Learn Norwegian!

When you learn Norwegian you gain access to nearly all of Scandinavia. That's because Norwegian is so closely related to its neighboring languages, Danish and Swedish, that there is a significant level of mutual intelligibility, that is, a speaker of one language can understand a speaker of the others. Written Norwegian is very similar to Danish, but spoken Norwegian has a clearer pronunciation and is a little easier to pronounce than Swedish.

Like its cousin languages, and perhaps most surprising, there are few commercial language learning products available for those native English speakers who want to learn Norwegian. Some of the more widely known companies don't produce anything, others produce only limited, or less comprehensive products. Your best bet for self-study may be to get two or more complementary products, which I usually recommend anyway. Before you begin, check the How to Learn Languages page and the Learning Tips page to help put together a comprehensive lesson plan for yourself. Here are some of the best products available to learn Norwegian :

Internet/Free Norwegian in 5 minutes a Month
This is a basic course to learn Norwegian at the website for the Sons of Norway. It's free, but you must be a member to access the sound files.

Internet/Free Norword. This is a free email course to learn Norwegian. You receive an email a day with a phrase, it's translation, pronunciation and other uses of it. It's a great supplement for a more formal course. There is also a link to an online group for those learning Norwegian.

Internet/Free Transparent Language offers a free vocabulary trainer to get started learning Norwegian. Get your Free BYKI™ Lite download by Transparent Language

Book/Audio Combo/Inexpensive
Teach Yourself Norwegian
The longstanding Teach Yourself series has always had the widest variety of languages of any publisher. The coursebook comes with two audio CDs and is available in most bookstores or online. It is the most cost effective way to begin learning Norwegian.

Book Teach Yourself Norwegian (old version)
Published by David McKay Company or English Universities Press in the 50's, 60' and 70's, these old Teach Yourself books are great grammar-intensive workouts with lots of little exercises. They are out of print but can be found in used bookstores or online at ABE Books.com, a great online book exchange of booksellers around the world.


This inexpensive software program to learn Norwegian is a great tool to have in your arsenal. Lots of vocabulary and phrases, dialogues, audio from native speakers, games and activities and much more to get you started on your path to learn Norwegian.

Audio Only
Pimsleur Norwegian Comprehensive
Pimsleur Norwegian Comprehensive Level 1 is a new addition to the Pimsleur line. This 30 lesson course is an upgrade from the previous 10 lesson Norwegian Compact course.

Pimsleurs all-audio format is a great introduction to the language, and with it you'll develop a better accent and conversation ability than with any other published language method. It's a great way to begin to learn Norwegian. For a more in-depth look at how Pimsleur products work, read my review of Pimsleur products.

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"For centuries scholars studied all the world's languages, living and dead, in a valiant effort to prove that once upon a time, we all spoke the same tongue. The premise is a beautiful lie. Our only solace is knowing that even though we never shared the same language, we have often shared the same thoughts. It's my good fortune that these shared thoughts are so often expressed in different ways."

- Suzanne Brock

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