It is always a bit of a struggle to find a good dictionary when you learn a new language. You might find yourself scrolling through Google search and then get stuck with Google translate, which is not always accurate. So, what kind of dictionary should you go for?
A good dictionary should be simple to use, have clear definitions, be accurate and ideally, provide some examples on how to use a word or a phrase. You should also consider your level and needs. If you are a beginner, a monolingual dictionary (for example, Norwegian to Norwegian) will be frustrating as you won’t understand much. So you would want a bilingual dictionary (for example, Norwegian to English). But if your level is higher, it would be better to read definitions in Norwegian.
Here are some suggestions for you to choose from.
- dict.com – this is a bilingual English-Norwegian-English dictionary. It is among our favorites. It has a simple design, is easy to use and it provides some common expressions as examples. It also indicates the noun gender, and the creators have recently added a verb conjugator.
- lexin.udir.no – Lexin is a dictionary developed by The Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training. It is both a monolingual and bilingual dictionary and has Bokmål and Nynorsk dictionaries. Among the languages you can choose are Russian, Thai, Arabic, Urdu, Lithuanian and others.
- Cambridge Dictionary – it is an English-Norwegian dictionary only. It provides some sentences where you can see how the word is used.
- bab.la – a bilingual English-Norwegian-English dictionary. In addition to translation, they provide some sentence examples from different sources. However, some tricky words may not be translated and you have to watch out for the accuracy of example sentences as they come from external websites.
- dinordbok.no – it has some good features, like context sentences and a verb conjugator, in addition to the translation. Sometimes, it might give many options for translating one simple word and this might be confusing for beginners.
Monolingual Norwegian dictionaries
- Dictionary from the University of Bergen – in this dictionary you will find definitions of words in Norwegian and some example phrases. You also can find a verb conjugator and check how nouns or adjectives change in different forms. Both Nynorsk and Bokmål are available.
- Det Norske Akademis Ordbok – you get very detailed definitions, example sentences, quotes and even etymology of a word. Perfect for those who study Norwegian at a University.
- Store Norske Leksikon – this is not a dictionary but a Norwegian language online encyclopedia.
You might check our article about How to learn Norwegian fast and find other useful resources. Or read our article about How to swear like a Norwegian – you won’t find all of those words in a dictionary. 😉
What kind of dictionary do you use for learning Norwegian?