Norwegian language For Members

What are the cheapest ways to learn Norwegian?

Robin-Ivan Capar
Robin-Ivan Capar - [email protected] • 25 Nov, 2022 Updated Fri 25 Nov 2022 15:25 CEST
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As Norwegian language courses tend to be very costly, we've put together a guide of cheap or free resources to help you master the language. Photo by Peter Hansen / Unsplash

Norwegian language courses are pretty expensive. Their price has increased significantly in recent years, leaving many people planning to move to Norway looking for cheaper alternatives.

As most people who moved to Norway from another country can tell you, speaking the language well is among the key barriers to entering the job market.

Therefore, a lot of people pick up Norwegian language courses as soon as they move to the country – or even earlier if there are courses available in their area.

However, such language courses in Norway are notoriously expensive.

The prices of courses depend on the course provider and language school, and different providers offer different prices based on the dynamics (fast-track or regular), duration (per month, set periods, etc.), and format of the course (classroom or online). You can find out more about such courses here.

In this article, we will cover the resources you can use to master the language without spending thousands of kroner on courses each month.

Free online courses and resources

Multiple institutions in Norway offer free or cheap resources that you can use to improve your Norwegian language proficiency on your own.

For example, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) has a free resource called NoW, which can help you tackle the basics quickly and efficiently.

On the other hand, the University in Oslo (UiO) and NTNU offer flexible online courses that people can take for free at FutureLearn. You can find the courses here.

The University in Oslo has also compiled a list of recommended online resources – such as online exercises based on course books, a variety of interactive exercises, and online educational games – to help you improve your Norwegian. The complete list is available here.

Skills Norway (Norwegian: Kompetanse Norge), the Norwegian Agency for Lifelong Learning, recommends these resources. However, the webpage is in Norwegian, so a basic understanding of the language is necessary to navigate it.

Norway's Language Council (Norwegian: Språkrådet), which works to strengthen the Norwegian language and language diversity in Norway, has a free online dictionary available here. The dictionary also has a dedicated app (Android and Apple).

Public libraries

Most big cities in Norway have a host of public libraries (there are over 800 public libraries in the country!), where you can find and borrow very useful resources for advancing your language skills, including books, movies, cartoons, and music, to mention just a few.

In order to borrow books or other resources, you need to get a library card. The sign-up process is pretty straightforward and takes roughly 5 to 10 minutes.

After you're done with that, you can borrow language course textbooks, dictionaries, beginner-level reading materials, and many other helpful learning materials!

Note: Some of the libraries – such as the ones in Bergen and Oslo – organise events such as language cafés, assistance with homework, and job search support, so make sure to ask for an event calendar after you register.

Language cafés and Norwegian language practice meetups

Informal meetups where people can practice their conversational skills in a relaxed and friendly environment can do wonders for your Norwegian language proficiency!

Multiple associations, organisations, and other groups put together informal language cafés and meetups.

The easiest way to find such events is to become involved in ex-pat social media groups (such as Oslo Expats, News friends Bergen, Språkkafé Oslo, or Immigration to Norway on Facebook).

Volunteering centres and charity organisations often host language cafés and similar events, as do public libraries and student organisations.

Get out of your comfort zone, meet new people, and make the most of such opportunities when they appear!

Find a hobby and interact with locals

Joining a club, organization, or group that shares your interest in Norway is a great – and often cheap – way of meeting locals, expanding your social circle, and practising spoken Norwegian skills.

In bigger cities such as Oslo or Bergen, there are many dance schools and clubs, sports clubs, martial arts schools, board and fantasy game stores, and other groups and locations where you can find your tribe.

Once you couple your passion with language learning, you're more likely to stick to your resolution to learn the language as quickly as possible. And, who knows, a new local friend might be invaluable on your road to mastering Norwegian.

Note: If you're looking to start learning Norwegian before moving to the country, make sure to familiarize yourself with online resources, such as free digital courses, forums, social media groups, and YouTube tutorials.

Turning the language learning process into a lifestyle

Immersing oneself in a language is an excellent way of speeding up the learning process. On days when you're fed up with grammar and highly-structured language courses, try picking up a novel in Norwegian or watching an engaging Norwegian series (such as s the teen drama series Skam).

Listen to Norwegian music, watch Norwegian films on Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK), take part in fun activities and classes in Norwegian, listen to Norwegian podcasts and radio, invite your Norwegian friends for a hike, follow the daily domestic news – do whatever you can to incorporate the language and the culture into your day-to-day life.

If you increase your exposure to the Norwegian language, you will start improving almost passively, and you'll notice massive changes in your language proficiency over just several months.

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Robin-Ivan Capar 2022/11/25 15:25

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