Useful Words and Phrases in Norwegian

Norwegian for Travelers

Lofoten is an archipelago in the county of Nordland, Norway

Ratnakorn Piyasirisorost / Getty Images

 

If you are an English speaker heading to Norway for the first time, you might be relieved to know that English is widely spoken in Norway. Most every Norwegian can speak fluent English, and tourism information is usually printed in English, too.

But, if you want to flatter some Norwegians with a modest attempt at a few words, check out the following common words you might want to use or need on your trip. (Just be sure to learn a bit about the culture to avoid being offensive.)

Before You Begin

Norwegian is a Germanic language and is closely related to Danish and Swedish. Written Norwegian is virtually identical to Danish. Swedes, Norwegians, and the Danish understand each other easily. Norwegian is also related to Icelandic, German, Dutch, and English. 

Pronunciation Guide

When trying to pronounce words in Norwegian, some knowledge of a Scandinavian language is useful, while knowledge of German or Dutch can also be helpful in understanding written Norwegian. Compared to English, the vowels are different; however, most consonants are pronounced similarly to English. Below are a few exceptions.

Letter Pronunciation in English
A "a" sound in father
E "e" sound in bed
I "ea" sound in beat
U "oo" sound in food
Æ "a" sound in mad
Ø "u" sound in hurt
Å "a" sound in ball
J "y" sound in yes
R rolled slightly more than English "r"
KJ, KI and KY soft "k" sound without blocking the throat, air makes a sound as squeezes out
SJ, SKY, SKJ and SKI "sh" sound as in shop

Common Words and Greetings

Tolerance and kindness to each other are important values in the land of Norway where "Peace and Progress" is the motto of the country. Greetings can go a long way in the home of the Nobel Prize.

English Word/Phrase Norwegian Word/Phrase
Yes Ja
No Nei
Thank you Takk
Thank you very much Tusen takk
You're welcome Vær så god
Please Vær så snill
Excuse me Unnskyld meg
Hello Hallo
Goodbye Ha det
I do not understand Jeg forstår ikke
How do you say this in Norwegian Hvordan sier man dette på norsk?

Words for Getting Around

Norway is a land of immense natural beauty that has 50 airports, eight of them are international. Once in the country, the public transportation system is a reliable way of seeing the country. You can also rent a car, but watch for moose along the road, especially in the mountains.

English Word/Phrase Norwegian Word/Phrase
Where is ...? Hvor er ...?
How much is the fare? Hvor mye koster billetten?
One ticket to ..., please En billett til ..., takk
Train Tog
Bus Buss
Norwegian Subway, Underground T-bane
Airport Flyplass
Train station Jernbanestasjon
Bus station Busstasjon
Are there any vacancies for tonight? Er det noe ledig for i natt?
No vacancies Alt opptatt

Spending Money

Handmade wool sweaters, troll dolls, painted wooden figurines, crystal, glassware, and leather and fur jackets are among Norway's most popular souvenirs. Prices can be high, but keep in mind that you may be entitled to a refund of the 25 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) when you leave the country. Keep an eye out for the “Tax-Free” logo at souvenir stores. 

English Word/Phrase Norwegian Word/Phrase
How much does this cost? Hvor mye koster dette?
What is this? Hva er dette?
I'll buy it Jeg kjøper det
I would like to buy ... Jeg vil gjerne ha ...
Do you have ... Har du ...
Do you accept credit cards? Tar dere kredittkort?
One en
Two to
Three tre
Four fire
Five fem
Six seks
Seven sju
Eight åtte
Nine ni
Ten ti

Tourist Essentials

Some get a chance to explore the pristine forests and fjords of Norway, but others never get past the capital city of Oslo. Know the words for facilities around Norway.

English Word/Phrase Norwegian Word/Phrase
Norwegian Tourist Information Turistinformasjon
Museum Museum
Bank Bank
Police Station Politistasjon
Hospital Sykehus
Store, Shop Butikk
Restaurant Restaurant
Church Kirke
Restrooms Toalett

Days of the Week

It can be helpful to know your days of the week especially if you are handling your flights and hotel booking, scheduling some guided tours, or amending your itinerary.

English Word/Phrase Norwegian Word/Phrase
Monday Mandag
Tuesday Tirsdag
Wednesday Onsdag
Thursday Torsdag
Friday Fredag
Saturday Lørdag
Sunday Søndag
Today I dag
Yesterday I går
Tomorrow I morgen
Day Dag
Week Uke
Month Måned
Year År
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