Since almost everyone speaks English in Norway, it can initially feel like learning Norwegian isn’t necessary. But, while it is easy for us new international students to find our way around speaking only English, sticking to English can create a difficult hurdle to fully integrating into Norwegian social life, extracurricular activities and finding permanent work in Norway after our studies.
The good news is that if you speak English, Norwegian is actually very closely related and fairly easy to learn! The alphabet is the same, aside from a few extra vowels. And being surrounded by the spoken and written language everyday makes it easy to pick up new words and phrases.
Ready to get started? Here are five resources to get you speaking like a native in no time:
Each semester BI offers non-credit introductory or intermediate (spring semester only) Norwegian classes for 2000 NOK. Classes meet for 2.75 hours twice a week for ten weeks. For the serious student, the convenience of studying at BI, learning alongside your classmates and rigorous curriculum can’t be beat! The 2017 fall courses have already begun, but spring semester will be here before you know it.
New this year, the University of Oslo has developed a four-week introductory Norwegian course available as a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course). The course offers free access for six weeks (or you can purchase unlimited access, plus receive a certificate of completion for $69). The lessons include multi-media and interactive elements (videos, fill in the blank quizzes, a chatbot, etc.) designed to provide feedback on your progress. If you follow along as directed, the course takes four weeks, five-hours per week. It’s a great introduction that anyone can fit into their Schedule.
Don’t have plans for the summer yet? UiO also offers an International Summer School program for students wanting to spend their summer in Oslo taking intensive language courses and other classes on Norwegian history and culture.
Folkeuniversitet offers in-person and online courses in Norwegian from beginner to advanced levels for 5500 NOK (in person) or 4650 NOK (online). Various schedules for in-person classes are offered or the online option provides 20 weeks of course access and six 30-minute Skype meetings with your instructor. A free placement test is provided so ensure you select the correct course for your level of language skill.
Alfaskolen is unique in offering a wide variety of different types, styles and levels of classes for perfecting your Norwegian. Looking to work on conversation skills? Or focus on your grammar? Or maybe use Easter break to polish up your Norwegian? Alfaskolen has you covered. With a focus on small classes (6-16 students), Alfaskolen has a good track record of student success.
While I wouldn’t recommend DuoLingo as your only resource for learning Norwegian, this app is a great tool for making sure you’re regularly practicing your languages skills. Just install the DuoLingo app on your phone and you can turn your commute to and from school into a mini-language lesson. Even better, just set a goal of 5 to 20 minutes a day and the app will prompt you to complete your lesson for the day.
And, of course, don’t forget the power of practicing your new language skills with your classmates, shop clerks, etc. Every little bit of practice helps!
* Please note that this list is for information purposes only and not an endorsement of the quality of the external programmes