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Hva er klokka? – Learn Norwegian Time-Telling

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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

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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!

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Essential Vocabulary for Life Events in Norwegian

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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.

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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.

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Talk About the Weather in Norwegian Like a Native

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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!

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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!

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