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Lesson Transcript

Yura: Hi, Yura here.
Filip: and I’m Filip!
Yura: Welcome to NorwegianClass101.com's Absolute Beginner, Season 1, Lesson 2: About the Norwegian Alphabet. In this lesson we’ll have, as the title says, a look at the Norwegian alphabet!
Filip: Wow, that sounds fun!
Yura: I hope you weren't being sarcastic there.
Filip: Not at all... You see, the Norwegian alphabet is pretty much the same as the English alphabet.
Yura: That's right..
Filip: So this lesson couldn't be easier!
Yura: Really...?
Filip: Let’s say you know the English letters from A to Z and how to pronounce them correctly.
Yura: I’m sure you do, since you are listening to us speaking English.
Filip: Right. And since we are all on par with English; there are only a few phonetics or sounds that you have to learn.
Yura: Although Norwegian might sound quite different from English, most of the sounds in Norwegian exist in English as well.
Filip: So for our dialogue today we have chosen a few letters of the alphabet that have quite different pronunciations than English.
Yura: Let’s take a listen.

Lesson conversation

Lærer Si etter meg. “E” “Elegant”.
Student E. Elegant.
Lærer Si etter meg. “G” “glad”.
Student G. Glad.
English Host: Let’s hear the conversation one time slowly.
Lærer Si etter meg. “E” “Elegant”.
Student E. Elegant.
Lærer Si etter meg. “G” “glad”.
Student G. Glad.
English Host: Now let’s hear it with the English translation.
Lærer Si etter meg. “E” “Elegant”.
Repeat after me. “E” “Elegant”.
Student E. Elegant.
E. Elegant.
Lærer Si etter meg. “G” “glad”.
Repeat after me. “G” “glad”.
Student G. Glad.
G. Glad.
Yura: You know, I find the alphabet quite boring actually.
Filip: You do?
Yura: I still remember how much I disliked it in elementary school.
Filip: Well, learning pronunciation IS one of the most important aspects of language learning. Imagine how it would sound if an American person tried to speak Norwegian with full American pronunciation.
Yura: Isn't it quite common though? I mean, especially for tourists.
Filip: Well, that is true. But think about it this way. Because of the amount of immigrants living in Norway, hearing foreign accented Norwegian has become a daily thing for Norwegians.
Yura: and...?
Filip: Well that’s why when a person actually does try, and manages to speak with correct pronunciation...
Yura:...Norwegians are impressed with that person?
Filip: Not only impressed, but we’d go as far as to ignore other things like grammatical errors, sentence structure, and the occasional English word, because we are so impressed by that person's ability!
Yura:(laughs) Well, I see your point.
Filip: Right? Listeners, please do practice your pronunciation! It is the most vital part of Norwegian!
Yura: You would say that, you're Norwegian!... Alright! Let’s go over the vocabulary then, shall we?
Filip: Sure. But since we didn't introduce anything but letters, let’s take a look at a few more of those so you have something to practice with. Then we'll put them in some sentences to make a bit more sense of it all.
Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
The first word we shall see is:
å si [natural native speed]
to say
å si [slowly - broken down by syllable]
å si [natural native speed]
etter [natural native speed]
etter [slowly - broken down by syllable]
etter [natural native speed]
meg [natural native speed]
meg [slowly - broken down by syllable]
meg [natural native speed]
elegant [natural native speed]
elegant [slowly - broken down by syllable]
elegant [natural native speed]
glad [natural native speed]
glad [slowly - broken down by syllable]
glad [natural native speed]
Yura: Okay, since this lesson is mostly about sounds, let’s talk a bit more about sounds in Norwegian.
Filip: I don’t know if you have noticed this yet, but Norwegian tends to have only one sound for each letter, no matter where or in which word it is.
Yura: I actually find it easier to remember Norwegian sounds... There aren't quite as many as in English.
Filip: True! Here are some geek facts now. English has about 44 phonemes. That means about 44 different sounds that can be used. Norwegian has about 42.
Yura:.. But that's almost the same!
Filip: True, but in English those 44 sounds can make up over 8000 different monosyllables, that is, sounds between two letters. But in Norwegian, this count is half that, at under 4000.
Yura: Wow. English can have a lot of variation.
Filip: Right. So Norwegian is actually easier.
Yura: So in other words, when you read a word in Norwegian, the chance that you will be able to pronounce it correctly if you know how to pronounce the whole alphabet, is greatly increased.
Filip: Exactly! However, there are some letters that don’t behave, and like English most of them are vowels.
Yura: Take "E" for example. If you remember from earlier, we said it was pronounced like the "E" in “elegant”
Filip: But I bet you can remember a word where that is not true.... Hei!
Yura: Right, "Hei" is pronounced with a different sound than "E" but written, it is spelled H E I.
Filip: For some more comparison we have the word "heter" which means "to be called", with the [e] sound and "hei" "hi" with the [ae] sound.
Yura: So don’t take it at face value that every letter you see is pronounced exactly like in the alphabet, or in another word you heard it in.
Filip: But most of the time your guess will be correct. Unlike English, for example.
Yura: Okay, now let’s move onto the lesson focus.

Lesson focus

Yura: In this lesson, our focus is on sounds and pronunciation, so let’s go over the whole English alphabet with Norwegian pronunciation.
Filip: Why not the whole Norwegian alphabet?
Yura: Because we'll cover the last three letters in the Norwegian alphabet in the next lesson, since they are... well, new.
Filip: Alright, but I've got an idea. Let’s make a word with each letter. You say a letter, I repeat in Norwegian, then say a word that includes it.
Yura: Ok. Let’s go! A!
Filip: A, alfabet.
Yura: B...
Filip: B, boller
Yura: C...
.... Chips, best I could think of
Yura: D
Filip: D, Daddler
Yura: E...
Filip: E, Eske
Yura: F....
Filip: F, Frosk
Yura: G...
Filip: G, Gate
Yura: H...
Filip: H, hanske
Yura: I...
Filip: I, Lire
Yura: J
Filip: J, Jungel
Yura: K
Filip: K, Kamelon
Yura: L...
Filip: L, Flaske
Yura: M..
Filip: M, Mange
Yura: N...
Filip: N, Norge.
Yura: O...
Filip: O, Kjole
Yura: P..
Filip: P, Ape
Yura: Q...
Filip: Q, IQ
Yura: Let's move to R
Filip: R, Skrive
Yura: S
Filip: S, Lasso
Yura: T
Filip: T, Mote
Yura: U
Filip: U, Luke
Yura: V
Filip: V, Vaske
Yura: W
Filip: W, WC, it means Water Closet
Yura: Let’s do the last ones all at once... XYZ
Filip: X, Y, Z, And no, few if no words exist in Norwegian with those letters. Well, X has xylophone and Y has Søyle, plus Z.... has Pizza!
Filip: Well done!
Yura: We hope we've given you a better idea of the sounds you’ll encounter in Norwegian.
Filip: Stay tuned for next time, where you’ll learn about some sounds unique to Norwegian.
Yura: That’s it for the second lesson of our Absolute Beginner Series. Be sure to check out the lesson notes for more examples and explanations.
Filip: Thanks for listening. And we hope to see you again soon. Hade!
Yura: See you next time!


Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

NorwegianClass101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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If you have any questions about the pronunciation of Norwegian vowels and consonants, feel free to leave a comment here.

Tuesday at 07:11 AM
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I have to remind myself that I'm just beginning here, and that my pronunciations are still going to be off . . . I'm used to dealing with native Spanish speakers, and I keep rolling my Rs! I chuckle about it, though, and I'm going to keep on going. I've been loving this ever since I found out about this program on YouTube.

NorwegianClass101.com Verified
Saturday at 03:20 AM
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Hei Brandon,

Welcome to NorwegianClass101.com! Hyggelig! 😇

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions!

Lykke til! Good luck!



Team NorwegianClass101.com

Brandon Bellegarde
Thursday at 04:43 AM
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Takk skak du ha! I'm new to this group, but I'm enjoying it. Thank you for the lesson!

Wednesday at 01:59 PM
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Hallo jeg hetet Sebastian

I have a question

I am confused with when to use "jeg" or meg" it is nor really explained in which situation use one or another

Wednesday at 04:27 PM
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Where can I find the Review Questions item? I follow the instructions written in checklist, but I haven't found this menu/submenu/item anywhere on the site.

Tuesday at 04:21 AM
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Hei alle sammen! jeg er ny her

Jeg synes norsk ikke er vanskelig😎

Wednesday at 03:35 AM
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Hi ;)

I am confused. It has been said that in most cases you words are read as they are written, each letter sounds the same. The only exceptions are letters like a, e, o and so on. In one of the comments I've noticed that some letters can be silent. But, from what I've seen and heard so far there is a lot of cases where letters produce different sounds or no sounds at all. In the word of the day I saw "røde" which was pronounced by the lektor in a surprising way. Each time I hear "jeg" or "meg" I hear "jej" and "mej". It is super confusing. I am hearing it wrong?

Wednesday at 11:34 PM
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Hei Zoe,

Keep at it, and things will get easier and then one day just click together for you. And really well done being in middle school and deciding to learn a different language, by yourself, few people do stuff like that!



Team NorwegianClass101.com

Wednesday at 10:39 AM
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For me still going through middle school it is a little confusing ,but I am sure I will get used to it

NorwegianClass101.com Verified
Monday at 10:09 AM
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Hi Ben,

Thanks for sharing such a great story! Let us know if you have any questions!



Team NorwegianClass101.com