Norwegian greetings are usually casual. A firm handshake is common. Men stand to give a handshake. It is not rare for Norwegians to introduce themselves with their first name only. It is seen as respectful to shake hands with everyone present regardless of gender or age. Phrases such as “Nice to meet you” are usually not used because this phrase is seen as just a formality. When leaving a meeting, it is also respectful to shake hands with everyone again.
Norwegians are known for their direct communication. They are very straightforward and do not hold back from expressing their views and opinions. If they disagree with something, they will clearly point it out. Norwegians are very honest and value honesty. Humility is also greatly valued and so boasting is seen as disrespectful. It is important to pay attention to the person who is speaking and to not interrupt them. It is normal for there to be silent gaps in the conversation and there is no need to fill them. In Norway, everyone is seen as equal regardless of their economic background or their occupation. Therefore, everyone speaks to each other with equal respect.
Personal Space and Touching
Norwegians value personal space. They do not stand very close to each other. There is also very little touching unless it is a very close relative or friend. If the person is not a close friend or relative, any touching such as putting an arm around the person would be seen as uncomfortable.
Eye Contact and Gestures
Direct eye contact is expected between Norwegians. When greeting someone or speaking with someone, it is seen as respectful to maintain eye contact. Being overly friendly with someone you have recently met is seen as a sign of weakness. They also do not have expressive body language since they mostly rely on direct communication.
Norwegian Culture Reference Guide
Norwegian Population in the United States
Norwegian Interpretation and Translation Services
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Norwegian Language Solutions
One of the Norwegian dialects is called Nordnorsk or Northern Norwegian. Nordnorsk as well as the other main Norwegian dialects, has its own set of sub-groups or sub-dialects. A characteristic of the Nordnorsk dialect is that “hv” is commonly changed to “k”. For example, the Norwegian word “Hva” will be pronounced “Ka” in Nordnorsk. Another characteristic is that when saying the word “she”, instead of using the Norwegian word “hun” they use the Norwegian word “ho”. In addition, the first word in a sentence is usually pronounced with a higher pitch that decreases in the rest of the sentence. These are some of the differentiating characteristics of Nordnorsk and its Northern Norwegian sub-dialects.
Another of the Norwegian dialects is called Trøndersk because it originated in the Trøndelag county of Norway. It is also called Central Norwegian. Many words in this dialect differ from the other dialects. For instance the pronoun “I” which in Norwegian is “Jeg”, in Trøndersk it is “Æ”. Another difference is that while those who speak Nordnorsk say the word “dokker” to say “you”, Trøndersk speakers only say “dokk”. A similarity that Trøndersk shares with Nordnorsk is that in words that begin with “Hv”, they are usually changed to begin with “K” or “Kv”. Another characteristic of this dialect is that they pronounce a very thick “L”. Additionally, they always stress the first syllable in a word.
Innlandsmål refers to “Midland Norwegian”. It is called this way because it is mainly spoken in the midland districts of Norway. One of these Midland dialects is called Hallingmål-Valdris. This dialect also has its own sub-dialects. A characteristic of these dialects is that “fn” at the end of a word is usually pronounced “bdn” or “bn”.
Vestnorsk refers to “Western Norwegian”. This dialect also has many sub-dialects. One of these sub-dialects is Bergensk. One characteristic of this sub-dialect is the way the “r” is pronounced. It is pronounced like the French “r”. The way this letter is pronounced makes this dialect notably different from the Østnorsk dialect. Another sub-dialect of Vestnorsk is called Stavanger. A characteristic of Stavanger is that is commonly changes the letter “k” in the middle of a word to the letter “g”. Also, because this dialect is spoken in Stavanger which is a big city, the dialect has been influenced by many foreign languages such as English. Another sub-dialect is called Alesund and it is characterized by its great use of the letter “k”.
Østnorsk refers to Eastern Norwegian. It is sometimes also called “Standard Norwegian”. One of its characteristics is that it has open vowels. Another well-known characteristic is their use of the word “ente” to say “not”. This word is pronounced very differently in this dialect than how it is said normally in other Norwegian dialects. There are many verbs in this dialect as well that are completely different from the ones used in the other Norwegian dialects. Another difference between Østnorsk and the other dialects is that while many others change “hv” to “k”, Østnorsk does not. Something that also characterizes Østnorsk speakers is the fact that they speak very fast.
Sørlandske refers to Southern Norwegian. One of its sub-dialects is Arendal. A characteristic of Arendal is that the letter “R” is usually dropped. Another characteristic is that the letter “p” is pronounced as “b”, the letter “t” is pronounced as a “d” and the letter “k” is pronounced as a “g”.
The only country where Norwegian is the official language is Norway. It is one of the two official languages of Norway, the other being Sami. The majority of Norway’s population speaks Norwegian. In Norway, there are over 4 million Norwegian speakers.
Countries Where Norwegian is the Official Language
There are around 40,000 Norwegian speakers in the United States. The state with the largest amount of Norwegian speakers are: