How Long Does it Take to Learn Norwegian?

How long does it take to learn Norwegian? The most common answer is six months. This is a dream that defiantly can be achieved. Here we are going to tell you why Norwegian is ranked as one of the easiest languages to learn by the FSI, the Foreign Service Institute, and what are the difficulties you might face when learning Norwegian.

How Long Does it Really Take to Learn Norwegian?

Norwegian is categorized as one of the easiest languages for English speakers to reach proficiency. By FSI’s experience in language learning, it normally takes up to 24 weeks, or 600-750 class hours. Notably, its Nordic brothers, Swedish and Danish, are also in this category. Other Romance languages, like French, Spanish, and Italian also fall into this category. Although many people may find Spanish hard to learn, from my personal experience, Norwegian is not as difficult as these languages.

Why Is Norwegian Easy for English Speakers to Learn?

Same Roots

English and Norwegian are both classified as Germanic languages but under different branches. When the Vikings were raiding through the coast of England centuries ago, the languages were also influenced. 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.

Similar Grammar

Following that, the grammar between these two is similar as well. Whether it is the word order, tenses and, cases, English and Norwegian are very alike. Like English, Norwegian got rid of almost all the declension changes in its modern grammar. When you are struggling with the present perfect tense in Spanish or dealing with the notorious “Der”, “Die”, “Das” in German, you might regret why you didn’t choose to learn Norwegian in the first place. Think twice before you decide what language should you learn indeed.

Only 3 Extra Alphabets

There are three more alphabets in the Norwegian language. The pronunciation is very easy for English speakers to master. Norwegian people have made a music video to explain the beauty of these three alphabets. There is no way that you don’t pick up how to pronounce these sounds after hearing this song.

Source: YouTube

What Is the Difficult Part About Learning Norwegian?

Alright, enough with the sugar coating. Learning a language is not always a smooth journey all the way to the end. Here are some hard parts for all the Norwegian learners out there.


Scandinavian languages are known for their tonal sounds. It is almost like singing when they are speaking. The same feature can also be found in Swedish, however, the tones in Swedish and Norwegian are somewhat opposite. Tones can also change the meanings of words. This is hard for foreign learners to master, but once you get the hang of it, your Norwegian friends will be very impressed.

Regional Dialects

There are just maybe too many regional dialects across Norway. Sometimes even Norwegian people can’t understand each other. As my Norwegian tutor from Oslo once told me that he really had a hard time understanding people from Northern Norway when he was traveling in Narvik. He even said that it was easier for him to understand Danish at that point. Most people will learn the Oslo dialect which is the most common one in Norway, and also the one you might hear on TV or radio.

Two Writing Systems

What confused many beginners is that there are two writing forms in Norwegian: Bokmål and Nynorsk. The origin of Nynorsk has to do with the nationalist movement of Norway, trying to get rid of the Danish influence. The written form of Bokmål is very close to modern Danish. These two writing systems only mean how to write the language, instead of how to speak it since most Norwegians speak their own dialects. Nynorsk is more commonly used in the western and southern parts of Norway, while Bokmål is used in the Oslo region. However, you may see both systems used in news.

Source: Unsplash

Start Your Norwegian Course Now!

Learning languages nowadays has become something that you can have at your fingertips since there are a lot of online recourses and many good language learning apps available. It still takes time and perseverance to really master a language, but with a little help, your learning journey can be easier and more fun. I will argue that the best way to learn a language is to speak with a native speaker and there are many websites making this possible, including AmazingTalker. So, why don’t you start your Norwegian course now? This is the country with breathtaking fjords, northern lights and so much more for you to discover. Find your personal Norwegian teacher now, only at AmazingTalker.

About AmazingTalker

About AmazingTalker

AmazingTalker offers professional online language tutors and teachers from around the world. We offer personalized one-on-one online tutoring that can help you master Korean more quickly and know your needs more clearly. flexible schedules with no joining fee. It’s a great way to start your Korean learning more systematically with a low budget.

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