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OSLO

Places to practice your Norwegian in Oslo

Practice makes perfect, especially when learning a new language. Here are some places where you can practice your Norwegian in Oslo. 

Deichman Oslo.
There are a number of places in Oslo where you can practice your language skills. Pictured is the Deichman Bjørvika, which holds language cafes every Monday.Photo by Ranurte on Unsplash

Learning Norwegian is a challenge shared by all newcomers to the country. It can also be a tricky language to master. 

Due to the high level of English proficiency among Norwegians, it can also be hard to put your skills to the test as the locals may switch to English when they hear an accent or know you are foreign. 

While they mean no harm and do this out of politeness, it can make mastering the language trickier as getting in good practice can be an uphill battle. 

Luckily, there are still plenty of opportunities to hone your skills and try and nail down some of the finer points of the language. 

Here are several places in Oslo where you can practice your Norwegian skills with others. 

Diechman Bjørvika

Spread over six floors, Oslo’s main library is just a stone’s throw from the opera house and is home to all manner of events. 

Every Monday, except for public holidays, the Red Cross holds Norwegian language training at 5pm for people who want to practice their skills with others

Tickets are handed out on the fourth floor from 16:30, and the language training takes place on the fifth floor. The event runs for 2 hours. 

You can practice with other participants, which can help you also network and make friends if you are a new arrival, or with volunteers from the Red Cross. 

Other Diechman libraries

Bjørvika isn’t the only library that holds a weekly Norwegian practice. Diechman Grünerløkka also holds a “språkkafe” or language café evert Monday. 

The event begins at the same time and is also run by the Red Cross. 

Other Diechman libraries also hold events. The one in Stovner has drop-in sessions between 1pm and 2pm on Friday afternoons. The group there do language exercises and prep for Norwegian language tests, and talk about current affairs. 

On Wednesdays, Diechman Oppsal also holds a Norwegian language café, meaning plenty of options are available based on your schedule. 

You can see the complete list of Språkkafes run by Deichman here

Language café on Facebook

On Facebook, there is also the public group “Language Café“. The group is for language lovers in Oslo, and the meets every Monday at Kafe Asylet in Grønland. However, the group is for all language learners, so it doesn’t focus as intensely on Norwegian as other places. 

Although, there will still be opportunities to buddy up with Norwegian speakers and, depending on the languages you speak, you may be able to teach them something too. 

Red Cross Norsktrenning

In addition to the events it holds in the Deichman Bjørvika and Grünerløkka, the Red Cross also holds Norwegian language practice at Furuset Library on Tuesdays and at Hausmanns Gate 23 on Tuesdays and Saturdays

It also holds Norwegian digital practice on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Participants are placed into groups based on their proficiency, meaning you’ll be practicing with people at a similar level. 

For students

If you are an international student in Norway, then most universities will also host regular språkkafes for their students. The University of Oslo, for example, holds regular language cafes.

 Språkkafe.no

The website is aimed at those who want to learn the Norwegian language and find a place where they can practice their skills. 

The website currently has free language cafes in Porsgrunn Bibliotek and Bøler advertised on its site. In addition to providing details on where to find a language café, there are also plenty of links and resources on free language courses that can help get your lingo up to scratch. 

Language exchange

Another option would be a language exchange site. These websites typically pair up two people who want to learn each other’s language. This can be harder for somebody who only has English under their belt. The reason is that most in Norway already have a solid grasp of the language. 

Instead, this is an option that would be better for somebody who speaks a language another language in addition to English. Tandem is a language exchange site you could try. 

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OSLO

What you might not have known about Oslo’s Diechman Bjørvika library

Located in the heart of Oslo, the Deichman Bjørvika has recently been crowned Norway’s most visited cultural institution. However, there are a few things you might not have known about the mega-library.

What you might not have known about Oslo’s Diechman Bjørvika library

Spread over six floors and a stone’s throw from the central station and opera house, Oslo’s Bjørvika Deichman library has become a firm favourite since its opening in 2020. 

The library is the country’s most visited cultural institution, attracting 3.3 million visitors since it opened its doors to the public, according to figures from newswire NTB. 

However, a lot more lies beneath the library’s sleek modern architecture than books. These are a few things you may not have known about Deichman Bjørvika. 

It’s a great place to practice Norwegian

Every Monday, except for public holidays, the Red Cross holds Norwegian language training at 5pm for people who want to practice their skills with others

Tickets are handed out on the fourth floor from 16:30, and the language training takes place on the fifth floor. The event runs for 2 hours. 

You can practice with other participants, which can help you network and make friends if you are a new arrival.

READ MORE: Places to practice your Norwegian in Oslo

You can book a private cinema screening for free

They say the best things in life are free, and we’ve all dreamed of being able to book a private cinema screening for ourselves before. 

But, did you know that you can book a free private cinema screening of a film in the library? Not only that, but the screening is completely free! 

Diechman Bjørvika’s mini-cinema can host films, documentaries, and short films in a screening room for 20 people. The mini cinema is on the 3rd floor, and a minimum of three people are required to make a booking. 

You can choose films and media from Filmrommet.no or FilmBIB, in addition to those from the library’s collection. 

It does come with a small catch. Eating in the cinema is against the rules. You can book here

Intended to be a social hub

If you haven’t been able to tell by now, you’re unlikely to get shooshed in this library for chatting to a friend. 

Designed to be a social hub, there are plenty of places where you can be social and make a bit of noise. For starters, there are various talks and lectures offered on an almost weekly basis. Then there are the meeting rooms. 

If you fancy giving your brain a rest, there is also free shuffleboard situated by the windows, allowing for views of the Oslo fjord.

There are also Friday night social meetings and a free junior cinema for younger visitors. 

Plenty of opportunities to get creative 

Some hobbies can take quite a bit of money to get into, or the equipment might take up too much space. Luckily, the Deichman has plenty of space and opportunities for people to try something new, get in touch with their creative side, or pick up a forgotten passion. 

3D printerssewing machines and vinyl cutters are some equipment visitors can use at the library. There is also a creative workshop with tools that can be borrowed and where you can meet others who quite like tinkering with odds and ends

Other creatives have plenty of things to sink their teeth into as well. There’s a DJ deck with headphones, Serrato DJ Pro software, Pioneer DDJ-SR2 controllers, and a touch screen interface. Aspiring disk jockeys can bring their own songs on a memory stick or use the library’s Tidal subscription. For chatterboxes, there is also a podcast studio 

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