Reading Tips


Here’s a growing list of suggestions for reading and listening on the different levels:

Beginners Level:
At the beginners level we would recommend supplementary activities like cartoons, simple children’s books and various language apps for your tablet and smartphone! Some examples:

  • Book “Kurt Blir Grusom” by Erlend Loe
  • Book “Karius og Baktus” by Thorbjørn Egner
  • Children’s books in general
  • Cartoons
  • App “Learnie” (basic)
  • App books “Ruffen” og “H.C. Andersen”

Intermediate Level:
At the intermediate level you could slowly start with more advanced activities like reading newspapers, crime novels and watching television shows – understanding somewhere between 30-70% of the language. Examples:

  • Tv Show “Lilyhammer” (With Soprano’s Steven Van Zandt)
  • Tv Show “Himmelblå” (Drama from Northern Norway)
  • Wildlife Documentary “Nordkalotten 365” (Free episodes)
  • Crime “Rødstrupe” Jo Nesbø (Popular crime writer, set in Oslo)
  • Crime “Snømannen” Jo Nesbø (Same series, set in Oslo and Bergen)
  • Novels for teens, 12-14 years.
  • Paper (easy vocab)
  • Paper (main paper, moderate right)
  • Paper (daily center-left)
  • Weekly (center-left, intellectual)
  • Watching movies in your native tongue, with Norwegian subtitles
  • Reading novels you already know, in Norwegian
  • Radio NRK Alltid Nyheter (mp3 stream)

Advanced Level:
At the advanced level there is an ongoing process to make everything understandable in a new language, including advanced newspapers, all films and television shows, all non-fiction books – and even most fiction books (which have a lot more complicated use of vocabulary and references). Some suggestions could be:

  • Movie “Reprise” by Joachim Trier (Young Artists in Oslo)
  • “Sult” av Knut Hamsun (About Oslo in the 1880’s)
  • “Pan”, Knut Hamsun. Beautiful Story, North Norway.
  • “Ut å stjæle hester”, Per Petterson. Low key drama, Scandivian feel.
  • “Livlegens besøk”, P.O. Enquist. (Denmark-Norway in the 1760′s.)
  • “Appelsinpiken”, Jostein Gaarder. Sweet story partly set in Oslo.
  • “Beatles”, Lars Saabye Christinsen. Growing up in the 70’s.
  • “Forføreren”, Jan Kjærstad. Inspiring Trilogy, lots of modern history.
  • Everything fiction – bookstores and libraries can help!
  • Goodreads has a great list of Norwegian novels here.
  • All TV Shows (Nrk has many here).

Other Resources/Tips:
This is a list of starting points and different techniques for searching and finding new materials to study and practice:

  • Louis Janus’ website here. (Very comprehensive collection)
  • iTunes (search for podcasts)
  • Smartphone apps – search for “Norsk”
  • Youtube! Good search words are: “norsk”, “norwegian”, etc.
  • Search in Twitter, Facebook, Rss feeds, WordPress Blogs – and subscribe to content for daily inputs!
  • Wikipedia – read about known topics

Popular Movies:
This is a list of popular movies made in Norway, watching with subtitles is a great exercise!

  • “Kon-Tiki” (2012) – About the Explorer Thor Heyerdahl’s Expedition
  • “Flåklypa Grand Prix” (1975) – Iconic Animated Movie
  • “Hamsun” (1996) – Bio about the great writer Knut Hamsun
  • “Den Brysomme Mannen” (2006) – Comedy/Surrealism
  • “Fritt Vilt” (2006) – Intense Thriller in the Mountains
  • “Tatt av kvinnen” (Comedy, parody of “tatt av vinden”/”gone with the wind”)
  • “Buddy” (Romantic Comedy)
  • “Trolljegeren”/”Troll hunter” a parody of Blair Witch Project, it’s funny, but there is a lot of different dialects in it.
  • “Max Manus” – Norwegian resistance fighter from the second world war
  • “Elling” (Oscar nominated, about a man who lived with his mother all his life) There are 3 I think, but I can only think of the next that is called “Mors Elling”/”Mothers Elling”
  • “Mannen som elsket Yngve”/”The man who loved Yngve” Is nice, but its from Stavanger, so they talk wiht a Stavanger dialect.
  • Any kind of “Olsenbanden” movie is also nice
  • “De dødes tjern”/”lake of the dead” is an old horror movie from 1958.
  • “Knerten”/”Twigson” is a children’s movie from the famous children’s books of Anne Cath. Vestly. They made three of them.

Nature Programs:
“The Northern lights” by Joanna Lumley/BBC. This is a very enthusiastic English documentary and exploration of Norway and a search for the northern lights. Also with some Norwegian spoken by the locals in the film:


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