Tips and advice

5 tips to learn Norwegian full speed

For those of you who plan to start learning Norwegian from scratch – here comes the good news first. You will make friends here from the start. You will finding your way around or applying for a job will also be possible without special Norwegian skills. Secondly, Norwegian people like to keep it short in most daily conversations. Thus, you will master small “linguistic hurdles” very quickly. However, maybe you want to challenge yourself a little more when learning Norwegian. Here are 5 aspects that helped me taking up Norwegian full speed.

Full name: Erik Jensen
Home country: Germany
Bachelor's degree: BSc Business Administration
Previous University: HSBA Hamburg School of Business Administration
Current study program: M.Sc. in Applied Economics


#1: Take it easy and have fun learning!

Let me state the important point first. When learning Norwegian, do whatever you think is fun and what helps you best but do it regularly! This should not be too difficult to do once you have moved here. Thankfully the English language is present everywhere in daily life. Meaning, you perfectly take up Norwegian-English translations on the go. Points #2-#5 may give you a little inspiration what you could do concretely.



#2: Start before moving to Norway

I can really recommend using a language learning app of your choice prior to your move. But what helped me as well were Norwegian podcasts that I started listening to from the start. For example, there are several free podcasts published by institutions offering Norwegian courses. I did not find it particularly important that I did not understand much in the beginning. It rather helped me to get a feeling for the language. I felt that it also increased my anticipation for moving to Norway even more.


#3: Don’t be shy

Once you have moved to Norway and your studies have started. Try to say whatever you already know in Norwegian – even if it is only single words. Also, and especially when you are getting to know your fellow Norwegian students! Why? Because your Norwegian fellows will immediately make your language skills a project of their own. You will be amazed with how much enthusiasm they will try to teach you words and include you in conversations.


#4: Take a language course at BI

For international students, BI offers Norwegian courses for different skill levels, and I can only recommend that you participate. Not only is this another opportunity to make friends. But it is a chance to learn the language in a bit more structured way. Besides, you will not find any other more convenient language courses. Since these are offered on campus and your daily schedule will not be affected by taking a course.


#5: Use Norwegian media

As with learning any other language. Watching Norwegian shows, reading the Norwegian news, or listening to podcasts are very helpful to improve your language skills. But also, learn something about Norwegian culture. The local state broadcaster NRK offers an amazingly broad range of all these things. And all that are for free! Additionally, I can assure you. Almost everybody knows the popular shows and series on NRK. If you watch them, you will find very nice topics to discuss with Norwegians (and Non-Norwegians).