustrerende.

Another way of showing someone you have an intense battle going on inside, is to just tell them you’re terribly frustrated and feeling desperate to find a solution. Use this expression! It can be a useful tool to bring the other person into your headspace and maybe even evoke some degree of empathy from them. More polite than many others, it’s a sentence that seems to say, “I beg you to work with me so we can resolve this!”

Asian Man Yelling, Bent Forward, with His Hands Held Up Next to His Head

14- Shut up. – Hold kjeft.

The use of the phrase “shut up” to signify “hold one’s tongue” dates back to the sixteenth century and was even used by Shakespeare as an insult – with various creative twists! It’s been evolving ever since and there are variations in just about every language – proving that no matter where you come from, angry emotions are universal!

One example of old usage is a poem Rudyard Kipling wrote in 1892, where a seasoned military veteran says to the troops: “Now all you recruities what’s drafted to-day, You shut up your rag-box an’ ‘ark to my lay.”

Well, when I was twelve and full of spirit, I was taught that nice girls don’t say this. “Shut up” is an imperative that’s considered impolite; it’s one of those expressions people resort to when they either can’t think of better words to use, or simply can’t bear to listen to any more nonsense. Either way, it’s at the lower end of the smart argument scale. Like all angry phrases, though, it does have its uses!

15- So what? – Og så?

When you don’t believe the other person’s defense argument legitimizes or justifies their actions, you might say these words. Basically, you’re telling them they need to come up with better logic!

Another time you could use this one, is when you simply don’t care for someone’s criticism of you. Perhaps you don’t agree with them, or they’re being unfair and you need to defend your position. “So what?” tells them you feel somewhat indignant and don’t believe you’re in the wrong.

2. Feeling negative in Norwegian

Negative Feelings

What was the most recent negative emotion you felt? Were you nervous about an exam? Exhausted and homesick from lack of sleep? Maybe you felt frightened and confused about the impact COVID-19 would have on your travel plans. If you’re human, you have days when you just want the whole world to leave you alone – and that’s okay!

When you’re feeling blue, there’s only so much body language can do. Rather than keeping people guessing why you’re in a bad mood, just tell them! Your Norwegian friends and colleagues will be much more likely to give you your space (or a hug) if they know what’s wrong. Not only that, but it’s nice to give new friends the opportunity to be supportive. Bring on the bonding!

The fastest way to learn to describe negative feelings in Norway, is to get into the habit of identifying your own mood daily in Norwegian. Here’s an easy way: in your travel journal, simply write down the Norwegian word for how you feel each morning. You can get all the words directly from us at NorwegianClass101. Remember, also, that we have a huge online community if you need a friend to talk to. We’ve got you!

3. Conclusion

Now that you know how to express your bad feelings in Norwegian, why not check out some other cool things on our site? You can sign up for the amazing free lifetime account – it’s a great place to start learning!

And really – make the most of your alone time. After all, it’s been proven that learning a new language not only benefits cognitive abilities like intelligence and memory, but it also slows down the brain’s aging. So, on those days when you just need to be away from people, we have some brain-boosting suggestions that will lift your spirits:

  • Have you heard of Roku? A Roku player is a device that lets you easily enjoy streaming, which means accessing entertainment via the internet on your TV. We have over 30 languages you can learn with Innovative Language TV. Lie back and enjoy!
  • If you like your Apple devices, we have over 690 iPhone and iPad apps in over 40 languages – did you know that? The Visual Dictionary Pro, for example, is super fun and makes learning vocab easy. For Android lovers, we have over 100 apps on the Android market, too.
  • You can also just kick back on the couch and close your eyes, letting your headphones do the work with our audiobooks – great for learning the culture while you master the language. Similarly, if you’re more of a reader, we have some fantastic iBooks that are super interesting and fun for practicing your daily conversation skills.

Whatever your learning style (or your mood), you’ll find something that appeals to you at NorwegianClass101. Come join us!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Norwegian

Arbeidernes dag: Celebrating Labor Day in Norway

In Norway, Labor Day is an important holiday for workers and is often marked by demonstrations for more employees’ rights. In this article, you’ll learn much more about how Norway observes Labor Day, what major event happened on this day in 1980, and some useful vocabulary.

Let’s get started.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Norwegian

1. What is Labor Day?

Let’s begin with a little Labor Day history. In 1947, Labor Day became an official fridag (“holiday” ) in Norway, though it was really celebrated since 1890. One of the most significant events in the history of this holiday was the Haymarket Affair in 1886 in the United States, during which people protested for an eight-hour workday. Over time, more requests and ideals have been put forth, and today, Norwegians still seek greater equality and solidarity.

This is a special day for workers to take the day off and hvile (“rest” ). For many people, this day is also an opportunity to put on demonstrations for better employees’ rights and greater frihet (“liberty” ) for workers. Of course, like the rest of the world, on Labor Day, Norway seeks to honor workers and celebrate the gains the working class has achieved over the years.

    → For some useful words, study our vocabulary list on Jobs / Work.

2. When is Labor Day in Norway?

A Man Relaxing on the Couch

Each year, Norwegians celebrate Labor Day on May 1. This is the same date that the rest of the world celebrates, with the exception of the United States, which celebrates on the first Monday of September.

3. Norwegian Labor Day Traditions

A Man Resting in Nature After a Hike

In Norway, Labor Day is still a time for people to demonstrere (“demonstrate” ) for rights, though it’s also a day of celebration for those rights already gained. If you happen to be in Norway during Labor Day, you may hear people giving speeches or see them marching in parades with music. Another common Labor Day event is concerts, during which people listen to music, sing, dance, and even watch plays.

Some people simply opt to stay at home and remain fri (“disengaged” ) from the activities outside. They may spend time with family and friends, chill out by themselves in front of the TV, or even go on a walk in nature.

Sometimes, people are lucky enough to have a full Labor Day weekend, depending on when May 1 is that year. In this case, there’s even more time for rest!

    → NorwegianClass101.com has a list of the Top 10 Weekend Activities. Check it out to see what Norwegians might do during their time off.

4. Blitz Movement

What do you think happened on Labor Day in 1980?

On the night of May 1, 1980, many young people went ballistic, and this resulted in radical youth occupying buildings in cities such as Tromsø and Oslo. This was the beginning of something called the Blitz movement. The Blitz movement is a group of people, called the Blitzers, who are left-wing radicals.

5. Must-Know Vocabulary for Labor Day in Norway

Someone Speaking into a Megaphone

Ready to review some of the vocabulary words from this article? Here’s a list of the most important words and phrases for Labor Day in Norway!

  • Hvile — “Rest” [v.]
  • Arbeider — “Worker” [n. masc]
  • Jobbe — “Work” [v.]
  • Fridag — “Holiday” [n. masc]
  • Arbeidernes dag — “Labor Day” [n. masc]
  • Demonstrasjon — “Demonstration” [n. masc]
  • Demonstrere — “Demonstrate” [v.]
  • Tale — “Speech” [n. masc]
  • Frihet — “Liberty” [n. masc]
  • Fri — “Disengaged” [adj.]

To hear the pronunciation of each word, and to read them alongside relevant images, be sure to check out our Norwegian Labor Day vocabulary list!

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed learning about International Labor Day in Norway with us, and that you took away some valuable information.

How do Labor Day traditions in Norway compare to traditions in your country? Let us know how you celebrate Labor Day in the comments section!

If you’re interested in learning more about Norwegian culture and the language, check out the following pages on NorwegianClass101.com:

For even more fantastic Norwegian-learning content, create your free lifetime account today, or upgrade to our Premium or Premium PLUS plans to get exclusive content to help you learn Norwegian faster.

Happy Labor Day! 🙂

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Norwegian

Essential Vocabulary for Life Events in Norwegian

Thumbnail

What is the most defining moment you will face this year? From memories that you immortalize in a million photographs, to days you never wish to remember, one thing’s for certain: big life events change you. The great poet, Bukowski, said, “We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well, that death will tremble to take us.” The older I get, the more I agree with him!

Talking about significant events in our lives is part of every person’s journey, regardless of creed or culture. If you’re planning to stay in Norway for more than a quick visit, you’re sure to need at least a few ‘life events’ phrases that you can use. After all, many of these are shared experiences, and it’s generally expected that we will show up with good manners and warm wishes.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Norwegian
Table of Contents

  1. Life Events
  2. Marriage Proposal Lines
  3. Talking About Age
  4. Conclusion

1. Life Events

Do you know how to say “Happy New Year” in Norwegian? Well, the New Year is a pretty big deal that the whole world is in on! We celebrate until midnight, make mindful resolutions, and fill the night sky with the same happy words in hundreds of languages. No doubt, then, that you’ll want to know how to say it like a local!

Big life events are not all about fun times, though. Real life happens even when you’re traveling, and certain terminology will be very helpful to know. From talking about your new job to wishing your neighbors “Merry Christmas” in Norwegian, here at NorwegianClass101, we’ve put together just the right vocabulary and phrases for you.

1- Birthday – bursdag

If you’re like me, any excuse to bring out a pen and scribble a note is a good one. When there’s a birthday, even better: hello, handwriting!

Your Norwegian friend will love hearing you wish them a “Happy birthday” in Norwegian, but how much more will they appreciate a thoughtful written message? Whether you write it on their Facebook wall or buy a cute card, your effort in Norwegian is sure to get them smiling! Write it like this:

Gratulerer med dagen

Older Woman Blowing Out Candles on a Birthday Cake Surrounded by Friends.

Now that you know the words, I challenge you to put them to music and sing your own “Happy birthday” song in Norwegian! It’s not impossible to figure out even more lyrics, once you start discovering the language from scratch.

2- Buy – kjøpe

If there’s a special occasion, you might want to buy somebody a gift. As long as you’ve checked out Norwegian etiquette on gift-giving (do a Google search for this!), it will be a lovely gesture. If you’re not sure what to buy, how about the awesome and universally-appealing gift of language? That’s a gift that won’t stop giving!

Two Women at a Counter in a Bookstore, One Buying a Book

3- Retire – pensjonere seg

If you’re planning to expand your mind and retire in Norway, you can use this word to tell people why you seem to be on a perpetual vacation!

Retirement is also a great time to learn a new language, don’t you think? And you don’t have to do it alone! These days it’s possible to connect to a vibrant learning community at the click of a button. The added benefit of a Daily Dose of Language is that it keeps your brain cells alive and curious about the world. After all, it’s never too late to realize those long-ignored dreams of traveling the globe…

4- Graduation – avgangseksamen

When attending a graduation ceremony in Norway, be prepared for a lot of formal language! It will be a great opportunity to listen carefully and see if you can pick up differences from the everyday Norwegian you hear.

Lecturer or University Dean Congratulating and Handing Over Graduation Certificate to a Young Man on Graduation Day.

5- Promotion – forfremmelse

Next to vacation time, receiving a promotion is the one career highlight almost everyone looks forward to. And why wouldn’t you? Sure, it means more responsibility, but it also means more money and benefits and – the part I love most – a change of scenery! Even something as simple as looking out a new office window would boost my mood.

6- Anniversary – jubileum

Some anniversaries we anticipate with excitement, others with apprehension. They are days marking significant events in our lives that can be shared with just one person, or with a whole nation. Whether it’s a special day for you and a loved one, or for someone else you know, this word is crucial to know if you want to wish them a happy anniversary in Norwegian.

7- Funeral – begravelse

We tend to be uncomfortable talking about funerals in the west, but it’s an important conversation for families to have. Around the world, there are many different customs and rituals for saying goodbye to deceased loved ones – some vastly different to our own. When traveling in Norway, if you happen to find yourself the unwitting observer of a funeral, take a quiet moment to appreciate the cultural ethos; even this can be an enriching experience for you.

8- Travel – å reise

Travel – my favorite thing to do! Everything about the experience is thrilling and the best cure for boredom, depression, and uncertainty about your future. You will surely be forever changed, fellow traveler! But you already know this, don’t you? Well, now that you’re on the road to total Norwegian immersion, I hope you’ve downloaded our IOS apps and have your Nook Book handy to keep yourself entertained on those long bus rides.

Young Female Tourist with a Backpack Taking a Photo of the Arc de Triomphe

9- Graduate – gå av med eksamen

If you have yet to graduate from university, will you be job-hunting in Norway afterward? Forward-looking companies sometimes recruit talented students who are still in their final year. Of course, you could also do your final year abroad as an international student – an amazing experience if you’d love to be intellectually challenged and make a rainbow of foreign friends!

10- Wedding – bryllup

One of the most-loved traditions that humans have thought up, which you’ll encounter anywhere in the world, is a wedding. With all that romance in the air and months spent on preparations, a wedding is typically a feel-good affair. Two people pledge their eternal love to each other, ladies cry, single men look around for potential partners, and everybody has a happy day of merrymaking.

Ah, but how diverse we are in our expression of love! You will find more wedding traditions around the world than you can possibly imagine. From reciting love quotes to marrying a tree, the options leave no excuse to be boring!

Married Couple During Reception, Sitting at Their Table While a Young Man Gives a Wedding Speech

11- Move – flytte

I love Norway, but I’m a nomad and tend to move around a lot, even within one country. What are the biggest emotions you typically feel when moving house? The experts say moving is a highly stressful event, but I think that depends on the circumstances. Transitional periods in our lives are physically and mentally demanding, but changing your environment is also an exciting adventure that promises new tomorrows!

12- Be born – født

I was not born in 1993, nor was I born in Asia. I was born in the same year as Aishwarya Rai, Akon, and Monica Lewinsky, and on the same continent as Freddy Mercury. When and where were you born? More importantly – can you say it in Norwegian?

13- Get a job – få en jobb

The thought of looking for a job in a new country can be daunting, but English speakers are in great demand in Norway – you just have to do some research, make a few friends and get out there! Also, arming yourself with a few Norwegian introductions that you can both say and write will give you a confidence boost. For example, can you write your name in Norwegian?

Group of People in Gear that Represent a Number of Occupations.

14- Die – dø

Death is a universal experience and the final curtain on all other life events. How important is it, then, to fully live before we die? If all you have is a passport, a bucket list, and a willingness to learn some lingo, you can manifest those dreams!

15- Home – hjem

If home is where the heart is, then my home is on a jungle island completely surrounded by the turquoise ocean. Right now, though, home is an isolation room with a view of half a dry palm tree and a tangle of telephone wires.

If you’re traveling to Norway for an extended stay, you’ll soon be moving into a new home quite unlike anything you’ve experienced before!

Large, Double-Story House with Lit Windows.

16- Job – jobb

What job do you do? Does it allow you much time for travel, or for working on this fascinating language that has (so rightfully) grabbed your attention? Whatever your job, you are no doubt contributing to society in a unique way. If you’re doing what you love, you’re already on the road to your dream. If not, just remember that every single task is one more skill to add to your arsenal. With that attitude, your dream job is coming!

17- Birth – fødsel

Random question: do you know the birth rate of Norway?

If you’re lucky enough to be invited to see a friend’s baby just after they are born, you’ll have all my respect and all my envy. There is nothing cuter! Depending on which part of the country you’re in, you may find yourself bearing witness to some pretty unexpected birth customs. Enjoy this privilege!

Crying Newborn Baby Held By a Doctor or Nurse in a Hospital Theatre

18- Engaged – forlovet

EE Cummings said, “Lovers alone wear sunlight,” and I think that’s most true at the moment she says “yes.” Getting engaged is something young girls dream of with stars in their eyes, and it truly is a magical experience – from the proposal, to wearing an engagement ring, to the big reveal!

In the world of Instagram, there’s no end to the antics as imaginative couples try more and more outrageous ways to share their engagement with the world. I love an airport flashmob, myself, but I’d rather be proposed to on a secluded beach – salt, sand, and all!

Engagement customs around the world vary greatly, and Norway is no exception when it comes to interesting traditions. Learning their unique romantic ways will inspire you for when your turn comes.

Speaking of romance, do you know how to say “Happy Valentine’s Day” in Norwegian?

19- Marry – gifte

The one you marry will be the gem on a shore full of pebbles. They will be the one who truly mirrors your affection, shares your visions for the future, and wants all of you – the good, the bad and the inexplicable.

From thinking up a one-of-a-kind wedding, to having children, to growing old together, finding a twin flame to share life with is quite an accomplishment! Speaking of which…

2. Marriage Proposal Lines

Marriage Proposal Lines

Ah, that heart-stopping moment when your true love gets down on one knee to ask for your hand in marriage, breathlessly hoping that you’ll say “Yes!” If you haven’t experienced that – well, it feels pretty darn good, is all I can say! If you’re the one doing the asking, though, you’ve probably had weeks of insomnia agonizing over the perfect time, location and words to use.

Man on His Knee Proposing to a Woman on a Bridge.

How much more care should be taken if your love is from a different culture to yours? Well, by now you know her so well, that most of it should be easy to figure out. As long as you’ve considered her personal commitment to tradition, all you really need is a few words from the heart. Are you brave enough to say them in Norwegian?

3. Talking About Age

Talking about Age

Part of the wonder of learning a new language is having the ability to strike up simple conversations with strangers. Asking about age in this context feels natural, as your intention is to practice friendly phrases – just be mindful of their point of view!

When I was 22, I loved being asked my age. Nowadays, if someone asks, I say, “Well, I’ve just started my fifth cat life.” Let them ponder that for a while.

In Norway, it’s generally not desirable to ask an older woman her age for no good reason, but chatting about age with your peers is perfectly normal. Besides, you have to mention your birthday if you want to be thrown a birthday party!

4. Conclusion

Well, there you have it! With so many great new Norwegian phrases to wish people with, can you think of someone who has a big event coming up? If you want to get even more creative, NorwegianClass101 has much to inspire you with – come and check it out! Here’s just some of what we have on offer at NorwegianClass101:

  • Free Resources: Sharing is caring, and for this reason, we share many free resources with our students. For instance, start learning Norwegian with our basic online course by creating a lifetime account – for free! Also get free daily and iTunes lessons, free eBooks, free mobile apps, and free access to our blog and online community. Or how about free Vocabulary Lists? The Norwegian dictionary is for exclusive use by our students, also for free. There’s so much to love about NorwegianClass101…!
  • Innovative Learning Tools and Apps: We make it our priority to offer you the best learning tools! These include apps for iPhone, iPad, Android and Mac OSX; eBooks for Kindle, Nook, and iPad; audiobooks; Roku TV and so many more. This means that we took diverse lifestyles into account when we developed our courses, so you can learn anywhere, anytime on a device of your choice. How innovative!
  • Live Hosts and One-on-One Learning: Knowledgeable, energetic hosts present recorded video lessons, and are available for live teaching experiences if you upgrade. This means that in the videos, you get to watch them pronounce those tongue-twisters, as if you’re learning live! Add octane to your learning by upgrading to Premium Plus, and learn two times faster. You can have your very own Norwegian teacher always with you, ensuring that you learn what you need, when you need to – what a wonderful opportunity to master a new language in record time!
  • Start Where You Are: You don’t know a single Norwegian word? Not to worry, we’ve absolutely got this. Simply enroll in our Absolute Beginner Pathway and start speaking from Lesson 1! As your learning progresses, you can enroll in other pathways to match your Norwegian level, at your own pace, in your own time, in your own place!

Learning a new language can only enrich your life, and could even open doors towards great opportunities! So don’t wonder if you’ll regret enrolling in NorwegianClass101. It’s the most fun, easy way to learn Norwegian.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Norwegian

Talk About the Weather in Norwegian Like a Native

Thumbnail

Did you know that every minute of the day, one billion tons of rain falls on the earth? Hard to believe, considering the climate crisis! Of course, all that rain is not equally shared across the planet.

So, would you mention this fascinating fact to your new Norwegian acquaintance? Well, small talk about local weather is actually a great conversation-starter. Everyone cares about the weather and you’re sure to hear a few interesting opinions! Seasons can be quite unpredictable these days and nobody knows the peculiarities of a region better than the locals.

NorwegianClass101 will equip you with all the weather vocabulary you need to plan your next adventure. The weather can even be an important discussion that influences your adventure plans. After all, you wouldn’t want to get caught on an inflatable boat with a two-horsepower motor in Hurricane Horrendous!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Time Phrases in Norwegian

Table of Contents

  1. Talking about the weather in Norway
  2. Words for the first day of spring
  3. Do You Know the Essential Summer Vocabulary?
  4. Must-Know Autumn vocabulary
  5. Winter
  6. NorwegianClass101 can prepare you for any season.

1. Talking about the weather in Norway

Talking About Weather

If you’re like me, your day’s activity plan is likely to begin with a strong local coffee and a chat about what the sky is doing. After all, being prepared could be the difference between an amazing day and a miserable one! Luckily, it’s not difficult to comment on Norwegian weather – just start with these simple words and phrases.

1- The rain is falling on the street – Regnet faller på gata.

Watercolor artists, take out your paints! You might not be able to venture out on foot today, but just embrace the rain as part of your Norwegian experience. When the rain stops, the air will be clean and colours vibrant.

2- The snow has covered everything – Snøen har dekket alt.

A fresh blanket of snow is irresistibly beautiful. Pull on your boots and beanie, and leave your tracks in this foreign landscape. Don’t resist the urge to build a snowman – you need this!

3- Fluffy cloud – luftig sky

When you’re waiting for a warm beach day, fluffy white clouds in a blue sky are a good sign. Don’t forget your sunscreen, as clouds will intensify the UV rays hitting your skin.

Fluffy White Cloud in Clear Blue Sky

4- The water froze on the glass – Vannet frøs på glasset.

Night temperatures can get chilly and might freeze the condensation on your windows. A good way to clear them up is with warm salt water.

5- The heavy rain could cause flash flooding – Dette kraftige regnet kan føre til flom.

If you’re visiting Norway in the wet season, it’s important to stay informed when heavy rain sets in, so keep an eye on the weather radar. Avoid river activities and rather spend this time making a home-cooked meal and brushing up on your Norwegian weather words.

Heavy Rain in a Park

6- Flood – flom

If you do get caught in a flood, your destination should no longer be ‘home’, but the nearest high ground.

7- The typhoon has hit – Tyfonen har truffet.

Not all countries experience typhoons, but you need to know when to prepare for one! It will be very scary if you’ve never experienced one before. Your local neighbours are the best people to advise you on where to take shelter, as they’ve been doing it for generations. Be sure to get the low-down at the first sign of rough weather!

8- Check the weather report before going sailing – Sjekk værmeldingen før du seiler.

When planning an outdoor activity, especially on a body of water, always be prepared for a change in the weather. Ask your hotel receptionist or neighbour where you can get a reliable daily weather report, and don’t forget your sweater!

Two Men on Sailboat

9- Today’s weather is sunny with occasional clouds – Været i dag er solrikt med noe skydekke.

Sunny weather is the dream when traveling in Norway! Wake up early, pack the hats and sunblock and go and experience the terrain, sights and beautiful spots. You’ll be rewarded with happy vibes all around.

10- Rainy – regnete

Remember when you said you’d save the Norwegian podcasts for a rainy day? Now’s that day!

11- Scenic rainbow – naturskjønn regnbue

The best part about the rain is that you can look forward to your first rainbow in Norway. There’s magic in that!

12- Flashes of lightning can be beautiful, but are very dangerous – Lyn kan være vakkert, men er svært farlig.

Lightning is one of the most fascinating weather phenomena you can witness without really being in danger – at least if you’re sensible and stay indoors! Did you know that lightning strikes the earth 40-50 times per second? Fortunately, not all countries experience heavy electric storms!

Electric Storm

13- 25 degrees Celsius – 25 grader Celsius

Asking a local what the outside temperature will be is another useful question for planning your day. It’s easy if you know the Norwegian term for ‘degrees Celsius’.

14- His body temperature was far above the usual 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit – Kroppstemperaturen hans var langt over den normale 98,6 grader Fahrenheit.

Although the Fahrenheit system has been replaced by Celsius in almost all countries, it’s still used in the US and a few other places. Learn this phrase in Norwegian in case one of your companions develops a raging fever.

15- Today the sky is clear – klar himmel

Clear skies mean you’ll probably want to get the camera out and capture some nature shots – not to mention the great sunsets you’ll have later on. Twilight can lend an especially magical quality to a landscape on a clear sky day, when the light is not filtered through clouds.

Hikers on Mountain with Clear Sky

16- Light drizzle – yr

Days when it’s drizzling are perfect for taking in the cultural offerings of Norway. You could go to the mall and watch a Norwegian film, visit museums and art galleries, explore indoor markets or even find the nearest climbing wall. Bring an umbrella!

17- Temperature on a thermometer – temperaturen på et termometer

Because of the coronavirus, many airports are conducting temperature screening on passengers. Don’t worry though – it’s just a precaution. Your temperature might be taken with a no-touch thermometer, which measures infrared energy coming off the body.

18- Humid – fuktig

I love humid days, but then I’m also a water baby and I think the two go
together like summer and rain. Find a pool or a stream to cool off in – preferably in the shade!

Humidity in Tropical Forest

19- With low humidity the air feels dry – Med lav luftfuktighet føles luften tørr.

These are the best days to go walking the hills and vales. Just take at least one Norwegian friend with you so you don’t get lost!

20- The wind is really strong – Vinden er veldig sterk.

A strong wind blows away the air pollution and is very healthy in that respect. Just avoid the mountain trails today, unless you fancy being blown across the continent like a hot air balloon.

21- It’s very windy outside – det er vindfullt ute

Wind! My least favourite weather condition. Of course, if you’re a kitesurfer, a windy day is what you’ve been waiting for!

Leaves and Umbrella in the Wind

22- Wet roads can ice over when the temperature falls below freezing – Våte veier kan fryse til når temperaturen faller under frysepunktet.

The roads will be dangerous in these conditions, so please don’t take chances. The ice will thaw as soon as the sun comes out, so be patient!

23- Today is very muggy – I dag er det veldig fuktig.

Muggy days make your skin feel sticky and sap your energy. They’re particular to high humidity. Cold shower, anyone? Ice vest? Whatever it takes to feel relief from the humidity!

24- Fog – tåkete

Not a great time to be driving, especially in unknown territory, but keep your fog lights on and drive slowly.

Fog on a Pond with Ducks

25- Hurricane – orkan

Your new Norwegian friends will know the signs, so grab some food and candles and prepare for a night of staying warm and chatting about wild weather in Norway.

Palm Trees in a Hurricane

26- Big tornado – stor tornado

If you hear these words, it will probably be obvious already that everyone is preparing for the worst! Definitely do whatever your accommodation hosts tell you to do when a tornado is expected.

27- It’s cloudy today – det er overskyet i dag

While there won’t be any stargazing tonight, the magnificent clouds over Norway will make impressive photographs. Caption them in Norwegian to impress your friends back home!

Cloudy Weather on Beach with Beach Huts

28- Below freezing temperatures – temperaturer under frysepunktet

When the temperature is below freezing, why not take an Uber and go shopping for some gorgeous Norwegian winter gear?

Woman with Winter Gear in Freezing Weather

29- Wind chill – kuldeeffekten

Wind doesn’t change the ambient temperature of the air, it just changes your body temperature, so the air will feel colder to you than it actually is.

30- Water will freeze when the temperature falls below zero degrees celsius – Vann vil fryse når temperaturen faller under null grader celsius.

If you’re near a lake, frozen water is good news! Forgot your ice skates? Don’t despair – find out where you can hire some. Be cautious, though: the ice needs to be at least four inches thick for safe skating. Personally, I just slide around on frozen lakes in my boots!

Thermometer Below Freezing Point

31- Waiting to clear up – vente til det klarner

Waiting for the weather to clear up so you can go exploring is frustrating, let’s be honest. That’s why you should always travel with two things: a scintillating novel and your Norwegian Nook Book.

32- Avoid the extreme heat – unngå ekstrem varme

Is the heat trying to kill you? Unless you’re a hardened heatwave hero, definitely avoid activity, stay hydrated and drink electrolytes. Loose cotton or linen garb is the way to go!

Hand Holding a Melting Ice Cream

33- Morning frost – morgenfrost

Frost is water vapour that has turned to ice crystals and it happens when the earth cools so much in the night, that it gets colder than the air above it. Winter is coming!

34- Rain shower – regndusj

Rain showers are typically brief downpours that drench the earth with a good drink of water.

35- In the evening it will become cloudy and cold – På kvelden vil det skye over og bli kaldt.

When I hear this on the Norwegian weather channel, I buy a bottle of wine (red, of course) and wood for the fireplace. A cold and cloudy evening needs its comforts!

Snow in the Park at Night

36- Severe thunderstorm – kraftig tordenvær

Keep an eye on the Norwegian weather maps if it looks like a big storm is coming, so you’ll be well-informed.

37- Ice has formed on the window – det er is på vinduet

You could try this phrase out on the hotel’s helpful cleaning staff, or fix the problem yourself. Just add a scoop or two of salt to a spray bottle of water – that should work!

38- Large hailstones – store hagle kuler

As a kid, I found hail crazy exciting. Not so much now – especially if I’m on the road and large hailstones start pummeling my windscreen!

Large Hailstones on a Wooden Floor

39- Rolling thunder – rullende torden

The rumble of rolling thunder is that low-volume, ominous background sound that goes on for some time. It’s strangely exciting if you’re safely in your hotel room; it could either suddenly clear up, or escalate to a storm.

40- Sleet – sludd

Sleet is tiny hard pieces of ice made from a mixture of rain and melted snow that froze. It can be messy, but doesn’t cause major damage the way hail does. Pretty cool to know this word in Norwegian!

2. Words for the first day of spring

You know the feeling: your heart skips a beat when you wake up and spring has sprung! Spring will reward you with new blossoms everywhere, birdsong in the air, kittens being born in the neighborhood and lovely views when you hit the trails. Pack a picnic and ask a new Norwegian friend to show you the more natural sights. Don’t forget a light sweater and a big smile. This is the perfect time to practice some Norwegian spring words!

Spring Vocabulary

3. Do You Know the Essential Summer Vocabulary?

Summer! Who doesn’t love that word? It conjures up images of blue skies, tan skin, vacations at the beach and cruising down the coast in an Alfa Romeo, sunglasses on and the breeze in your hair. Of course, in Norway there are many ways to enjoy the summer – it all depends on what you love to do. One thing’s for sure: you will have opportunities to make friends, go on picnics, sample delicious local ice-cream and maybe even learn to sing some Norwegian songs. It’s up to you! Sail into Norwegian summer with this summer vocab list, and you’ll blend in with ease.

Four Adults Playing on the Beach in the Sand

4. Must-Know Autumn vocabulary

Victoria Ericksen said, “If a year was tucked inside of a clock, then autumn would be the magic hour,” and I agree. Who can resist the beauty of fall foliage coloring the Norwegian landscape? Birds prepare to migrate; travelers prepare to arrive for the best weather in Norway.

The autumnal equinox marks the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator, making day and night almost equal in length. The cool thing about this event is that the moon gets really bright – the ‘harvest moon’, as it’s traditionally known.

So, as much as the change of season brings more windy and rainy days, it also brings celebration. Whether you honor Thanksgiving, Halloween or the Moon Festival, take some time to color your vocabulary with these Norwegian autumn words.

Autumn Phrases

5. Winter

Winter is the time the natural world slows down to rest and regroup. I’m a summer girl, but there are fabulous things about winter that I really look forward to. For one, it’s the only season I get to accessorize with my gorgeous winter gloves and snug down coat!

Then, of course, there’s ice skating, holiday decorations and bonfires. As John Steinbeck said, “What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness?” Get ready for the cold season with our list of essential Winter words!

Skier Sitting in the Snow

6. NorwegianClass101 can prepare you for any season.

Now that you know how to inquire and comment on the weather in Norway, you
can confidently plan your weather-ready travel itinerary. How about this for an idea: the next
time you’re sitting in a Norwegian street café, try asking someone local this question:

“Do you think the weather will stay like this for a few days?” If you loved learning these cool Norwegian weather phrases with us, why not take it a step further and add to your repertoire? NorwegianClass101 is here to help!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Time Phrases in Norwegian

Karneval: Celebrating the Carnival Holiday in Norway

Celebrating the Carnival Holiday in Norway

The Carnival holiday is a major Christian celebration in many cultures around the world. In this article, you’ll learn some Carnival holiday facts and gain some knowledge into how Norwegians, in particular, celebrate this holiday.

Are you ready? Let’s get started.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Norwegian

1. What is the Carnival Holiday?

Celebrated by Chrisitan communities around the world, Carnival (sometimes called Shrovetide) is a religious holiday that precedes the Lenten fasting period. This holiday is known for an array of celebrations and traditions, all of which tend to center on the idea of fun, indulgence, and the reversing of social order.

In the past, people relied on stored and preserved food throughout the winter months, meaning that there was little food available once the season ended. It was crucial that any highly perishable food still left over, such as butter and meat, was eaten promptly before the start of spring. To survive the final days of winter, people would finish off all of the remaining food stores, ensuring that everyone had enough sustenance to keep them going until spring.

Over time, this season became the Carnival holiday. Instead of simply eating richer foods to survive the winter, people now indulge themselves in preparation for Lent. This holiday combines elements of Christianity and folktales passed on from the medieval ages.

2. Carnival Dates

Colorful Carnival Mask and Jewelry

Carnival takes place on the final Sunday before Lent each year. For your convenience, here’s a list of this holiday’s date for the next ten years.

  • 2020: February 23
  • 2021: February 14
  • 2022: February 27
  • 2023: February 19
  • 2024: February 11
  • 2025: March 2
  • 2026: February 15
  • 2027: February 7
  • 2028: February 27
  • 2029: February 11

3. Celebrating Karneval in Norway

Child Getting Her Face Painted

Carnival celebrations and traditions vary slightly from culture to culture, but they all share a few common threads. For example, no matter where you are, Carnival celebrations will involve eating some kind of rich food and taking part in holiday Carnival games or activities.

Norwegian holiday traditions for Karneval include dressing up in costumes and attending balls (the most famous of which is the Oslo opernball, or “Oslo operaball“). These balls are similar to masquerades, with many people wearing masks. Children like to dress up and receive candy from people, which is why some people consider Karneval to be the Nordic version of Halloween. Decorated fastelavnsris (“birch” branches) are another common element of the Norway Carnival season, often seen during or after balls.

Another favorite celebration is that of the Fastelavnsbolle, or “Shrovetide bun,” the most popular of Carnival holiday foods. This is a delicious, soft bun that’s filled with either whipped cream or almond paste. Sometimes, Carnival is also called Bun Sunday for this reason. In addition to the Shrovetide buns, other popular Norwegian holiday foods include waffles, pancakes, and an array of other sweet treats.

4. The Birch Tree

Do you know why the bjørk, or “birch tree,” is such a significant aspect of Carnival in Norway?

The birch tree, in folklore, is considered a symbol of many things associated with spring: new beginnings, beauty, adaptability, and fertility. In particular, this tree is often associated with goddesses of love and fertility.

5. Must-Know Vocabulary for Carnival

A

Ready to review some of the vocabulary words from this article? Here’s the essential Norwegian vocabulary for Carnival!

  • Kostyme — “Costume”
  • Fastelavn — “Shrovetide”
  • Karneval — “Carnival”
  • Oslo opernball — “Oslo operaball”
  • Fjær — “Feather”
  • Fastelavnsbolle — “Shrovetide bun”
  • Kle seg ut — “Dress up”
  • Ansiktsmaling — “Facepaint”
  • Bjørk — “Birch tree”
  • Fastelavnsris — “Birch”

To hear the pronunciation of each word, and to read each one alongside relevant images, check out our Norwegian Carnival vocabulary list!

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed learning about Karneval with us. Do you celebrate this holiday in your country? Let us know in the comments!

If you’re interested in learning more about Norway’s unique culture or Norwegian holidays, check out the following pages on NorwegianClass101.com:

Whatever your reasons for developing an interest in Norwegian culture or the language, know that NorwegianClass101.com is the best way to expand your knowledge and improve your skills. With tons of fun lessons for beginners, intermediate learners, and more advanced students, there’s something for everyone!

Create your free lifetime account today, and start learning Norwegian like never before.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Norwegian

Morsdag: Celebrating Mother’s Day in Norway

Each year for its national Mother’s Day, Norway is abuzz with advertisements for the perfect Mother’s Day gifts and services. While overly commercial these days, celebrating Mother’s Day in Norway has become a huge occasion, and children—young and grown—are sure to honor their mothers with gifts and other expressions of gratitude.

In this article, you’ll learn how Mother’s Day is celebrated in Norway as well as how this holiday got started here.

Are you ready? Let’s go!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Norwegian

1. What is Mother’s Day in Norway?

Like Mother’s Day in the rest of the world, this holiday in Norway is a special day dedicated to honoring one’s mother and showing her appreciation. Because mothers do so much for their children and make so many personal sacrifices, people make sure to express their deepest gratitude and respect on this day. This often takes the form of gift-giving or general pampering!

Young children aren’t the only ones to participate in Mother’s Day. Adult children may visit their mothers, give them a call, or send them a letter of gratitude. A gift of chocolate (sjokolade) or a gift certificate (gavekort) are always welcome!

Mother’s Day is also the perfect opportunity for husbands to spoil their wives, and for other men to show the women in their lives how much they mean to them.

2. Mother’s Day Date

Norwegian Mother’s Day is on a Sunday

Norwegians celebrate and honor their mothers each year on the second Sunday (søndag) of February. For your convenience, here’s a list of this holiday’s date for the next ten years.

  • 2020: February 9
  • 2021: February 14
  • 2022: February 13
  • 2023: February 12
  • 2024: February 11
  • 2025: February 9
  • 2026: February 8
  • 2027: February 14
  • 2028: February 13
  • 2029: February 11

3. Norwegian Mother’s Day Traditions

Husband and Children Giving a Mother Gifts on Mother’s Day

Unfortunately, no special traditions are related to the celebration of Mother’s Day, but it is common to mark it.

Mother’s Day, like Valentine’s Day, has become a very commercial holiday. Several stores promote the day with gifts, cakes, and flowers for Mother’s Day, and it’s clear that the holiday has become ingrained in Norwegian society. Several weeks before the day itself, commercial posters are posted in the stores, and several TV and radio stations advertise gift-giving for Mother’s Day.

Even though it is “commercialized,” people still appreciate this day. The most common way to celebrate is to treat moms and give them a little extra attention, often in the form of gifts and flowers. In elementary schools, teachers help children in Norway celebrate Mother’s Day by giving them an hour or two to make cards and gifts for their mothers.

In Norway, the most common thing is to wake up your mom and surprise her with breakfast in bed, or frokost på sengen. Norwegian mothers often receive a breakfast of tasty bread rolls and freshly brewed coffee, and the breakfast is sometimes accompanied by a gift and flowers.

4. Origins of Mother’s Day in Norway

In 1919, two women—Dorothea Schjoldager and Karen Platou—worked to get Mother’s Day celebrated on a Sunday in February. Why Mother’s Day is celebrated in February instead of in May, like it is in many other countries, is probably because Norway already has a lot of holidays in May.

The first Mother’s Day celebration was in Bergen on February 9, 1919. Back then, the day was celebrated in a Methodist Church. Historically, Mother’s Day was held by religious organizations, but in more recent years, the day has become a family day.

5. Essential Mother’s Day Vocabulary

Little Girl Holding a Card that Says “I Love You Mommy”

Are you ready to study some of the Norwegian vocabulary words and phrases from this article? Here’s a list of the most important Mother’s Day vocabulary words!

  • Søndag — “Sunday”
  • Sønn — “Son”
  • Datter — “Daughter”
  • Mor — “Mother”
  • Sjokolade — “Chocolate”
  • Middag — “Dinner
  • Rose — “Rose”
  • Elske — “Love”
  • Gave — “Present”
  • Gratulasjonskort — “Greeting card”
  • Morsdag — “Mother’s Day”
  • Feire — “Celebrate”
  • Gavekort — “Gift certificate”
  • Frokost på sengen — “Breakfast in bed”

To hear the pronunciation of each word or phrase, and to read them alongside relevant images, be sure to check out our Norwegian Mother’s Day vocabulary list!

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed learning about Norwegian Mother’s Day with us! As you can see, this is a popular holiday in Norway nowadays, and the country celebrates mothers on a large scale.

What do Mother’s Day celebrations look like in your country? Let us know in the comments, and read how your fellow Norwegian learners celebrate!

If you’re interested in learning more about Norwegian holidays and culture, you may find the following pages useful:

Whatever your reasons for developing an interest in Norwegian culture or the language, know that NorwegianClass101.com is the best place to broaden your knowledge and improve your language skills! With tons of lessons for beginners, intermediate learners, and more advanced students, there’s something for everyone.

What are you waiting for? Create your free lifetime account today and start learning Norwegian like never before.

Lykkelig Morsdag! (“Happy Mother’s Day!” in Norwegian) 😀

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Norwegian

The Norwegian Calendar: Talking About Dates in Norwegian

Thumbnail

Did you know there are many different types of calendars?

As you probably know – a calendar is a system of organizing days in weeks and months for specific purposes, according to Wikipedia.

Worldwide, most countries use the Gregorian calendar. Some just work on the same framework, meaning that time is divided into units based on the earth’s movement around the sun – the “solar calendar”. Other calendars keep time by observing the moon’s movements, a combination of the moon and the sun’s movements, and seasons.

Through NorwegianClass101, you can learn all about this and so much more! Our themed, culturally relevant lessons are skillfully designed so you can do your planning perfectly for a holiday or a date.

Having a good plan for a visit or a trip is like studying well for an exam. You’re just so much better prepared! For that, you could well need specific phrases to plan around appointments and such, especially on business trips. Make sure to use the charts we provide here with the days of the week in Norwegian, as well as the months in Norwegian to navigate your way as you plan. Great resources!

Also – always remember to have fun!

Table of Contents

  1. Why Will It Help To Know How To Talk About Dates in Norwegian?
  2. Talking About your Plans
  3. Can NorwegianClass101 Help You In Other Ways Too?

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Time Phrases in Norwegian

1. Why Will It Help To Know How To Talk About Dates in Norwegian?

Days of the Week

Well, that’s not a difficult question to answer. No matter why you’re travelling, it would be best to at least know the names of days and months in Norwegian. You don’t want to miss your flight or an appointment because you confused “fredag” (Friday) with “lørdag” (Saturday)! Or maybe you planned a holiday for “juli” (July), but you booked a flight for “juni” (June) by accident!

Avoid this confusion by learning the Norwegian calendar before you leave.

Now, as promised, the 15 phrases to help you make and discuss plans.

2. Talking About your Plans

Months of the Year

Perhaps you’re working in Norway, or maybe you’re enjoying a prolonged holiday. Fabulous! Memorize these phrases so you can be sure to successfully negotiate meetings, appointments, dates, events, the list goes on!

1. Hva gjør dere denne helgen?

“What are you doing this weekend?”

This question is usually a preamble to inviting someone somewhere. Given that it’s over the weekend, it probably means a casual get-together or another social event. (But not necessarily! A manager or boss could also ask this for entirely different reasons.)

It’s a handy phrase to know when you’ve made Norwegian or expat friends in the country. Or, be the one doing the inviting. Then train your ear to learn the following phrases so you can understand the response.

2. Jeg skal reise denne helgen.

“I am traveling this weekend.”

This could be a reply if you’re not available because you’re doing other fun stuff.

No matter why you are visiting Norway, do take the time to explore the country! It’s beautiful and it has so many wonderful, interesting spots ready to be visited.

Couple at booking in Desk

3. Jeg planlegger å bli hjemme.

“I am planning to stay at home.”

Maybe you feel unwell, but don’t want to give too much information? Or maybe you have work to do? Perhaps you just need some quiet gardening time…it doesn’t matter. This response is polite and honest without oversharing.

It could also be a slightly open-ended response, depending on how you deliver it. Because hey, being home could still mean your plans are flexible, right?

That said – depending on your relationship with the inviter, nuances like these will probably not be so apparent in a foreign culture. So, best to use this excuse for declining an invitation only if you are truly set on staying in.

Woman Doing Gardening

4. Denne uken er jeg opptatt.

“This week I am busy.”

Another polite phrase that gives a reason for declining an invitation but without oversharing details.

Don’t decline too many invitations, though! You don’t want people to think that you’re too busy to hang out with them. They will stop inviting you out, and you know how the saying goes – all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy…! Being social is good for the soul.

5. Jeg er ledig i morgen.

“I am free tomorrow.”

Yay! Perhaps you were approached by that person and they asked about your availability for a date. This would be a fine reply. Not too eager, but still indicating that you’re interested.

Or maybe you’re just replying to a colleague or manager’s request for a meeting. Polite, honest and clear.

Alternatively, you’re just busy right now, and plans are not going the way they were…well, planned. Compromise is a lovely thing! And this phrase sounds just like that.

Use it to indicate that you want to accommodate an invitation or the inviter’s plans, despite your current unavailability. Only if you are really free, of course.

6. Kan vi gjøre dette en annen gang?

“Can we reschedule this?”

So, life happened and you are unable to meet obligations or attend a planned meeting. This is a suitable question to ask if you wish to indicate your willingness to still engage with whatever is on the table.

Obviously you should (ideally) not ask to reschedule a party or big meeting! (Unless you’re the boss or it’s your own party, of course.) But if there’s reasonable wiggle room regarding arrangements, then this one’s your question.

Business Man Sitting with Schedule

7. Jeg kommer til å ha nok tid på slutten av måneden.

“I will have enough time at the end of the month.”

A go-to phrase when events or activities are likely to take up a lot of your time, such as going away for a weekend, spending the day at a local market, or writing your manager’s quarterly report (with 20 flow-charts in Powerpoint) – anything that won’t only take an hour or two.

8. Når er den beste tiden som passer for deg?

“When is the best time that suits you?”

Remember phrase #5? That was a possible reply to this question. Asked by your crush, very possibly! Or, it could be asked by any other person for any other reason, doesn’t matter.

If this is addressed to you, it usually means that the person respects your time and schedule, which is a good thing. It probably also means that their own schedule is flexible, another good thing.

This is also a polite question to ask when a manager or senior colleague wants to meet with you. Let them decide on the time, and be as accommodating as possible. This attitude shows respect for seniority – good for career building. (Within reason, of course. You don’t need to postpone your wedding or your paid-up holiday to Australia because your manager wants to see you.)

Screen Tablet Hotel

9. Passen denne datoen for deg?

“Is this date OK with you?”

But – if the other party insists that you choose a time for a meeting, appointment, or date etc., then do so! Respond with this nice, somewhat casual question that leaves space for negotiation, but only needs a simple reply.

Suitable for friends, and casual acquaintances and colleagues.

10. Er du tilgjengelig på den dagen?

“Are you available on that day?”

This is the a-bit-more-formal version of the previous question. Again, it has room for negotiation, but only needs a simple response – nice and neat!

Maybe this is the go-to question when you’re addressing your seniors at work, or a person much older than you.

11. Kan vi gjøre det så snart som mulig?

“Can we do it as soon as possible?”

This question has an urgency to it that should preferably be responded to with the same. A simple reply will be good – yes or no. Less negotiable, this is still polite because it’s a question that gives you a choice.

But stand ready with one of the phrases in this article to help tie down a time and date!

Couple Getting Engaged on a Bridge

12. Jeg er tilgjengelig hver kveld.

“I’m available every evening”

If you’re going to reply with this phrase, context is everything.

– If it’s your manager asking you to put in a bit of overtime, and you are available to – great reply! When deadlines are tight and everybody is stressing, your willingness to go the extra mile can only improve your relationship with your boss.

(Still, no need to be a doormat! If you get asked to work overtime too often, or if everyone else is goofing around while you have to graft, then re-evaluate the situation. And if you feel you’re being exploited a bit, don’t stress! Equip yourself with the diplomatic, yet assertive responses right in this article.)

– If it’s an old friend or longtime significant other asking to hang out – good reply. You know one another and appearances don’t matter any longer.

– If it’s a new crush who just asked when you’d be available for a date – stop. Not such a great reply. Tone down a bit! “Interested but not overly eager” is what you’re going for here.

Refer back to response #5, or use a counter-question, such as #1. Whatever suits you.

But if they – or anyone else – invite you to scale the Himalayas with them, then the next phrase will probably be the only sane response!

Mountaineer in Snow

13. Jeg må planlegge dette i god tid.

“I need to plan this well in advance.”

So, as said under #9, perhaps you’re invited to join someone conquer the Himalayas.

Or your company manager wants you to plan the Party that Tops All Year-End Parties Forever.

Simply – if you get asked to do something that you know will need a lot of thorough planning, this is a good phrase to respond with.

It’s an assertive phrase that demonstrates two things regarding your attitude:

a) That you know your own abilities, and respect your own schedule.
b) That your respect other people’s time and schedule too.

Then just be sure to actually do that planning well in advance!

14. Vi må finne en annen dato.

“We need to find another date.”

So, you’re in negotiations regarding a date.

This is an assertive statement that should probably not be used with a “My way or the highway” attitude.

That stuff only works in the movies – think sharp-tongued Samuel L. Jackson. Or fierce Kristen Stewart. Yea, they can be scary, so tone down that tone.

Also, be mindful that fickle people who change plans all the time don’t keep friends! Taking others’ needs into consideration, while simultaneously having your way is a delicate art that takes proper cultivation. Use this phrase sparingly – we have better ones here to negotiate with.

Rock Concert Hands in the Air

Of course, if your planned trip to the dentist falls on the same day as the only Billie Eilish concert close by…well, priorities are priorities. Feel free to call the dentist with this phrase. Or even better, use the next one.

15. Jeg kan ikke gjøre det på den dagen.

“I cannot do it on that day.”

This is the low-key-but-still-firm cousin of the previous phrase. You’re stating a personal fact, and depending on your tone, this can be as non-negotiable as you prefer.

Again, only use this when you really mean it, if you’re visiting Norway or any other foreign country.

So, that’s it, folks! Which phrase did you find the most helpful? Let us know in the comments!

3. Can NorwegianClass101 Help You In Other Ways Too?

Numbers

Well yes, of course!

We think you will find these phrases easy to use when talking about dates and months in Norwegian. But knowing how to employ them properly could help you avoid sticky situations!

NorwegianClass101 is uniquely geared to help you with this and so much more.

This InnovativeLanguage.com initiative is one of many online language-learning courses. With us, you’ll find it easy and fun to learn a new language, and here are a few reasons why:

  • Immediately upon enrollment, you’ll receive hundreds of well-designed lessons to get you going.
  • Watch superb recordings of native Norwegian speakers in cool slide-shows – the easy way to practice till you sound just like a native speaker yourself!
  • Also immediately upon enrollment, you’ll get access to a huge library of free resources! These include extensive, theme-based Vocabulary Lists and a Word of the Day List (For free, hot bargains!) These alone are sure to give your vocab-learning boxing gloves.
  • You’ll also immediately be able to use an excellent and free Norwegian online dictionary. Necessary for quick, handy translations, no matter where you find yourself.
  • For the serious learner, there are numerous enrollment upgrades available, one of which offers you a personal, online Norwegian host. Allow us to hold your hand and support you in your learning!

If you’re serious about mastering Norwegian easily yet correctly, NorwegianClass101 is definitely one of, if not the best, online language learning platforms available. Talking about your plans or dates in Norwegian need not ever spoil your stay.

So, hurry up—enroll today!