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Learn the Norwegian Alphabet from A to Z!

Learning to speak a new language is exciting; learning to write a new language is even more exciting! It will open new worlds for you. So, dig into these tips and advice for learning how to master the Norwegian alphabet easily - at NorwegianClass101 we make it easy, fun and relevant for you!

Starting anything from scratch can be challenging, especially if you learn how to write in a language completely different from your own. It is really like navigating through a territory that is completely unknown to you.

However, this need not be a big hurdle or a problem! At NorwegianClass101, we introduce you to Norwegian writing in simple, easy-to-follow steps, and you can ask for advice or help anywhere along the way. It is important to master the Norwegian alphabet completely from the start.

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Related Lessons

Table of Contents

1. Introduction to Norwegian Writing

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Learning the alphabet might be a boring part of Norwegian, but imagine how it must sound to a Norwegian if you were to use the American phonetic of every letter in the alphabet when speaking Norwegian. Although Norwegians are quite good at understanding what we call broken Norwegian, having a more correct pronunciation of Norwegian words creates a better sentence flow and is sure to impress any Norwegian that listens to you speak.As with any language that does not use the same form of lettering as the one that you are most familiar with, one of the biggest obstacles to your learning the Norwegian language will likely be learning the Norwegian alphabet. Learning these letters as well as their method of application will be important to your ability to truly understand the language as well as to communicate in it beyond simple speech. Fortunately, this alphabet is not as complicated or as difficult as the alphabet of many other languages so while you may face a challenge during this portion of your Norwegian lessons with the right resources and dedication you will be able to learn how to speak Norwegian as well how to read and write in the language as well.

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

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

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

2. Norwegian Alphabet Chart

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Alphabet

1) The Focus of This Lesson is the Norwegian Norwegian Writing System

The Norwegian alphabet is easy to learn because it uses the same alphabet as English, plus three more letters, so in all you just need to learn three letters.

Lexicon

Example

Pronunciation Tips

A a
(a)

alfabet

It is pronounced /a/ or /a:/ like “a” in “and” or “a” in “father.”

B b
(be)

boller

It is pronounced /b/ like “b” in “baby”.

C c
(se)

chips

It is pronounced /sh/ like “sh” in “ship” and is almost entirely used in loanwords or personal and geographical names.

D d
(de)

daddler

It is pronounced /d/ like “d” in “door”.

E e
(e)

eske

It is pronounced /ə/, /e/, /ɛ/, /eː/ or /ɛː/ like the first "e" in "electric," but slightly different.

F f
(eff)

frosk

It is pronounced /f/ like “f” in “father.”

G g
(ge)

gate

It is pronounced /g/ like “g” in “go” or “sh” when used in loanwords

H h
(hå)

hanske

It is pronounced /h/ like “h” in “hold.”

I i
(i)

lire

It is pronounced /i/, /iː/ or /e/ like "e" in "e-mail."

J j
(jåd)

jungel

It is pronounced /j/ like “y” in “you” or “j” in “job.”

K k
(kå)

kameleon

It is pronounced /k/ like “k” in “kick.”

L l
(ell)

flaske

It is pronounced /l/ like “l” in “law.”

M m
(em)

mange

It is pronounced /m/ like “m” in “mother.”

N n
(enn)

norge

It is pronounced /n/ like “n” in “now.”

O o
(o)

kjole

It is pronounced /o/ or /oː/ like "o" in the Japanese word "obaa-san" ("grandmother")

P p
(pe)

ape

It is pronounced /p/ like “p” in “pick.”

Q q
(ku)

IQ

/k/ like “q” in “quiz”

R r
(err)

skrive

It is pronounced as an uvular trill or uvular approximant or similar to the German word “reisen”, depending on geographical dialect.

S s
(ess)

lasso

It is pronounced /s/ like “s” in “sound.”

T t
(te)

mote

It is pronounced /t/ like “t” in “tea.”

U u
(u)

luke

It is pronounced /u/, /uː/ or /o/ like the “u” in the English name “Luke”.

W w
(dobbeltve)

WC

It is pronounced /v/ as above or as “w” in “wow,” as it is typically used in loanwords or personal and geographical names

V v
(ve)

vaske

It is pronounced /v/ like “v” in “velvet.”

X x
(eks)

xylofon

It is pronounced /ks/ or like “x” in “xylophone.”

Y y
(yy)

yle

It is pronounced /y/, /yː/, or /e/ like the “e” in “e-mail”.

Z z
(sett)

pizza

It is pronounced /s/ or like “z” in “zoo.”

Æ æ
(æ)

lærer

It is pronounced /ɛ/ or /ɛː/ like the first "e" in "energy."This letter is essentially an American-English "-A" when used in words like "sad," "last," "bad," and so on.

Ø ø
(ø)

løpe

It is pronounced /ø/, /œ/, /øː/ or /œː/ like “eu” in the French word “deux” (”two”), but slightly longer. It sounds like an English “-u” when used in words like “burn,” “hurt,” “gun,” and “stun.”

Å å
(å)

Påske

It is pronounced /ɔ/ or /ɔː/ like "o" in "oh no."It sounds like a British "-o" in words like "mock," "sock," and "clock."

Knowing the basics of the Norwegian alphabet is a huge step in learning Norwegian because it’s a “phonetic” language. That means if you know the letters, then you can read the words and people will understand you. But don’t be fooled. The writing system hangs quite far behind the pronunciation at places, especially with older words, and it is easy to mix up two words when you pronounce them.

2) Norwegian Alphabet

The Norwegian alphabet consists of eight vowels and twenty-one consonants, almost like English.You also form words the same as in English by putting letters together in certain orders. Norwegian is a Germanic language so it shares many words with English. Cognates are similar looking words with similar meanings. For example, “bag” (bagg) and “traditional” (tradisjonell) are Norwegian-English and English-Norwegian cognates.

Æ: “bad”, “sad”, “mad”Ø: “sun”, “mud”, “shudder”Å: “hold”, “god”, “doll”

The three extra vowels are for sounds not found in the English alphabet by default. The Æ is pronounced “a” like in “sad.” The Ø is pronounced “u” like in “burn.” And the Å is pronounced “o” like in “lord.” As long as you remember the pronunciation of these three letters, Norwegian shouldn’t be that hard.

3) Learning Other Languages

The -Æ, -Ø, and -Å aren’t entirely exclusive to Norwegians. You will also find the -Æ, -Ø, and -Å in Danish and a similar version of the letters in Swedish as well.In fact, the three languages are so alike that they are for the most part mutually intelligible. Well, almost. While Danish and Norwegian are practically the same language with only a few differences in vocabulary, Swedish and Norwegian might seem more similar to outsiders when spoken.The thing is, however, that although the three languages are mutually intelligible, this is mostly only the case for the written language. Swedish speakers can understand those speaking Norwegian for the most part, but not entirely perfectly. But Swedish speakers are almost unable to understand Danish. The same goes for the Danish: they understand some Norwegian, but they have little to no clue about Swedish. On the other hand, Norwegians have few problems understanding both Swedish and Danish.The reason people with backgrounds in Norwegian have an easier time understanding what Swedish and Danish talk about lies in the history of the Norwegian language.Through history, Norwegian has been influenced by both Swedish and Danish through unions with both countries. However, Sweden and Denmark have no such relationship with each other. Furthermore, Norwegian has built upon a Swedish and Danish foundation, and the advantage lies in their understanding of their own language.

3. Why is Learning the Alphabet Important?

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Studying

A language’s alphabet is its building blocks. Trying to learn how to write in Norwegian without first learning its alphabet is a bit like trying to build a brick house without touching the individual bricks! It is impossible to do a good job that way. So don’t believe language schools and methods that try to teach you otherwise. You will regret it later.

Also, once you start recognizing symbols and words, you will be encouraged by your own progress and motivated to learn even faster. Even just learning the basics of the alphabet will allow you to start recognizing simple Norwegian words, and it will feel great!

Furthermore, knowing the alphabet even helps with pronunciation, as learning the individual letters of any language will start uncovering nuances and intricacies that are not always apparent when you’re simply listening to the words.

Completely mastering the Norwegian alphabet, no matter how long it takes, will give you an excellent head start in learning how to write and read the language. It will offer you a solid foundation on which to build the other language skills, so set a goal to learn the alphabet so well that you’re able to recite it in your sleep!

Read on for helpful tips and secrets to learning the Norwegian alphabet quickly and effectively.

4. How to Download Your Free Guide to Beginner Norwegian

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Download Your FREE Guide to Beginner Norwegian!

If you want to master the Norwegian language and become fluent, get this Norwegian eBook!
You need physical worksheets to practice on.

This eBook is a MUST-HAVE for all Norwegian learning beginners!

FREE Norwegian eBook

Download your FREE Norwegian practice sheets PDF today and learn the Norwegian language in no time!
This is a must-have guide for absolute beginners.

Log in with Your Free Lifetime Account and we’ll give you a bundle of PDF cheat sheet including Survival Phrases, Romantic Lines, Learning Tips… — absolutely FREE!

3 Reasons to Learn Norwegian Through PDF Lessons

Let’s now take a closer look at how studying Norwegian lessons in PDF format can help you reach your dream in up to half the time of normal video or audio lessons!

1) Saves Minutes on Your Data Plan

Learning Norwegian through PDF lessons can dramatically reduce your data use. Once a lesson or tool is downloaded, you can then access it offline via your computer or smartphone any time or place regardless of Internet access. And once you’ve download the Norwegian lessons in PDF format, you can actually access them faster than logging in and trying to do so via a live site. So not only will learning Norwegian using PDF lessons save minutes on your data plan—it will save you some significant time as well as the lessons add up!

2) Print and Take All Norwegian Lessons and PDF Tools With You Anywhere

Sometimes, a tiny smartphone screen just isn’t adequate, especially when you are trying to learn something new. The great thing about PDF lessons, tools or files is that they can be quickly printed and taken anywhere after you download them. In fact, printing out Norwegian lessons in PDF format can actually save you time when compared to going through the material on a smartphone with a small screen—even with the extra printing time!

3) Great Study Tool to Boost Retention and Mastery

Studying video or audio lessons online is a great way to learn a language because students can play and rewind sections as many times as needed until the lesson is mastered. But when you review the same Norwegian lessons again in PDF format, an incredible thing happens: your retention dramatically improves! Thanks to Time Spaced Repetition, seeing the information again in written format helps reinforce the information in your mind and improves both retention and recall. The benefits of learning Norwegian using PDF lessons quickly add up to significant time savings for you, your data plan, and your dream of learning a new language!

Why are we giving it away?

Learning to read and write is a must for all beginners. Although you get video lessons on how to write in Norwegian at NorwegianClass101, you’ll still need physical worksheets to practice on. That’s why you’re getting this printable tutorial PDFs as a gift.

5. Secrets to Learning the Norwegian Alphabet Fast

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Secret

With a language, like with anything you have to learn from scratch, having a few mnemonic devices handy are key to learning it fast. A mnemonic device is basically any method or technique that helps you to retain or commit something to memory more easily.Here are a few mnemonic devices to memorize the Norwegian alphabet so you can speed up learning how to write in Norwegian.

1) Find and Learn an Alphabet Song or Poem in Norwegian

Can you still remember your childhood alphabet song in your own language? The best way to commit it to memory so you can recite it is still your mom or first teacher’s way - with music, a song and/or a poem! Find a recording and learn to sing the song, or recite the poem along as best as you can. Ask your NorwegianClass101 teacher to help you understand exactly what you are singing or saying, and soon you’ll have reciting the alphabet under your belt! Repeat it out loud as often as possible.However, you still need to learn how to write it.

2) Study a Few Letters At a Time

Remember when you were young and learning to write for the first time? You didn’t start with words or sentences; you started with letters, one at a time!

Decide on tackling only a few letters each week, and then don’t move on from these till you are completely familiar with them. Don’t take on too many at once, or you may become discouraged. Also, remember to ask your teacher at NorwegianClass101 if you have questions!

Learn to incidentally spot the letters in books, road signs (If you’re living in the country), magazines, on TV, anywhere you encounter written Norwegian. Remember to write them out!

3) Write Out the Letters of the Alphabet By Hand

Make it a goal to write out your week’s letters at least once a day, and commit to this goal. You can also do it every time you have a free moment. Get yourself a special notebook for this purpose that you can carry with you anywhere you go. Sitting on the train or bus? Waiting for someone somewhere? Whip out your notebook and write the Norwegian alphabet, or the letters you are learning. Aim for about 20 repetitions, while silently saying the letter in your head as you write it out. This way, you will soon be able to form and write words all by yourself! Exciting, isn’t it?

Writing something down with a pen also seems to engrave it in the brain in a way that nothing else does. As an added benefit, it gives you the satisfaction of seeing a new language in your own writing!

Once you’ve mastered the whole alphabet, commit to writing it out in its entirety at least once a day, for at least one month. More repetitions are obviously better.

4) Involve Your Whole Body

Research has shown that the more senses and actions we use to learn something, the quicker the new information sticks in the memory and becomes habitual. To apply this principle while learning the Norwegian alphabet, write out huge letters by tracing them in the soil, or with chalk on the floor. Now, while saying the letter out loud, walk on the lines you have just traced. In this way, you ‘write’ the letter by moving your whole body!

Having fun just makes it even easier to learn something, so why not ‘write’ the letters out with dance steps while moving to your favorite Norwegian music!

This is a simple trick that seems silly, but you’ll be surprised how quickly you will commit intricate letters to memory this way. It really works!

5) Use Associations To Memorize Letters

This technique would involve saying the Norwegian letter out loud, and then thinking of a word in your own language that sounds the same as the letter. That would then create a phonic association that should make it easier for you to remember the letter. Better even if the association is something you can draw or picture.

If the script of the new alphabet is very different from your own, look at it closely, and see if you can find an image that the letter reminds you of.

6) Now Have Fun Trying To Write Words!

Try to write words from your own language in Norwegian, and ask your friendly NorwegianClass101 teachers for feedback! Or post them on the forum and see if anyone can read them. You will be so pleased with yourself when you start writing words that are readable and recognizable by native speakers.

6. Related Lessons

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How to Say Hello in Norwegian
Do you know how to say hello in Norwegian? It’s the most basic phrase that you’ll need to say and hear in everyday life. If you don’t know yet, learn 15 ways to say hello and greet others in Norwegian. Why 15? The more variations you know, the more you can speak and the more fluent you become!
How to Introduce Yourself in Norwegian
Can you introduce yourself in Norwegian? Don’t worry! Check out the 10 Norwegian Lines You Need To Introduce Yourself with this free Review Sheet. From “My name is…“ and “I live in…” down to “My hobbies are…” Just review the 10 lines. It will only take you 2 minutes. Then, introduce yourself in the comment section below!
Top Norwegian Phrases
How good is your Norwegian? Care to put it to the test? Here’s the deal! We’ve come up with this must-know Norwegian Phrases List. Learn the top 25 Norwegian phrases, hear the native pronunciation and put your Norwegian to the test. Did you know them all? If not, review the list and master these easy phrases!
How to Say Thank You in Norwegian
Has anyone thanked you today? We will. Thank you for reading this article and learning with us! In fact, today, you’ll learn the many different ways to say “Thank You” in Norwegian. It’s one of the most important Norwegian phrases. Check it out and watch the video too to practice your pronunciation.

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