Regardless of your level of proficiency in Norwegian, it is worth listening and repeating as many times as possible. This is the only way for you to be understood by others and to hear the differences between similarly sounding words, as simple as possible: “Takk” – thank you and “Tak” – the roof.
If you are learning Bokmål, try to speak it as correctly as possible. Don’t worry when you meet a person who will speak a difficult to understand dialect. Norwegians are used to differences in pronunciation and even to many variants of a single word. You are just learning, so remember that you can always ask the other person to repeat it.
At the beginning of your studies you need textbooks with a CD, where the teachers teach you the basic pronunciation. Some are slightly better, others worse. Unfortunately, most of them stop at the basic level. In Norwegian bookstores the choice of books with CDs is much larger (but prices are also higher). Here you also have access to all levels of language. The next time you are in the bookshop, take a look at the bookshelf. You will surely find one you like.
Materials for self-study
Listening to the “living language” is important, so you can learn from the radio and movies. You will not only meet pure Bokmål, but also dialects and Nynorsk. It is undoubtedly a good method of learning for advanced learners. If you live in Norway, you have free access to all current NRK resources. It will be a good time, because you will combine watching a film with learning. If you like to listen to the radio, the list of stations collected on the Lytte.no. website will be useful for you. They speak different levels of language on different channels. Take a moment to listen to them and choose the one that suits you best, both linguistically and musically.
When you’re just starting to learn a language, I don’t advise you to learn dialects. I think it’s better to start with the “pure” language used in academic circles. Then you will be understood by everyone. Dialects will be learned over time from your Norwegian friends. Maybe you will find on YouTube a particular person you like listening to? Several Norwegians regularly add their lessons there.
If you love books, a book with an audiobook is the perfect way to learn. This is a great method because you can read (you learn spelling) and listen (you learn pronunciation) at the same time.
Phonetics lessons at an early stage of learning Norwegian will protect you from repeating basic mistakes. They will allow you to speak nicely and clearly. You will avoid situations in which you will not be understood, even though you will be convinced that you are using the right word. They will make it easier to understand others and to spell what you hear correctly. If you meet a completely new word, you will know how to read it. Similarly, when you hear a new word, you can easily find its meaning in the dictionary. You will already know how to write them. Thanks to phonetics exercises you will feel more confident in communicating with others and you will notice the progress of language.
Do you know any other effective tool for learning phonetics? Maybe you practice pronunciation in front of a mirror? Share your comments with others.