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  5. Norwegain Dialects!


Norwegain Dialects!

I just did a little research on Norwegain Dialects. I'm think I have a good grasp on it. So, There are two main writing systems in Norway Bokmal, and Nynorsk. They are just the writing systems the spoken Dialect very from place to place. Like there is a Oslo Dialect. I do have a question . Can Norwegians communicate with different dialects like how American English and Uk English is?

July 13, 2015



Yes, we generally understand each other well, but as with the different regional dialects of English there are plenty of regional words and slang that can trip people up.

Luckily, people want to be understood, so if the sentence they just uttered with a heavy dialect is met with obvious confusion or a blank stare by the listener, then they'll modify it to make the message more easily accessible.

It's very common for Norwegians to speak with a heavy dialect when they're in their home town, or on the phone with someone from there, but with a more moderate one when they're among people who aren't as familiar with that particular dialect.


Depends on the dialect. I for one have trouble understanding people from the inland parts of southern Norway.

Not everyone will modify their dialect either, happens more often with older people. While many still feel they need to modify or even change their dialect in order to be understood properly, or fit in after having moved and so on.

I for one got tired of needing to repeat myself after having moved south, so when I speak to any southerners I just modify my dialect. Wish I didn't need to though, dialect is a big part of your identity after all.

Often overlooked, is the generation gap. The older generations speaking the same dialect as I do for example, use many words I barely know what means.


And the younger generation use lots of words the older generation have no idea what means :)


I would say yes...they even understand swedish and danish


It depends. Usually, Norwegians can understand someone who speaks in another dialects quite well if the dialects is close to their own. For example: Someone from Oslo would have an easier time understanding someone from Stavanger rather than Tromsø. There can be confusion with regional words and slang as well.

I hope this helps:)


Yes, we can. The Norwegian dialects are a lot more different than American English vs British English though. They're even more different than American English vs Geordie. I have problems understanding some of the dialects. The worst is the Trondheim dialect and some mountain dialects.

A part of the Norwegian class (for Norwegians) is to analyze dialects and determine where they're from. For example, we have 10 different words meaning "I". Jeg, eg, e, æg, æ, æig, æi, i, je, jæ. Lots of different maps have been made to show where the different ones are. Google "dialekter kart" and you'll see them. Pronunciation of R, pronunciation of L (thick or thin), conjugation, noun endings, the word not (ikke/ikkje/ittj/itte/ente), palatalization, soft consonants, retroflex consonant and more. That's not even considering the completely different words that people use. For example swing set can be huske / disse / rekkte / rikkte / ronse / føyse / reie / gynge.

And the tones change too. So if a Norwegian's English is poor I can hear where in Norway he or she is from. Really, I can. Sometimes people have one dialect's tone and another dialect's words. That just sounds wrong. It sounds like a foreigner who is almost fluent in Norwegian.

A friend of mine has an amazing knack for languages. When I met here I thought that she was Norwegian! I asked her where in Norway she was from because the mix of dialects was confusing so I had problems placing her dialect. She was very happy to tell me that she was from France and moved here one and a half year ago.

People from Oslo are generally bad at understanding dialects. The dialects near Oslo are often so similar that you have to be a native speaker to hear the difference. And they are not as accustomed to interpret the sentences because they don't understand a word or two. The rest of the country is generally good at understanding dialects because the dialects change quite quickly from place to place. Places just a few kilometers apart can have very different dialects. And as Ravnin said, the older you are, the thicker the dialect generally. I actually have to ask my dad what he's saying sometimes. Bokmål: "Jeg strikker sokker til barnebarna" (I am knitting socks for my grandchildren) I say: "Eg strikke sokka te barnebarna" My father says: "Eg spøde lådda te bådnebåndan"

And my father and I are supposed to have the same dialect...


Could someone compare the dialect spoken in Oslo with the one spoken in Bergen? Are they similar?



They are not the same. This video will give you a pretty okay gauge of how the two compare. The woman teaching this is speaking an eastern (Oslo-esque) dialect while the guy is speaking Bergensk.


Here is a little background information from the LearnNoW site; https://www.ntnu.edu/learnnow/info/background.

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