Norwegian may sound confusing when you first hear it. This melodious language has a sing-song inflection that can leave listeners a bit confused... but also enjoying the sound. On your travels to Norway, we have created 10 top phrases and words for you to learn when out on an adventure with us. Get ready to start learning a new language!
1. Thank you. You can say "Takk". If you want to really express gratitude- go ahead and say "Tusen Takk", which directly translates to "1,000 Thank Yous".
2. Excuse me. You can say "Unnskyld" (Uun-shuld). This is polite if you have a question in order to get someone's attention, or if you accidentally bump someone when walking.
3. Sorry. You can say "Beklager". This apology carries more weight than Unnskyld, and can be used when sincerely apologizing for something.
4. Hi! Or Hello! You can say "Hei Hei" or "Hallo". Both of these are casual greetings in Norway when walking past someone on trail.
5. I don't speak Norwegian. You can say "Jeg snakker ikke Norsk". Having trouble communicating? Most likely the person speaks English, but if you want them to understand your confusion while speaking their language, go ahead and use this short phrase.
6. Do you speak English? You can say "Snakker du engelsk?" Instead of assuming, go ahead and ask!
7. Can you help me? You can say "Kan du hjelpe meg?" Is this a great phrase when looking for some guidance. Combine this by first saying Unnskyld (remember, we just learned that one) and you will come across as quite the knowledgable tourist!
8. Have a nice day! You can say "Ha en fin dag!" Letting people know you wish them a nice day is a great way to end a conversation.
9. How are you? You can say "Hvordan går det med deg?" Although it is not common in Norway to use this question as a greeting, you can ask someone you know how they are doing when you see them.
10. Have a good trip! You can say "God Tur!" This phrase is most often used when someone is traveling or going for a hike. On trail, you can wish other hikers a good trip out in the mountains by smiling and calling "god tur!"
Remember, the Norwegian alphabet has three extra letters: Æ, Ø, and Å. Although they look very foreign, don't be too intimidated by these extra letters. One of the easiest things when learning some Norwegian is that the language combines words to create a new meaning. Even if they are unthinkably long, really, it's quite simple, it's just a few words put together, so let's break it down! For example, the longest and commonly used word in Norwegian is 33 letters long:
Menneskerettighetsorganisasjonene. Looks scary doesnt it? Well, watch this: "Menneske" = People, "Rettighet" = Rights, "Organisasjonene"- The Organization. So there we have it, our Peace Prize nation has a Human Rights Organization. Easy, huh?
Don't be shy! Norwegians will be thrilled you are trying to learn some of their language. Although they may be temporarily taken aback (only 7 million people in the world speak Norwegian), once they realize you are speaking their language, it will create lots of smiles! Check out our video below to watch other travelers trying out their own local hiking phrases!