How long does it take to learn Norwegian? The most common answer is six months. This is a goal that is definitely attainable. The Foreign Service Institute rates Norwegian as one of the easiest languages to learn, and we’ll explain why here as well as any potential challenges you might encounter.
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Is It Hard To Learn Norwegian?
The quick response is: Not really. Norwegian is regarded as one of the easiest languages for English speakers to learn because English shares the same word order, grammar, and syntax as Norwegian and has at least 5,000 loan words from Old Norse. The 12 typical pitfalls that were mentioned above are where English speakers will run into trouble.
For those of you whose native language is either Danish, Dutch, German, or Swedish, then you’ll find learning Norwegian is a lot simpler to learn and understand. Because of their shared linguistic roots, Norwegian, Danish, and Swedish can all be understood by others. I discuss this topic in further detail in my Here is a Norwegian travel vocabulary list.
How Long Does It Really Take To Learn Norwegian?
It’s said that learning Norwegian is one of the simpler languages for English speakers to master. It typically requires up to 24 weeks, or 600–750 class hours, according to FSI’s experience in language learning. Notably, its Nordic brothers, Swedish and Danish, are also included in this group. This category also includes other Romance languages like French, Spanish, and Italian. Although many people may find Arabic hard to learn, from my personal experience, Norwegian is not as challenging as these languages.
How Long Does It Take To Learn A Language?
How long it takes to learn a language fluently depends on three main factors.
- In what way are you motivated? Are you studying the target language because you genuinely want to or just out of obligation? Is attending class making you happy? Do you regularly find time to practice?
- The amount of time you have available for studying. When you do, how focused are you? You should try to study for as long as you can.
- How similar is the target language to your native tongue in terms of experience and background? Have you ever taken a foreign language course? Do you have any understanding of grammatical principles or other linguistic nuances? Have you ever visited a nation where the majority population speaks your primary language?
How Long Does It Take To Speak Norwegian Fluently?
Unfortunately, there isn’t really a universally applicable response to this query. This is due to the fact that you must both clearly define your own personal goals and consider all the aforementioned factors. The definition of “fluent” speech is up to you, in other words.
This could be deciding on a proficiency level you want to work toward or another personal objective. In the CEFR framework, aiming for a B2 level might be a good place to start if you’re unsure of your goals.
Once you’re certain of that, you should create a plan to carry out your objectives. Consider these considerations in order to approach that realistically:
- How much time am I willing to dedicate to practicing Norwegian every day? Every day, you read that correctly. You must set aside time each day for practice if you’re serious about learning Norwegian. reading, writing, listening, and speaking Norwegian, not studying. Therefore, that could be anything from writing a day-end summary to listening to music.
- Is it possible to travel to Norway as part of my learning experience? The most effective way to learn a language quickly is through immersion. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to practice in typical day-to-day situations like ordering food and taking the bus, even if it’s just a brief vacation. You receive a lot of vocabulary exposure as well, which will aid in the development of a solid foundation.
- Who can I speak with to practice? You must actually speak Norwegian if you want to do so. It’s crucial that you practice with someone, whether it be a tandem partner, a friend, or one of your classmates. To find a native speaker to practice your language skills with, check out Tandem. Additionally, Meetup and Couchsurfing are frequently used to locate language exchange events or polyglot gatherings.
- How serious are you about learning Norwegian? Being honest with yourself when setting goals may seem silly given that you’ve spent all this time reading this article. Do you really think that learning Norwegian is important to you? Do you have the motivation to put in the required effort to achieve your goals?
Why Is Norwegian Simple For English Speakers To Learn?
Only 3 Extra Alphabets
In the Norwegian language, there are three more alphabets. For English speakers, learning the pronunciation is very simple. A music video created by Norwegians explains the aesthetic value of these three alphabets. After listening to this song, there is no way that you won’t learn how to pronounce these sounds.
Norwegian and English are both categorized as Germanic languages, but they belong to different branches. The languages were influenced by the Viking raids that took place along England’s coast centuries ago. When learning Norwegian, you might be surprised how similar the spelling is, such as “like” for “like” in Norwegian and “cost” for “koste” in Norwegian.
The grammar between these two is also similar after that. Norwegian and English are very similar in terms of word order, tenses, and cases. Nearly all of the declension changes in Norwegian’s modern grammar were eliminated, just like in English. You might regret not learning Norwegian when you are having trouble with the present perfect tense in German or dealing with the notorious “Der,” “Die,” and “Das” in Spanish. Think twice before you decide what language should you learn indeed.
What Aspect Of Learning Norwegian Is Difficult?
I’ll stop with the sugarcoating now. The process of learning a language is not always straightforward from beginning to end. Here are some challenging sections for all of the learners of Norwegian out there.
Two Writing Systems
There are two writing styles in Norwegian, which is what many beginners found confusing. Bokmål and Nynorsk. The nationalist movement in Norway, which aimed to counteract Danish influence, has a connection to the emergence of Nynorsk. Bokmaringl’s written form is remarkably similar to contemporary Danish. Since most Norwegians speak their own dialects, these two writing systems only describe how to write the language, not how to speak it. While Bokmål is more frequently used in the Oslo area, Nynorsk is more prevalent in western and southern Norway. The news, however, might employ both systems.
Tonal sounds are a feature of many Scandinavian languages. When they speak, it almost sounds like singing. Although the tones in Swedish and Norwegian are somewhat different, the same feature can also be found in Swedish. Word meanings can also be altered by tones. Foreign students find it challenging to master, but once you do, your Norwegian friends will be very impressed.
The number of regional dialects in Norway may be excessive. Even Norwegians occasionally struggle to communicate with one another. As my Norwegian tutor from When he was traveling in Narvik, Oslo once told me that he really struggled to understand people from Northern Norway. At that point, he even claimed that understanding Danish had become simpler for him. In Norway, the Oslo dialect, which is also the one you might hear on TV or radio, is the one that the majority of people learn. See more about How Hard Is It To Learn Romanian?
Why Learn Norwegian?
Whether or not it is worthwhile to learn Norwegian is entirely up to you, if that is what you’re wondering. Norwegian is a good place to start learning a Scandinavian language if you don’t want to expose yourself to anything too difficult. Similar to Swedish and Danish, it is one of the more basic Nordic languages.
Like learning any other language, learning Norwegian can help you remember things better and make you more marketable when applying for jobs. If you want to stand out from the crowd, including a second language on your resume will really get people’s attention. Norwegian is a less popular language that can also be used to ease the tension during interviews.
Of course, wanting to relocate to Norway is one of the best reasons to learn Norwegian. A Norwegian education is a requirement if you plan to benefit from the stunning, joyous lifestyle that Norway has to offer. Even better, you could try out language study as you consider whether to relocate.
Learning languages nowadays has become something that you can have at your fingertips since there are a lot of online recourses and many goodlanguage learning apps available. Even though true language mastery still requires patience and persistence, your learning process can be made simpler and more enjoyable with a little assistance. I’ll argue that speaking with a native speaker is the best way to learn a language, and there are lots of websites that make this possible. So why not sign up for your Norwegian class right away? You can explore breathtaking fjords, the northern lights, and so much more in this country.