Tips and advice

How to effectively learn Norwegian

You have gotten accepted to the university of your dreams in Norway, you packed all your things and you arrived in this astounding country in the very North of our Earth! You’re finally here, and the most difficult part is behind. Here you start a new journey of discovering a new culture, of adaptation and of immersing yourself into a totally different environment from what you’re used to. One of the elements of that adaptation process is learning the language! Maybe you’re still thinking if you want to learn it at all since the education is completely in English. Here are some reasons why I strongly recommend starting to learn the local language – Norwegian, and the benefits that it will bring about.

Full Name: Arailym Kaliyeva
Home Country: Kazakhstan
Current study program: MSc. in Business – Major in Economics

  1. Many local students speak Norwegian between themselves, knowing Norwegian might help you to understand them and be involved in conversations.
  2. Learning a local language is a sign of respect and shows your interest to the country and culture of where you’re living. The language is not only the communication tool, but it’s a vessel that contains and transfers the cultural riches, peculiarities and nuances, and opens the doors to a totally new world!
  3. If you’re considering gaining professional experience here, then learning Norwegian can facilitate finding a job. Many companies require proficiency in the local language. It is better to start early, because learning a language could take some time.
  4. Have you ever gone to a social gathering, where everyone speaks Norwegian, and then the whole crowd starts laughing, but you don’t know what they’re laughing about? Don’t worry they’re not laughing about you, but if you don’t want to miss any jokes and laugh together, learn Norwegian!
  5. And finally, knowing Norwegian will help you to understand a lot of things in the city, signs, billboards, etc., you will be like a child who gradually starts understanding things around him and that will be such an eye-opener!

Soo… are you already driven and motivated to learn Norwegian? Then let’s not wait, here are some tips for you to make the learning process enjoyable and effective. These are the tools that are helping me personally. Although I’m still in the process of learning the language myself, I would like to share with you some resources and things that you can do to get started.



Enroll for language courses

BI offers Norwegian language courses every semester and it costs about 500 NOK, and it’s totally worth it! I took a once-a-week class every Saturday for 6 hours, but you can choose another schedule that fits you.

Learn new words wherever you go

There are many ways to do so. I think one of the ways to make sure to learn at least a few words a day is using the language learning apps. Here is a small list of apps that you can download, I personally use Duolingo:

Language learning apps

  1. Duolingo
  2. Learn Norwegian Free
  3. Babbel
  4. Learn Norwegian – 15000 words.

Communicate, communicate, communicate.

It can be hard in the beginning, but when you go to the supermarkets, cafes, try to order things in Norwegian. Also, sometimes you can try to speak Norwegian with your classmates, of course it could be hard to maintain a long and interesting conversation in a language that you don’t speak fluently yet, but you can at least try to ask “Hvordan går det?” (“How are you?”) or “Hvordan var helgen din?” (“How was your day?”), and as the time passes you will be able to speak on more topics.

Immerse yourself into the culture

Read children’s books, watch films and cartoons, you can find them on Netflix or on NRK.TV (It’s an amazing app where you can watch a lot of thing in Norwegian for free).

Writing things down in Norwegian

I will also suggest at a later stage of your learning process to start writing things down in Norwegian. This is something that I haven’t tried myself yet with the Norwegian, but as a former English teacher I can say that it’s quite effective at some point when you already possess some essential language tools (vocabulary and grammar).

The following advice is a supplementary tool – watching Youtube channels for learning Norwegian. Here is the list of some useful channels:

  1. Simple Norwegian. There you can watch a bunch of videos with the essential beginner vocabulary, the videos are quite short (15 min) and informative!
  2. Karense norsk lærer. She is a Norwegian teacher, and, in her videos, she explains various topics, from grammar, vocabulary to some cultural information videos.
  3. Courses Norwegian. If you’re eager to learn more grammar, then this is the irreplaceable channel with a lot of grammar explanations.
  4. And my final, and I think one of the most important advice is, to be CONSISTENT.

This is something that I must remind myself. It is so easy to get discouraged and unmotivated when you’re learning a new language since it can sometimes be a tedious process, but if you’re consistent and learning a little something every day then eventually you will progress. Just don’t give up and be patient. The results can be visible for some people in 3 months, for some in 6 and for some in one year. To be consistent, try to dedicate 30 min-1 hour at a certain time, let’s say every evening or three times a week, and try to stick to it. Have a certain plan of what you’re going to do during this time, e.g., read, or watch a YouTube video, or learn something on Duolingo, etc. That way you can spend that time productively.


So, we’re coming to the end of the blogpost, these are all the tips that I wanted to give you! I hope you enjoyed it! If you still have questions or need any help you can always contact me! Enjoy learning a new language, and remember it gives you a key to the doors of a completely new world that you’re yet to discover!