For tourists visiting Norway, the prospect of a language barrier might be a tad daunting, until they arrive and realise that virtually everyone speaks English. Unless you visit remote valleys or talk exclusively to older inhabitants, you’ll likely never have to worry about not being understood. However, if you do address Norwegians in their native tongue, you’ll find they’re very easily charmed by your attempts.

How to speak Norwegian like the locals

There are three extra letters – Æ, Ø and Å – which are essentially other letters mixed: Æ is A and E, Ø is O and E, and Å is A and O. The grammar is quite logical overall, but there are grammatical genders – nouns are either male, female or neutral. Norwegians can be misinterpreted as impolite by tourists or when visiting other countries, as modern-day Norwegian generally lacks phrases of politeness. People, regardless of age, profession or status, are not addressed using titles, like Sir or Madam, only their name. If you want to order coffee, a simple ‘thanks’ suffices – no need for ‘please’. Norwegians do, however, always thank the person responsible for making a meal. It’s considered rude to leave a table without saying ‘takk for maten’ (‘thanks for the food’). (This, of course, does not apply at restaurants or cafés.) Norwegians also apologise a lot, whether it is for disturbing you, bumping into you or interrupting you.

Learn Norwegian for beginners

Young women speaking Norwegian.

Learn Norwegian for beginners

Hei Hello

Hadet bra Goodbye

God morgen Good morning

God natt Good night

Hvordan går det? How are you?

Takk for sist Thanks for last time/good to see you again

Takk Thanks

Unnskyld? Sorry?

Jeg snakker ikke norsk I don’t speak Norwegian

Snakker du engelsk? Do you speak English?

Kan du hjelpe meg? Could you help me?

I dag Today

I morgen Tomorrow

I går Yesterday

Hvor finner jeg…? Where can I find the …?

Jeg elsker Oslo! I love Oslo!

Hva vil du anbefale? What can you recommend?

Hvitvin / Rødvin White wine / Red wine

Kaffe Coffee

Kan jeg få betale? May I pay, please?

Kan jeg få regningen? The check, please

En bank A bank

Stasjon/ jernbanestasjon Train station

Sykehus Hospital

Flyplass Airport

Learn Norwegian for beginners

Young women having a conversation. Snakker du norsk?

For good deals on transport and experiences, buy an Oslo Pass lasting 24, 48 or 72 hours. The pass includes travel on all public transport across the city as well as suburbs and districts (Oslo as well as Lillestrøm, Nittedal, Asker, Ski, Nesodden and Drøbak), and includes free access to several museums and attractions, as well as discounted restaurants, sightseeing and activities. The Oslo pass is available online below.


Part of our guide to Oslo - Weekend in Oslo: Top Things to Do and Must-See Sights - Read the full guide here

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Receive our monthly newsletter by email

    I accept the Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy