Friday, June 7, 2013

Learning Norwegian language/ Lærer du Norsk?

There are many language training schools in Norway and as with everything else in Norway, these courses are significantly expensive. If it is possible to learn Norwegian in your home country online/via Group lessons, please do so.

In Norway, the usual rate would be about 100-150 NOK/hour (20 EUR/25 USD) of group teaching. This implies that usual package of 300 hours of Norsk for preparation towards Bergentesten (which means, the test-taker has fluency equivalent to that of a native Norwegian) will set you poorer by 30000-45000 NOK!

Tip: 300 hours of Norsk seems like easy job, but it is not. The grammar and esp. pronounciation is quite complicated. On top of that, there is no precise standard for spoken Norwegian and there are multiple dialects. To complicate the matter further, sometimes the dialects/grammar may change signicantly in spoken Norsk. For example Norwegian spoken in Bergen vis a vis one spoken in Stavanger, Oslo or Tromsø could sound like 4 different languages to a foreigner! Read more about troubles with spoken Norwegian on NTNU website here.

If that wasn't difficult enough, there is some more nitty-gritty to worry about. There are two main languages and one minor language in use in Norway:
  1. Bokmål (Understood by almost all Norwegians). If you are foriegner and wish to learn Norwegian, learn this one.
  2. Nynorsk - Quite different from Bokmål. Though tought in schools, in theory it is not widely spoken and used. Only 10-15% of the population actively uses Nynorsk. And in any case, the person knowing Nynorsk will almost certainly also know Bokmål. So you are in safe zone, if you know Bokmål
  3. Sami - An altogether different language used by minority population, mainly in Northern Norway. Unless, you have some special reasons, which you are aware of, that why you should learn Sami, this language may be conviniently skipped as a practical language to be used in Norway.
Here I am listing some of the free resources on learning Norwegian. These will provide a very good initial start but by no means complete. This means you must augment your learning with other medium or courses.
  1. Lexin - A comprehensive multilingual Norwegian dictionary with pronounciation. Supported by Norwegian Government , Department of Education
  2. NTNU web resources - This is perhaps the most authentic  free option of learning Norsk, by NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  3. 123Norsk - A government website providing preparatory material for Nørskprove 2 & Nørskprove 3 tests.
  4. Norwegian Grammar - Pdf resource.
  5. Skapago - Some videos on pronounciation
  6. Norwegian Class 101
Lykke til.

Finding jobs at Norway

I get a lot of request from readers, how can they get a job here at Norway. What are the skills required and so..on and so I decided to post this article.
While almost everybody understands and speaks English here, Norsk is the de-facto spoken and written language in Norway.

I wouldn't want to sound harsh,  but reality is that please make sure that you understand it correctly: "A fluent knowledge of Norwegian (Norsk) is required, if you are searching job on your own in Norway". Unless you are an expatriate, transferred to Norwegian office of an international employer, it will be expected by almost all companies that you have a very good understanding of Norsk or at least one of the other Scandinavian languages (Swedish/Danish).  Tip: Read here for some free resources on learning Norwegian.

Most jobs in Norway are posted on (the biggest classified portal in Norway for housing, jobs, dating, travel, etc, etc.). You may also want to then register with NAV or Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration for exploring other opportunities. Another interesting website for jobs search is (Thanks to our reader: Gaëlle for the tip).

P.S. If you are nurse, there is great demand for nurses here. Please read this excellent article on understanding what are the requirements to become a nurse in Norway. 

Points to ponder: There has been a huge requirements for health workers in Norway, since quite some time. Yet the requirements remains unmet despite excellent renumeration here and abundant supply of health workers elsewhere... The key is not difficult to find, there are strict regulations here and on top of that achiving fluency in Norsk is very difficult.

Lykke til.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Inexpensive (Perhaps Reasonable?) Shopping …

If you are not from Scandinavia, the first thing that you get upon arriving at Norway is the price shock! If you happen to take a taxi from OSLO Gardermoen airport to city centre (approx.. 45 Km), at a weekend night, you will realize the taxi fare (approx.. 900NOK ~ 100 GBP ~ 150 USD) is perhaps a quarter of the airfare that you might have paid from your home country to reach Norway.

Now that once you are in Norway, you will perhaps do some shopping. Here I will list some ways how you could make the most use of your Norwegian Kroner. Also read my article Cost of Living in Norway, to figure out cheap shopping for food/daily needs/grocery items

  1. At least twice each year most shopping malls go for a clearance sale (called Markedsdag Salg). The sale is usually in month of April and September but could vary depending on each store. This is the time when you get massive discounts, often up to 80% off on selected items :D
  2. Few of the most popular big shopping malls are Oslo City, Byporten, Storo Størsenter, Bogstadaveien (This is a popular street with high end boutiques), Karl Johan Gate (The main shopping street in Oslo), House of Oslo and Aker Brygge (very expensive).
  3. H&M, Cubus, Dressman, Pm and Kaap Ahl are some of the clothing chains that often sell reasonably priced clothes and often have some clothing on sale, all the year around
  4. Din Sko is another shoe chain that often has good quality shoes on discount, while XXL usually offers discounted sportswear, shoes, jacket, etc.
  5. There are some stores that offer discounts all the year around and clothes and accessories are significantly cheaper than the usual market price. However, please note that this is usually the stock from last year, season, i.e., the clothing here is new but not contemporary fashion. One such store is named Outlet, (Take T-Bane 3 to Mortensrud, the shop is located on 3rd floor at the shopping senter on top of the metro station)
  6. If you so prefer, second hand clothing, can be bought at Fretex and UFF
  7. Try subscribing to newsletter from super market chains such as Coop, Kiwi, Smart Club, Rema 1000, Rimi, ICA, Meny etc.  They all have different items on sale each week and could offer significant savings
  8. For all your furniture/home decor needs, IKEA is perhaps the best destination (It’s a huge place and they sell quite a variety of stuff). Tip: IKEA offers a free bus shuttle every hour, from Oslo Sentralstasjon
  9. You could also buy very cheap second hand furniture, utensils from Fretex store located at Alnabru (Take bus 66 from Helsfyr T-Bane), The same bus also goes to IKEA.
  10. For electronics and virtually any possible daily house hold needs, try visiting Clas Ohlson. They have like an enormous range of different products and a very friendly staff.
  11. If you are looking for further bargains, there is a flea market at Grønland (Take exit Busterminal Grønland outside Grønland T-Bane) every Saturday (10:00-17:00) that sells a variety of stuff: Furniture, Utensils, Interior Décor, Electronics, Shoes, Laptop, Mobiles, Gadget, etc. Most products are second-hand, some are new, while some could be stolen. You have been cautioned, choose wisely and bargain hard.
  12. Last but not the least, there’s always for all your needs. Tip: On Finn homepage,
    • Torget -> Til Salgs : This is the section, where you find what people are selling
    • Torget -> Gis Bort : This is the section, where people are giving away the products for free (Yes Free!). The reason this is so that it is difficult to discard old products, when people buy new ones, since you can’t dump your large waste/defected products with regular garbage and therefore people prefer if somebody needy could pick these products from their place.
 Lykk til :)