Dialogue - Norwegian



hyggelig pleasant (Nice to meet you)
å hete to be called
jeg I
navn name
mitt my
å være to be
hei hi

Lesson Notes


Lesson Focus

The Focus of This Lesson Is to Learn Two Ways of Conveying Your "Name."
Hei. Jeg heter Ola.
"Hi, I am called Ola."

Heter is the present form of å hete. You will rarely have to use the infinitive form of this verb, so remembering heter is in itself enough.

Although both characters (Ola and Kari) use different greetings, there is no difference between male and female in Norwegian speech. Thus, the only difference between jeg heter ("name") and mitt navn er ("name") is that they look and sound different. Their meaning is exactly the same.


Exclusion of "Am"

Notice that we can directly translate mitt navn er in English as "my name is," while with jeg heter, you would have to add a verb to make even remote sense of the phrase. In Norwegian, we do not often use "am (adjective)" like in English. Without delving too deeply into why it is different, instead do yourself a favor and think twice before translating any phrases such as "I am...," "you are...," and so on directly to Norwegian.

Let's look at some concrete examples.

For Example:

  1. Jeg er tørst. (with "am")
    "I am thirsty." (with "am")
  2. Jeg drikker. (without "am")
    "I am drinking." (with "am")


Examples from This Lesson

  1. Hei. Jeg heter Ola.
    "Hi. I am called Ola."


Key Vocabulary & Phrases


Norwegian is quite straightforward. There are seldom any pitfalls or complex mazes that prevent you from using the language skillfully. That said, Norwegians tend to take the shortest route possible to arrive at a point. Long sentences are therefore rarely found in spoken and, most often, written Norwegian as well. To accomplish this, Norwegian has certain words that make up meanings that would take English several words to express. A word like this is heter. In English, this would commonly translate to "being called." We mostly only use heter for referring to people's names, as in jeg heter ("my name is" or "I am called"). Yet, heter can also take on other meanings pretty similar to the way we use "to be called" in English. We shall look at these uses in another lesson in a more advanced series.


Cultural Insights

Keep It Simple in Norwegian

As you can see, Norwegians like short, concise sentences. Hyggelig is one of those words that go with every conversation, whether what is implied is "Nice to meet you," "Nice meeting you again," or "(It was) nice of you." The best part of it is that Hyggelig is no less formal than the long version of each phrase, making it an essential word in your dictionary. Norwegians use this all the time along with other practical words like takk ("thank you") and jepp ("yes"/"correct"). It is these words that will, in the end, prove most handy during your Norwegian studies.


Lesson Transcript

Yura: Hi everyone, Yura here, and welcome to NorwegianClass101.com. This is Absolute Beginner Season 1 Lesson 1 - A gentle introduction to Norwegian.
Filip: Hei, jeg heter Filip. I’m Filip! Thanks for joining us.
Yura: In this first lesson, we’ll get started by learning some basic Norwegian introductions. You'll probably meet a lot of people in Norway, so this is going to be the most handy lesson for your stay there.
Filip: This is a self introduction, and a simple one at that.
Yura: There are two characters having a conversation.
Filip: Ola and Kari. Two of the most common Norwegian names. They're meeting each other for the first time.
Yura: Ok, let's listen to the conversation.

Lesson conversation

Ola: Hei. Jeg heter Ola.
Kari: Hei. Mitt navn er Kari.
Ola: Hyggelig.
Kari: Hyggelig.
English Host: Let’s hear the conversation one time slowly.
Ola: Hei. Jeg heter Ola.
Kari: Hei. Mitt navn er Kari.
Ola: Hyggelig.
Kari: Hyggelig.
English Host: Now let’s hear it with the English translation.
Ola: Hei. Jeg heter Ola.
Yura: Hi. I am called Ola.
Kari: Hei. Mitt navn er Kari.
Yura: Hi. My name is Kari.
Ola: Hyggelig.
Yura: Nice to meet you.
Kari: Hyggelig.
Yura: Pleased to meet you.
Filip: As you can see, us Norwegians aren't really into long and formal introductions.
Yura: In most cases you also skip to only names. Norwegians do like to keep their speech short and concise. That’s why they have words like...
Filip: "Takk", which means “thank you”.
Yura: and...
Filip: "Jepp" which means “sure”, “yes”, “correct” and the list goes on.
Yura: Yeah, they are both incredibly practical words. “Takk” even sounds like "thanks"!
Filip: Yes, and while “thanks” is kind of informal, “takk” can be used in formal situations as well. Again, it’s very useful!
Yura: Takk, I’ll remember to use it more then!
Filip: Please do! It also makes you sounds more like a native speaker if you use it.
Yura: Alright! Let’s take a closer look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Yura: The first word we shall see is:
Filip: Hei [natural native speed]
Yura: Hi.
Filip: Hei [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Filip: Hei [natural native speed]
Filip: Jeg [natural native speed]
Yura: I
Filip: Jeg [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Filip: Jeg [natural native speed]
Filip: å hete [natural native speed]
Yura: to be called
Filip: å hete [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Filip: å hete [natural native speed]
Filip: mitt [natural native speed]
Yura: my
Filip: mitt [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Filip: mitt [natural native speed]
Filip: navn [natural native speed]
Yura: name
Filip: navn [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Filip: navn [natural native speed]
Filip: å være ('er') [natural native speed]
Yura: to be (present 'is', 'are')
Filip: å være ('er') [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Filip: å være ('er') [natural native speed]
Filip: hyggelig [natural native speed]
Yura: pleased to meet you
Filip: hyggelig [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Filip: hyggelig [natural native speed]
Yura: Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson. As we said earlier, Norwegians like short, concise sentences.
Filip: Yes, and that also goes for words. The word "heter", which we covered in the vocabulary, is one of those words. "Heter" means…
Yura:…“Being called.” We are not talking about being called on the phone, as this word is almost always used in conjunction with a person's name.
Filip: Yes, you will most probably only hear "heter" in the self-introduction context. In the dialogue, we saw it in the sentence “Jeg heter Ola”, literally, "I am called Ola".
Yura: This word does actually have other uses, but they are more complex and will be covered in more advanced series.
Filip: Another example of a practical word is "hyggelig". This word has so many uses it’s hard to count.
Yura: In our dialogue, though, it means "Pleased to meet you".
Filip: Right, you can use it when you meet someone for the first time.
Yura: Okay, now onto the grammar.

Lesson focus

Filip: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to introduce yourself in Norwegian.
Yura: What if your companion is, for some reason, hesitant to introduce themselves?
Filip: Well, it’s okay to become a little aggressive in your desire to get to know them.
Yura: Yes, just go ahead and ask their name yourself!
Filip: Hva heter du? This is how your question should sound.
Yura: Literally, it means "What are you called?". Let`s have a closer look.
Yura: Means "What". Let’s hear it one time again slowly.
Yura: Listeners, repeat after Filip.
Filip: "Hva"
Yura: Next
Yura: Means "to be called." Let’s hear it slowly please.
Yura: Listeners, repeat after Filip.
Yura:Next we have...
Filip: du
Yura: Meaning, "you". We've heard this one before, but let’s hear it slowly one more time.
Filip: du
Yura: Listeners, repeat after Filip.
Yura: So all together the question is
Filip: Hva heter du?
Yura: Listeners, listen to the phrase, and repeat it out loud.
Filip: Hva heter du? (Pause) Hva heter du?
Yura: Now, what about the answer to this question?
Filip: There are two ways you can say your name, that we used in the dialogue. The first is Jeg heter [name], and the second is Mitt navn er [name].
Yura: One more time please? Listeners, please repeat.
Filip: Jeg heter Filip. [pause]
Yura: This is literally, "I’m called Filip".
Filip: Right. And then there’s "Mitt navn er Filip".
Yura: This is more like, "My name is Filip".
Filip: That’s right. Let’s try a short dialogue.
Yura: Imagine your name is Kari. Try to answer the question out loud with the phrase we learned in this lesson.
Filip: Hva heter du? (Pause) Jeg heter Kari.
Yura: How did you do?
Filip: Now what do you say if you want to learn someone’s name? Do you remember, listeners? [pause]
Yura: And the answer is?
Filip: Hva heter du?
Yura: Okay, sounding good! And one last thing - how to say "Nice to meet you". Just a quick review.
Filip: Do you remember? It’s “Hyggelig”.
Yura: Please repeat.
Yura: Okay! Well, not too hard for our first Absolute Beinner lesson, huh?
Filip: No, it isn't. And if you just use this little bit of Norwegian, you will already have gone a long way to impressing anyone you might meet in Norway.
Yura: That’s right. There’s no better way to signal your interest and respect for the culture than to try to speak a little bit of the language, even if you only know the basics.
Filip: Well done everyone!
Yura: That’s it for the first lesson in our Absolute Beginner Series.
Filip: Thanks for listening. And we hope to see you again soon. Hade!
Yura: See you next time!