As a foreigner in Norway, one of the first things you will notice is the lack of small talks in public areas. Norwegian aren’t very chatty and are generally not used to talk to strangers without reason.
Some foreigners misinterpret it as Norwegians being cold and not interested in others. In our opinion, that’s not entirely right. It’s not that people here don’t want to talk to a stranger, they just don’t know how to initiate a conversation without reason. It is considered rude to bother others when you are sitting in a coffee shop or taking a bus or tram. But if you take the initiative, you will find out that Norwegians don’t mind talking to a stranger. They will keep the conversation going as long as you have something to talk about. Knowing how to start a small talk in Norway is an important skill.
Here are a few topics you can use to a start small talk with Norwegians.
1- You can always start a conversation about the weather
Weather is one of the most common topics of discussion in Norway. Use it to have a small talk with your Norwegian colleagues or the person sitting beside you on a bus. Norwegians always talk about the weather.
Det er så fint vær i dag.
It is such a nice weather today.
Det er så varmt i dag.
It is so hot today.
Det er så kaldt i dag.
It is so cold today.
Det er iskaldt.
For et vær!
What a weather. (This can be used for both good and bad weather.)
Åh, det er så surt i dag.
Oh it is so bad today.
Det bøtter ned.
It’s pouring rain.
Det var 3 grader da jeg sto opp i morges.
It was 3 degrees when I woke up in the morning.
Is it raining?
Har du sett værmeldingen?
Have you seen the weather forecast?
2- Plans for vacations
Norwegians love to talk about their holidays. This topic will never fail you in breaks at your workplace. You know there are always some vacations coming. Ask your colleagues where they are planning to go.
Har du planlagt sommerferien?
Have you planned vacations?
Hvor skal du i ferien?
Where are you going for the vacations?
Vi skal til Tyrkia.
We are going to Turkey.
Hva med deg?
What about you?
Jeg skal til hytta.
I am going to the cabin.
3- Hva skal du gjøre i helgen?
This topic will cover most of your workplace small talk needs. The talk about weekend plans starts already on Thursdays. Ask your colleagues what they are going to do in the coming weekend.
Hva skal du gjøre i helgen?
What are you going to at the weekend?
Har du noen planer for helgen?
Do you have any plans for the weekend?
I helgen skal jeg spille innebandy.
I am going to play hockey at the weekend.
Jeg tar en langhelg og drar til London.
I am taking a long weekend and going to London.
When someone tells you about their plans for the weekend, you can always respond with an appreciation.
Det høres ut som en god plan.
That sounds like a good plan.
Det høres ut som en god helg.
That sounds like a good weekend.
Åh, så koselig.
Oh, how cozy.
On Mondays, talk about how the weekend has been.
Hvordan var helgen din?
How was your weekend?
Hva har du gjort i helgen?
What have you done in the weekend?
Jeg leste en bok.
I read a book.
Jeg bare slappet av.
I just relaxed.