Barneblad: Kan du snakke norsk?

Can you speak Norwegian? (and even a little Swedish …)

A graphic of Norwegian and Swedish flags in a speech bubble representing Swedish and Norwegian words
LORI ANN REINHALL
Editor-in-chief
The Norwegian American

This week’s Barneblad has to do with language, so we find ourselves on the Norsk Språk (Norwegian Langauge) page. 

Often, we hear that Norwegian is so hard to learn, but we beg to differ: you already know a good deal! Norwegian and English are closely related languages, in fact, when the Vikings arrived in England about a 1,000 years ago, everyone could understand each other. 

Today, there are still many “close friends” between the two languages. To prove this point, we would like to present you with a little quiz. Can you guess the meaning of the following Norwegian words?

Norwegian Quiz

  • person
  • man
  • arm
  • hand
  • finger
  • glass
  • ski
  • over
  • under
  • test

If you guessed that these Norwegian words mean exactly the same thing in English, then you have scored 100% on this test. You have just met 10 of the best friends between Norwegian and English, words that are also spelled exactly the same. Congratulations—with a little help with the pronunciation (also not so hard), you really can speak Norwegian!

With our focus on Sweden in this issue, you are probably wondering what these words are in Swedish. While not quite exactly the same, we are sure you can now read them without any problems at all!

Swedish Quiz

  • person
  • man
  • arm
  • hand
  • finger
  • glas
  • skid
  • över
  • under
  • test

This article originally appeared in the June 18, 2021, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

Lori Ann Reinhall

Lori Ann Reinhall, editor-in-chief of The Norwegian American, is a multilingual journalist and cultural ambassador based in Seattle. She is the president of the Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association, and she serves on the boards of several Nordic organizations.

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