Dec 15, 2017

Fun and Free Ways to Learn Norwegian Language Fast

I'm pretty hard on myself when it comes to learning. I think I expect more from me to learn something faster. I was too focused on learning fast without having the patience to really learn. It was only later that I realised, it doesn't work like that. 

I've been here in Norway for 3 months now and I've been learning Norwegian language for quite some time. One thing I learned, learning a language or any skill faster is a hard work! You can't just learn by only attending one free course or språkkafe per week. You can't just learn from watching TED Talks videos about how to learn a language for 6 months. You need a system. You have to be willing. You need people to practice with. And you have to be consistent. 

Though my fiancé keeps telling me that I'm doing good, I still feel behind from learning Norwegian. So, in line to my plan to learn faster, I made a list to remind myself and guide others who might need it to learn the language. 

Sign up for FREE Norwegian Language Course

There are many institutions in Norway that offer Courses in Norwegian. I did enroll in one.  Unfortunately, they put me on the waiting list. So, for now I'm trying my best to learn the language through free courses offered by some organisations like Red Cross and Caritas. If you're not used to learning  with so many people, it will be intimidating at first, but it was really helpful for me because I get to practice and gain confidence in speaking Norwegian. 

1. Red Cross

Red Cross in Oslo offers FREE Norwegian Course for everyone. If you are living in Oslo, you can go to Norwegian Practice in Oslo. They have schedule every Mondays, Tuesdays and Saturdays for 2 hours. I usually attend on Tuesdays. I like how teachers try not to speak english at all which is actually very helpful in learning because it pushes you to ask and remember words in Norsk. There are 3 levels, 1 is the beginner. You can choose which level suits you.  

2. Caritas 

Caritas is the first Norwegian course I attended. They both have free and paid Norwegian courses. Of course I had to try it first so I attended the one that is free and don't require a registration. It's a beginners course where you can just drop in and have fun learning. It was actually fun. It's like a real classroom set up where you get a text book, read and interact with your classmates. We also sing some fun song at the end of each lesson. If you want to give it a try, you can find their schedule in this link.

3. Voksenopplæring 

I'm really glad that Oslo has this Voksenopplæring or Adult education for people who wanted to finish schooling. They have it for free or paid depending on your visa status. I went once to their main office to enquire regarding this, hoping I could get it for free. Unfortunately, I didn't so I took the paid course. The good thing here is they have an initial assessment first before they put you in a class. Basically they'll just ask you to write and read something, or say any Norwegian words you know, just to test which level suits you. Tip: If you're planning to register, be sure to go early as there could be a long queue of people.  They have training centers in Grønland, Helsfyr, Nydalen, Rosenhof, Skullerud and Sinsen. You can go to this link to find more information. 


Join Språkkafe

Another option you have aside from attending Norwegian courses or practice is to attend a Språkkafe. Språkkafe means language cafe. It's where you can sit and practice Norwegian in a non classroom set up. It is for free. All you need to do is go there, sit, talk and ask if you don't understand. You can also order a cup of coffee if you prefer.

There's a whole bunch of Facebook Groups I've been following since I arrived here. Some Språkkafe you can just drop in, while others you need to register so they know which level you are and also get the headcount of how many people will be attending. 

Here are some links/ FB Group you may find helpful if you're new in Oslo and want to learn Norwegian: 
Universities such as University in Oslo (UiO) and Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences (HiOA) also offer Norwegian courses and host Språkkafe which are open for all. UiO has a free online Norwegian course which I recommend if you enjoy learning by yourself. It's actually pretty good. There are videos and lectures included. You can follow their schedule or you can skip if you prefer to. You can go to this link to register. You can also go to their website or FB groups as updates are usually posted there. 



Other options

1. Play Duolingo 

You may want to add this to your options. This one is really awesome and a lot of people use it. It's a language learning application; like a game you can play on your computer, ipads or mobile phones. Every time you use it you get a virtual currency called lingots. You collect these lingots and use them to buy power ups in the virtual shop. 

To get one, just search Duolingo in your app store or head over to their website: https://www.duolingo.com


2. Watch on Youtube

There's a whole lot of Youtube tutorials out there. You just find them and pick your favourites. 
You can start from these links: Learn NorwegianAlenaiNorgeNorsklærer Karense

I would also suggest to try watching kids movies or nursery rhymes in Norwegian. It's fun and will make you feel young. 

3. Go to the Library

Libraries are another option to learn Norwegian. They have Norwegian courses and Språkkafe too. I also read that the Public Library in Oslo is the largest public library in Norway, founded in 1785. I honestly haven't been into any library here in Oslo since my arrival but I might give it a go soon. 


4. Other helpful links

While I was searching for Norwegian language course, I also stumbled upon websites which I think are pretty good if you want to practice or check pronunciation and grammar. 

Remember, learning a language takes time. It can get annoying for a while. It will test your patience. It will make you want to quit. But learning is a process indeed. Just take it one step at a time. Give it a try. If anything above didn't work, I believe there are other resources or options you could try out there. I met a lot of people who are not very fluent in english but they learned norwegian. There are others who do not speak english at all but they also learned as well. If these people can do it. Why can't you, right?

Albert Einstein said "Any fool can know. The point is to understand." That's the main secret to learning anything; to understand. 


Did you like my post? I hope it helps. If you find the above list helpful or you have something to add, feel free to comment below. 

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