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If you’re learning Norwegian, you might have struggled to find a quality way to learn. You don’t want to waste your time or money with products that aren’t useful. This guide compiles some of the best ways to learn Norwegian. There are traditional ways to learn, like textbooks and taking classes with teachers, and more modern ways such as using a language app or listening to a podcast. However you prefer to learn, any of the resources on this list will help you learn Norwegian effectively.
There are over 5.2 million native speakers of Norwegian, making it one of the most spoken languages in Europe. It’s the official language of Norway, an increasingly popular destination for travelers and people who want to permanently resettle there. Just look at the beauty: the northern lights, the fjords, waterfalls, reindeer, and more! Who wouldn’t want to spend time there? Learning the language will help make your stay in Norway easier.
Norwegian is considered an easy language for English speakers to learn, and many of the words will look familiar. Knowing Norwegian can be a gateway to help you learn other Nordic languages such as Danish, Swedish, and Icelandic. Whether you’re learning Norwegian because you’re moving to Norway, have family from there, or plan on taking a trip this guide will show you some of the best ways to learn Norwegian.
How Long Will It Take You To Learn Norwegian?
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There’s not just one simple way to learn Norwegian that works for everybody. To learn Norwegian, you must first find a way to study that works for you. Maybe you prefer the structure of an online course or the portability of a textbook. Identifying the best way(s) for you to learn is the first step.
But no matter how you want to study, to truly become fluent in Norwegian, it’s important to immerse yourself in Norwegian culture as much as possible. You can watch YouTube videos in Norwegian, listen to Norwegian radio, or read a newspaper from Norway. Anytime you are exposing yourself to authentic material is an opportunity to practice and learn.
Language apps have become an increasingly popular way to learn. They are convenient and let you practice Norwegian on your own schedule. Apps make learning fun and addictive by gamifying the process and tracking your progress so you can see how much you’ve advanced. Babbel, Pimsleur, and Mondly are excellent options that teach all areas of language learning and will get you speaking Norwegian in no time.
Babbel is the best overall app to learn Norwegian because it helps you improve all language skills: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. It teaches the most useful vocabulary and grammar to help you understand and speak. The lessons are quick and involve a series of interactive exercises. It’s easy to complete a lesson when you have a spare moment. You can try a free lesson on Babbel or if you’d like to learn more, read our comprehensive Babbel review.
Pimsleur is the best app to become conversational quickly. The detailed audio lessons feature conversations between native Norwegian speakers. They break down the conversations to teach the most important language skills and have you practice speaking along with the conversation. Since it’s audio-only, you can practice whenever and wherever. You can try Pimsleur with a 7-day free trial or read more about it in this Pimsleur review.
Mondly is the best app for beginners because its lessons are simple and you can easily track your progress. It has a flexible lesson structure so you can focus on the topics you want to learn. The app is easy to use and it helps you build a solid foundation in Norwegian. Mondly offers a 7-day trial. If you’re interested, you can also learn more in our complete Mondly review.
An online Norwegian course is an effective option if you prefer a structured way to learn. Since you’re following a set lesson plan, you build on what you already learned and don’t waste your time repeating information. Most courses include additional independent study material so you can reinforce what you learned in the lesson. Future Learn, LingoHut, and Speak Norsk have well-developed courses that are worth checking out.
Future Learn offers a free introductory course to the Norwegian language. In addition to learning the basics of Norwegian vocabulary and grammar, you’ll learn about the culture of Norway. You can even practice your conversation skills with a chatbot. By the end of the course, you’ll be able to have basic conversations and describe everyday activities. Since it’s completely free, it’s definitely worth having a look!
LingoHut is another resource that offers a completely free course to study Norwegian. The idea is that you study a lesson, which takes about 5 minutes, every day to help learn and remember. In addition to being introduced to basic Norwegian grammar and vocabulary, you’ll study with activities and games to make learning fun. There’s also a voice recording feature that lets you record and listen to your pronunciation. There are 125 lessons that you can try completely free.
Speak Norsk is a language academy located in various cities in Norway, but they also offer online courses. The levels range from absolute beginner to advanced. All the lessons are pre-recorded so you can take them on your own schedule. You also have support from the teachers at Speak Norsk so you can ask your questions about the language. There are practice exercises and quizzes to help you study independently. You can learn more on the Speak Norsk website to see if it’s a good option for you.
Taking a class with a Norwegian teacher is one of the most effective ways to learn. But if you don’t know any Norwegian speakers, it might be difficult to find a teacher near where you live. With the growth of language learning platforms such as italki, Preply, and Verbling, it’s never been easier to take classes with a native teacher. And you can do it from the comfort of your home.
Italki is a popular platform for language learners to connect with a native teacher. Currently, there are 31 Norwegian teachers available for classes. You can search their profiles to see how many lessons they’ve taught, watch an introductory video, and see what languages they speak. Italki teachers offer a discounted trial lesson so you can see if their teaching style is a good fit for you. You can also read more about the platform in this italki review.
Preply is a similar platform to italki that has 37 Norwegian teachers. Since teachers create their own curriculum, you can study exactly what you want. You can look at the teachers’ profiles to see how many lessons they’ve taught, their ratings, and how many current students are taking their classes. Most teachers offer a discounted trial class so you can see if they are a good fit for you. You can also read more about it in this Preply review.
Verbling is another platform that lets you choose a Norwegian tutor. They have extensive profiles that show the teachers’ qualifications and ratings from past students. Teachers create their own material that can be tailored to your needs. Most teachers offer a free 30-minute trial class so you can see if you like their teaching style. You can read more about this platform in this Verbling review.
Using books to learn Norwegian has always been an effective option. They have detailed descriptions of important topics and include practice questions. There are many excellent options for learners that want to self-study. The Mystery of Nils, Short Stories for Norwegian Beginners, and Norwegian Verbs and Essentials of Grammar are popular choices amongst Norwegian learners and have rave reviews on Amazon.
The Mystery of Nils teaches Norwegian through a story. Instead of using a typical textbook format, you begin by reading part of the story and then look at the important vocabulary and grammar topics that you need to understand it. People who bought the book found the story of Nils engaging and thought it was an interesting way to learn. You can read what other people thought about the book here.
Short Stories in Norwegian for Beginners has 8 stories of different genres that focus on common grammar structures and the most frequently used words in Norwegian. Each story is entirely in Norwegian and has a vocabulary list, plot summary, and comprehension questions to help you understand the story. Reviewers of the book agree that it’s perfect for upper-level beginners who are working to reach an intermediate level. You can read more about what they had to say here.
Norwegian Verbs and Essentials of Grammar is a useful reference for someone who is self-studying Norwegian. The book is well-organized and includes detailed grammar explanations. People who bought the book recommended using it in addition to other learning methods like language apps because it goes more in-depth on important grammar topics. You can see if this book is right for you here.
We all watch YouTube videos, so why not learn Norwegian in the process? YouTube videos are an excellent way to hear how Norwegian is actually spoken and practice your listening and comprehension skills. You can watch videos that teach the basics of the language, or watch videos that feature normal people speaking about current topics. The three channels below have hundreds of videos and thousands of subscribers to their channels.
Learn Norwegian Naturally has videos completely in Norwegian that teach the history and culture of Norway. The videos have dual English and Norwegian subtitles. The idea is that by listening to a native speaker talk in Norwegian, you’ll learn the language in a more natural way. Peder, the video host, recommends watching the video once with no subtitles, then with Norwegian subtitles, and if you didn’t understand, rewatching it with English subtitles. He has over 100 videos available on the Learn Norwegian Naturally YouTube channel.
Karense is a Norwegian teacher with over 17 years of experience. Her videos teach necessary Norwegian vocabulary words and grammar in a traditional language class style. The videos are mostly in Norwegian, but she speaks slowly and clearly. She also has a few videos that she films in different locations explaining where she is and what she’s doing. The Norsklære Karense channel has over 1,000 videos for you to check out.
Simple Norwegian is a video course for complete beginners. It’s a series of 30 video lessons that teach the most important vocabulary, grammar, and conversation topics. There are also mini quizzes for you to test your progress. In addition to the video lessons, there are other videos of the host interviewing people on the streets of Norway to show you how Norwegian is really spoken. You can find all the videos on the Simple Norwegian channel.
Listening to Norwegian podcasts is an innovative, but practical, way to practice the language. Since they use audio and are hands-free, you can listen anytime or anywhere you want. They’re also an excellent way to listen to pronunciation and hear what native speakers sound like. NorwegianClass101, One Minute Norwegian, and Norsk for Beginners are popular options that will show you how to speak like a Norwegian.
NorwegianClass101 is an extensive platform that includes hundreds of podcast lessons that teach essential topics of Norwegian language and culture. Each podcast features a conversation between native speakers so you can hear how the language is spoken and practice correct pronunciation. There are tons of additional features available like lesson notes, vocabulary lists, and practice exercises. You can try NorwegainClass101 with a 7-day free trial, or sign up for a free lifetime account to access limited content.
One Minute Norwegian is a short, audio-based course you can take during your coffee breaks at. It’s broken down into 10 bite-size lessons for people who want an introduction to the language. It’s a perfect option for someone who has plans to travel to Norway or who wants to see if they enjoy learning Norwegian before investing in a more comprehensive resource. You can preview a lesson for free or buy the entire course for an inexpensive price.
Norsk for Beginners is for lower-level Norwegian students who want to hear how Norwegian is really spoken. In each episode, you listen to a short talk in Norwegian, and then they explain the vocabulary and other important topics in English so you understand what you heard by the end of the lesson. The host speaks in a clear and slow manner so that lower-level learners will be able to understand. You can listen to all episodes for free on Apple Podcasts.
I hope this list helps you find the right tools for you to make studying Norwegian a breeze. Finding one that you enjoy using because it fits with your study habits and budget will help motivate you to continue studying. Learning a language is all about practice, practice, practice, but with the right learning tools and consistent routine, you’ll soon be speaking Norwegian like a pro!
Want to learn more? Check out our Norwegian resource page.
According to the US Department of State, it takes 600 class hours to reach a proficient level. But this is not an exact number. How long it will take you to learn Norwegian also depends on your natural ability to acquire languages and if you already speak a similar language.
To get an idea of how long it will take you to learn Norwegian, you can check out this fluency calculator.
To learn Norwegian quickly, it’s helpful to set a language learning routine and stick with it. Consistent practice is the best way to see steady improvement. It’s also helpful to use a variety of resources to make sure you are developing all areas of the Norwegian language, like reading, listening, speaking, and writing.
There are many ways to learn Norwegian on your own. One of the best ways is to take an online course. The courses are a structured way to learn and each lesson builds upon what you already learned. There are options to take a self-study course on your own schedule or one that has live classes. Many people also prefer to learn with language apps like Babbel, Pimsleur, or Mondly. These apps are especially helpful for beginners.
Norwegian is considered an easy language for English speakers to learn because the two languages have many similarities. They’re both Germanic languages and share similar vocabulary and grammar structures.
The best way to learn Norwegian fluently is to take classes with a Norwegian teacher. A teacher can help you improve essential skills like speaking and conversation, which are difficult to practice without talking to native speakers. A teacher can also help you identify what you need to work on and help you practice those specific areas.
One of the best ways to learn Norwegian for free is to use a language app. Some apps, like Duolingo, let you access the entire Norwegian course for free. There are many other resources that offer free content, such as YouTube videos and podcasts that can help you improve your overall Norwegian level or focus on certain skills like listening and understanding.