Thinking Aloud in Norwegian

Yngvil Yngvil Vatn Guttu
Thinking Aloud in Norwegian -

Thinking Aloud in Norwegian

- Ever catch yourself thinking aloud?  "Hmmm...Let’s see…"

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Exactly, just like that! Once you begin to master a new language, you'll find that both what you think and what you say become part of it.

In today’s article we will take a look at the words and phrases that Tor and other Norwegians use as a “soundtrack” for their thinking.

In a moment you will learn how to think better aloud in Norwegian! - What do you say when you are having a reaction to something or somebody, working something out in your head, or simply greeting someone?  

Meet the Interjections!

Hei!       This is an interjection. Did you know? Ja!         Yes? You did know ? That's great!  And “Yes” is also an interjection, of course…. Å!          

If that was a surprise to you, then you could simply use "Å" - the shortest word in the world - to express that-   Here's a new strange thing in your life as a Norwegian speaker: It matters how you say å because that funny little Norwegian vowel sound can have so many different meanings: Å =  Really? I didn’t know that Å =  Oh no, that’s too bad Å =  What? I’m totally confused Å =  I’m soooo disappointed Å =   He’s so cute! Å =   You shouldn’t have... ...and many more. We divide Interjections into 4 types: (Interjections, of course, are one of the ten word classes in Norwegian, in case you forgot.)  

1. Exclamations

Å !                    = see above ... Æsj !                =   yuck Fy !                  =   you’ve been BAD ! Hurra !             =   Hooray! Pytt !                =  no big deal; that’s nothing ! Huttetu !           =  that’s terrible, that sounds terrible, I’m not looking forward to it Pøh !                =  absolutely not! (scornfully ) Au !                  =  ouch ! Prosit !             = bless you (when someone sneezes) Gudskjelov !     = thank God !

  Bad language I’m pretty sure that you've already been introduced to some juicy curses by a friend in a bar. Of course, all swear words are interjections. Some mild swear words:

Fy fader Fy flate Fy søren Søren å' Filler’n Nei, dra meg nå baklengs inn i fulgekassa!

- and you can take it from here - you already know the really spicy hot ones...  

2. Greetings

Hei Heisann Hallo Morn Goddag

  And so on ...  

3. Responses


Ja Nei Tja… Hmmmm   Kanskje

  - and then there’s the sharp inhale:


Have you ever heard a Norwegian do this? -  inhale sharply, as if they’re terrified or can't breathe? Well, they're neither afraid nor asthmatic. They're simply agreeing with you!  I do this Hh-thing quite a lot myself, and it gets my foreign friends every time.

Sometimes they look over their shoulder to see if we're being attacked! (LOL)   Other thinking phrases The phrases below are not strictly speaking interjections, but they do function as such:

Skal vi se …    Let us try this... La meg se …  Let me see, I'm looking for it , I'm trying to remember it… Jeg lurer på… I’m wondering Vet du hva …  You know what -


4. Onomatopoeia

(Look it up if you forgot what it means..)

Knirk           squeak Pang           bang Pling           same in English, I guess... Plopp          pop Svisj            swish Tut-tut!        toot-toot Vov             woof Mjau           miaow Nøff            oink, or whatever it is the pig says

  And, by the way - What does the fox say?          If you promise to come back to this blog every week, we will introduce you to each of the 10 word classes one by one.   And now it’s time to interject a Goodbye:  

Ha det! Farvel! Adjø! Morn'a!

  What is your favorite interjection in Norwegian? Leave a comment below and tell me!