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Is Norwegian difficult?

There is a repentant opinion that Norwegian is a very difficult language. Find out that learning Norwegian can be a real pleasure!

At first Norwegian seems a bit strange and completely incomprehensible, due to the unprecedented letters and sounds, their combinations or other intonation. However, if we get used to this “exotic” sound, it turns out that Norwegian is not so difficult at all!

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Grammar in Norwegian

Grammatical structures are not as complicated as in English or German – there is no variation by chance, and no variation of the verb by a person. The rules usually work, and there are very few exceptions. In Norway there are only three past times, but every day it is enough to know two.

Official standards of the Norwegian language

Norwegian is available in two varieties: bokmål and nynorsk. Both versions have the status of an official written language, although the majority of Norwegians (mainly Oslo and the eastern part of the country) use bokmål. When learning Norwegian, it is the second version which is the most common.

In addition, there are many dialects in Norway, about 400! Almost every town cultivates its own variety of Norwegian, and some of them are so different from each other that people using them are not always able to communicate… However, Saams (Samer) living in the north of Norway speak Lapland (samisk).

Norwegian and other Scandinavian languages

Scandinavian languages (Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Icelandic) are closely related and therefore the inhabitants of these countries can communicate with each other without major problems. However, it is precisely by knowing the Norwegian or “middle language” that we will be able to understand our Scandinavian neighbours most easily.

It is also worth remembering that most Norwegians speak English very well, some also speak German. Knowledge of these languages will also be helpful in learning Norwegian, which belongs to the group of North Germanic languages with some roots in English and German.

Beginnings in learning Norwegian

Learning Norwegian gives a lot of satisfaction. After just a few lessons we are able to pass on a lot of information about ourselves. As in the case of learning other foreign languages, we first understand more than we can say for ourselves, but it is worth to break through and start speaking Norwegian. Norwegians react positively to such attempts to speak their own language, and because they are accustomed to the different sounds of their language, thanks to the existence of dialects and the presence of many foreigners, they are more open to different versions of their mother tongue.

If you are wondering how to start learning Norwegian, we wrote a post about it! https://norwegian123.com/how-to-successfully-start-learning-norwegian/

A big challenge for foreigners is to understand different dialects. It is good to listen to them as much as possible while watching Norwegian television, films or listening to the radio.

Whether Norwegian will turn out to be difficult or easy for us depends on many factors, including our predispositions to learn foreign languages, our motivation, a textbook and learning materials, but also the time we can devote to learning….

However, you can safely say that Norwegian is a learning-friendly, engaging and, most importantly, teachable language at all ages!

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