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Hi, I would absolutely love to learn the norwegian language, and I was just wondering if you could recommend any good resources or books to help teach yourself? Thanks for your help!

Hi Liz!  

That is a tough question you have asked!  As you are surely aware, Norwegian isn't one of the languages with a ton of learning material out there.  

For myself, I would say the best way I learned Norwegian was by spending too much time online and finding/marrying a Norwegian and making him teach me!  However, that isn't really an option for everyone, is it?

In all honesty, one product I have used and found to be worthwhile is from a company called Transparent Language.  They have a product called "Before You Know It" (BYKI) that you run on your computer.  They even have a demo version that is quite nice - it works just like the full version, only there are less words/phrases.  You have to purchase the full version to really learn the language, but it is affordable.  (Around $70 I believe for the download.  Slightly more if you want them to mail you an actual disk.)  Their website can be accessed from  They also have a woman that blogs for them - she is an American living in Norway and she writes in English and throws in Norwegian words.  Lots of interesting information to read and you pick up a word or two as you go!
Their program has the benefit of the spoken as well as the written, compared to learning solely through books alone. (This was how I learned, and even still I can read Norwegian much better than I can speak/understand it spoken.  I wish I had had an audible aspect to my original learnings!)

There are, of course, lots of books and dictionaries available from companies like Berlitz.  However, if you want a truly thorough dictionary I recommend the following by Haugen:   This dictionary goes in both directions and in a pinch can be invaluable.

If you are really really serious about learning, the University of Oslo (UiO) has a 6-week international summer school (ISS) every year.  I attended this in the summer of 2008 (and hope to return someday) and the program is actually surprisingly affordable for what you get.  Roughly $3000 USD for room, board, and tuition.  At the ISS they offer Norwegian (Bokmål) levels I - IV, and a 3-week class in Nynorsk.  They also have other classes ranging from basic history to graduate level courses.  The language classes are taught in Norwegian (full immersion) but the other classes are taught in English, and the tuition doesn't change, no matter how many courses you attend.  I learned more Norwegian in those 6 weeks than my husband has managed to teach me in 3 years! If you can manage it, and you have the time, I highly recommend this program!  You can read more about it at if you are interested.

Hope this helps!

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Stacie Valle


I can answer questions about Norway or the Norwegian language. I can also answer questions about American Sign Language and Deaf culture as a whole. I can provide translation help between Norwegian and English as long as the text is limited in length.


Norwegian: I am married to a Norwegian man and spend my summers in Norway immersed in Norwegian culture and language. American Sign Language: I am a sign language interpreter which has required many years of classes learning the language, learning about the culture of the Deaf world, and interacting with the Deaf community.

Norwegian: Norwegian language classes at the University of Oslo; self-guided learning through textbooks and tutoring from family and friends. American Sign Language: more than three years of Sign Language and Interpreting studies at the college level in Missouri as well as real-world interpreting experience.

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