Community Web Version Now Available
Learning Norwegian through learning Danish

There is a website for learning languages which has Danish, Swedish and other courses, but no Norwegian.

Since Danish and Norwegian are mutually intelligible languages, do you think it's a good idea to learn Danish first (or parallely) in order to learn Norwegian or there are too many differences to benefit from it and it will only confuse me?

Dec 27, 2014 9:31 PM
Comments · 7




Thus, I would personally argue that only after having learned either Norwegian or Danish to quite a high level of fluency, a non-native speaker (of either of the two languages) might be able to benefit from the similarities between the two languages. If, for instance, you came know Norwegian very well, you would be able to read Danish newspapers etc. without much trouble. My guess is, though, that even at an advanced level of Norwegian, you would still struggle in quite a few situations when attempting to communicate with Danish people, and you may even have problems with comprehension when watching Danish television, listening to Danish radio, etc.

Sorry about being sort of pessimistic here... This is only my humble opinion as a native speaker of Norwegian, and my advice is given with the intention of making your language learning process less confusing and frustrating - in order for it to instead become more fun, motivating and rewarding.


Hopefully, you'll soon come across some truly inspiring Norwegian language learning resources as well.


In any case, I wish you the best of luck with your language learning :) Or, as we say in Norwegian: Lykke til!


December 28, 2014



What a shame that the website you've found doesn't provide a Norwegian course. To be honest, though, I would actually advise against learning Danish first (or at the same time) when learning Norwegian. You will most certainly get confused.

The first thing to be aware of is that the Danish pronunciation is very different from the Norwegian pronunciation. Danish and Norwegian people quite sadly have a tendency to resort to speaking English to one another, typically after a few minutes of awkwardly having to ask the other person to repeat what they said more slowly, maybe for the third time. Quite often some nodding without having understood the other person at all will be involved, in order to avoid further embarrassment.

The other thing that might cause you trouble, is that although many words are written the same way, or with some subtle differences (which in itself is likely to confuse a language learner), quite a few words that look the same actually have different meanings in the respective languages - which then may lead to misunderstandings. There are also some grammatical differences.



December 28, 2014



As a native speaker of Norwegian, when communicating with Danish people, they usually speak Danish and I Norwegian, but we both tend to slightly adjust our way of speaking, in order to make it easier for the other person to understand. And with these kinds of adjustments (and a little help of English whenever necessary), it will of course be possible for you, too - when reaching a higher intermediate level of either of the two languages - to communicate with people from all three Scandinavian countries. Which is a really great thing! If you ever visit Norway, you will quickly notice that there are a lot of young Swedish people here, especially in Oslo.

So, if you choose one of the Scandinavian languages (the one you believe will be the most useful to you / the one you enjoy the most), and learn this language to a high level, you will eventually be able to communicate with people from the other Scandinavian countries (with some adjustments), in the same way that native speakers of these languages do.


I wish you the best of luck :)


January 1, 2015

A humble opinion of a native speaker of Norwegian is all I wanted to hear ;)


Tusen takk for svar.

December 28, 2014

Whats the website? 

January 2, 2015
Show More
Language Skills
English, Norwegian, Polish, Spanish
Learning Language
Norwegian, Spanish