You have been learning Norwegian for some time now and you can read quite freely, you know the grammar rules and learning new words is not a problem. But when it comes to speaking, words just don’t seem to flow. Does that sound familiar to you? If yes, here are some tips on how you can learn to speak Norwegian better!
1. Listen and imitate others
When you listen to Norwegians, you learn the correct pronunciation, start recognizing the words used in different contexts and understand how to use the voice and intonation. As you do that, try to imitate the people you like to listen to. It might feel ridiculous and unnatural at first, but with time you will feel more and more comfortable. Take baby steps – first pronounce single words, then phrases and sentences. Don’t be afraid to try – remember that you sound strange only to yourself, and others will appreciate how your speech improves!
2. Speak with your google assistant
Use technology to your advantage! Everyone can install google assistant on their phone, or use it at home. Change your preferred language to Norwegian and there you go – speak Norwegian to Google as much as you like in comfort of your own home.
3. Sing a song
Singing has proven to be one of the most effective ways to improve language skills. Choose a Norwegian song you like and start singing along! It is easier to pronounce the words, you learn new vocabulary and stop being so self-conscious when you sing. You may check out our free Norwegian lesson based on a song. Or, if your level is higher, try to sing some rap songs!
4. Work on your pronunciation
Working on your pronunciation is crucial if you want to speak Norwegian better. Try to focus on the pronunciation with your teacher, ask for feedback from your Norwegian friends, or take our online Pronunciation course, which is included in our Norwegian Learner’s pack. You may read all the words, but if you can’t pronounce them, the communication will be challenging.
5. Apply what you learn to your own life
Whenever you work on a new topic, try to think about how you can use the same stuff in your own life. If you learn new foods in Norwegian – think what you and your family like to eat and tell about that; if you learn about the Past Tense – think what you can tell about your own life using it. Try to make anything you learn relevant to you and it will be easier and more fun to speak the language!
6. Make mistakes!
Please do! They say if you haven’t made a mistake, you haven’t tried hard enough. Don’t think about others! People around you most likely make the same mistake and can learn with your help. And if you are afraid of saying something weird – think that your slip of the tongue might become a good story in the future.
7. Record yourself
You may be surprised at what you hear when you record and listen to yourself. You suddenly perceive yourself as another person and pick up things in your speech you wouldn’t otherwise notice. Just listen to yourself or compare your recording to that of a native speaker. Either way, you will learn a lot!
8. Find a language exchange
Obviously, you can speak Norwegian with your teacher via Skype or have Norwegian lessons in a language school. But that might not be enough. There are also free ways to speak Norwegian! One of them is language cafés and language tandems. Try Googling “language café” or “language exchange” in your city. You can also check out the website mylanguageexchange.com. If you put some effort you will definitely improve your speaking skills!
2 thoughts on “8 tips on how to speak Norwegian better”
The singing is a great tip, even if I don’t actually sing myself I also like just memorizing songs I like and ‘replaying’ them in my head, especially while I’m trying to fall asleep or something like that. I really like the singer Sissel but she is also the only one I know, if anyone can compile a list of vocalists it would be a great resource!
In case this will help anyone else, I just discovered a fantastic technological tool to help in my Norwegian listening skills – which I feel is the best way for me to be able to develop conversational skill – which is a transcription service by a company Sonix (URL is sonix.ai). I did a test on a 13 minute NRK podcast, and it transcribed perfectly (as far as I could tell) the audio into a text file in Norwegian (so just transcription, not translation, which is just what I wanted). After the 30 minute of transcription trial it is not free, but the price seems very reasonable (for me, 10 USD per hour of transcription, so fx the 13 minute test I did would have cost 2-3 dollars). (Just for the record I’m not associated with this company or anything – and hope not stepping on any toes by making a recommendation like this – just impressed with the technology which is very useful).