Culture of Norway It cannot be understood without its official language, Norwegian, which is spoken by all its inhabitants. However, in this territory we find different dialects. In addition, some people use other languages, which we will talk about in this article.

Below you have an index with all the points that we are going to deal with in this article.

Official language

The official language of Norway is the norwegian or Norsk. Like Swedish and Danish, it is part of the Nordic language family.

When it comes to writing, we find two forms different:

literally, book language. It is the one used by 85% of the population and the one taught in most schools. It is identified with urban areas. The more conservative version is called riksmal.
means new norwegian. It is most used in rural areas of the country, especially in the west. Only 8% of the works published in Norway are written in nynorsk. There is a subtype called hognorsk.


When it comes to speaking, we find a significant number of dialects. However, there is no official figure, as it is difficult to quantify. The four of them major are Nordnorsk, trondersk, vestlandsk and ostnorsk, and these are the areas in which they are spoken:

On this map, the orange painted area is where the Nordnorsk, in yellow the trondersk, in the green the vestlandsk and in the red the ostnorsk. Likewise, inside the so-called innlandsmål and in the south the sorlandsk.

People who speak different dialects can usually be understood. However, there are differences between them in stress, grammar, syntax and vocabulary. The form usually taught to foreigners is Standard Eastern Norwegian or standard ostnorsk. These are some basic words:

  • Hello = hei
  • Yes = Ha
  • No = No
  • Thanks = Takk
  • Sorry = Beklager

On the other hand, in northern Norway there is an indigenous people of around 50.000 inhabitants, the Sami, who speak their own language, also called Sami. This town is also found in, Sweden, Finland, Russia and Ukraine.

Secondary languages

If you want to go on a trip to Norway, you don't have to learn Norwegian, since the vast majority of the population speaks a second language, English, language with which you can communicate without problems.

According to EF English Proficiency Index, a ranking that assesses the level of English in the different countries, Norway ranks fourth, as it is one of the territories that best speaks this language.

However, if you plan to stay to live or work, it is convenient that you learn the official language of the country, as it is the one used by its inhabitants in everyday life and in most companies.

Although to a lesser extent, French and German are languages ​​that are also studied in Norway, so some people know how to speak it. The Spanish, until now, has not had much notoriety, although in recent years the interest in it has increased.

Questions from users

What language is spoken in Oslo?

Oslo is the capital of Norway. As in the rest of the country, the official language is Norwegian, although it is easy to communicate in English. In addition, some inhabitants know other languages ​​such as German or French.

What is the language used in Tromsø?

In addition to Norwegian, Tromsø has an important Sami community, which is why this language is also practiced by a part of the population. As in Oslo, most of the people also speak English.

Is Norwegian a difficult language?

Norwegian is not considered a difficult language to learn. However, you must be patient and persistent. Knowing other languages ​​such as English or German can make it easier to understand.

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