Do Norwegians Use British or American English? Detailed Answer!

It’s a well-known fact that Norwegians have a high level of knowledge of the English language, and most tourists can do fine with only speaking English when they visit Norway and want to interact with Norwegians.

But what type of English do Norwegians use in their everyday life?

Norwegians are taught British English in school, but are much more exposed to American English online and in the media, so most Norwegians use a mix of both of them without a particular knowledge of which is which.

This is particularly true for written English, while the spoken language tends to lean more towards the American side, or just use the generic “Nordic accent”.

It’s exceedingly rare for Norwegians to sport a British accent or something akin it.

Sagvåg skule in Stord
Norwegians are taught British English in school. Photo by Wolfmann / CC BY-SA 4.0.

The written English Norwegians use tend to start out as British English when they are young enough to attend school, then gradually shift to a mix later. Again, the reason is simply because we are much more exposed to American English in our everyday life, so most words gradually shifts towards an American spelling.

Why Norwegians have a more American-like accent

While Norwegians are taught British English in school, pretty much all of our exposure to English as a language in oral form is from TV shows, video games and other multimedia where American English is dominating.

It’s also likely that the teachers who teach English in school has a Nordic accent, or use a generic American accent.

Norwegian children are not taught a particular accent when learning English in school, so while they are taught to write British English, no one teaches them how to pronounce it like a British person would.

TV shows, movies and other form of multimedia is generally not dubbed in Norway, which means that children are exposed to American English from an early age.

This eventually leads to the children learning to pronounce words with either a Nordic accent, or typically a generic accent that they learn from TV shows, movies or video games.

1 thought on “Do Norwegians Use British or American English? Detailed Answer!”

  1. Hello Nicklas, my name is Barbara. I’ve resently learned through Ansestry that I am 25% Norwegion and your guide is very helpful. I’ll be reading more about Norway from many sources and am eager to learn the culture and how it has changed over time. 1stly, the status of women and their rights, their percentage
    in college and the workforce, the percentage of those who leave their country to find work or more. I will be reading further re living in a kingdom. It’s all very interesting to me!
    If you have any suggestions on what to read I thank you in advance.


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