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Spoken Norwegian...

I think i am going to be a foreign exchange student to Norway next year, so i have begun learning Bokmål, but will i speak Bokmål? I feel like i will have to speak my town's dialect... That makes me feel like i will be learning 2 languages... Can someone help me? If i only spoke Bokmål, would i be weird or stupid?



Hey! I have started to learn it in the end of October. My teacher said that if someone goes to Norway, he/she will sound strange anyway, because they have a lot of dialects. However, you know English and it should not be difficult to survive there! ;)

It’s true that there are many different dialects in Norway. But if you speak the dialect of Oslo (Bokmål is the written language), you will still be understood where ever in Norway you are. I live in the southern part of Norway, and when I hear people speaking a different dialect than me, I don’t think it’s weird at all. When I started studying at the university, all my new friends came from other places in Norway, so we all had different dialects. I think you should just continue learning the dialect of Oslo. If the place you are going to speak another dialect, it will not be hard to eventually switch to that dialect. :)

Bokmål (ål) and Nynorsk ( are the two written forms of the Norwegian language, you can read more about them on Wikipedia.


Bokmål and Nynorsk are not spoken anywhere by native speakers since all native speakers speak various dialects, but everybody will understand you if you try to speak Bokmål or Nynorsk. Non-native speakers normally learn to speak Bokmål, and that is ok. And native speakers will most likely speak to you in Bokmål if they feel that you have difficulties understanding their dialect.


So no, it would not be weird or stupid, most people you interact with will be impressed that you understand any Norwegian at all.

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