Norwegian Language Blog

17 a-may-zing Norway facts Posted by on May 17, 2016 in Nature, Traditions

Photo courtesy of liknes at Flickr. (CC License; no changes were made.)

Photo courtesy of liknes at Flickr. (CC License; no changes were made.)

Gratulerer med dagen! (Happy Constitution day!) I dag er det 17. mai (today is May 17th), and store og små (big ones and little ones) have been out in the streets of Norway to celebrate their grunnlov (Constitution) and frihet (freedom). Here’s 17 things that help making Norway so amazing:

  1. Norges kvinnelandslag i håndball (Norway women’s national handball team) won the latest World Championship (in 2015)
  2. Norwegian Magnus Carlsen is verdensmester i sjakk (World Champion of Chess)
  3. together with Swedish, Norwegian is one of very few European languages with Chinese-style tones (word melodies)
  4. Europe’s northernmost point is Knivskjellodden in Norway
  5. the sounds rever (foxes) make were the inspiration for Norway’s biggest YouTube sensation
  6. Frihetsgudinna (the Statue of Liberty) was made with norsk kopper (Norwegian copper)
  7. no matter where you live in Norway, naturen (Nature) is never far away
  8. on 17. mai Norwegians go out of their way to wear bunader (national costumes) and sing! 🙂
  9. in Norway, påska (Easter) is almost bigger than jula (Christmas) – people go skiing, read crime novels and eat oranges and Kvikk Lunsj chocolate
  10. Norwegians are not afraid of speaking dialekter – while people in many other countries are trying to ”fit in” and maybe hide themselves a bit in the mainstream, Norwegians proudly reveal their local origins…
  11. thanks to its fjorder, Norskekysten (the Norwegian coast) is among the world’s most beautiful shorelines – in fact it’s mentioned in the sci-fi hit The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, where a ”galactic designer” has won an award for it! 🙂
  12. Norwegian athletes have won more medals at Vinter-OL (Winter Olympic Games) than any other nation (currently 329)
  13. for some reason, Norwegians love Grandiosa frozen pizza, also referred to as ”grandis”
  14. Fossekall (by Thomas Kraft at Wikimedia Commons, CC License)

    Fossekall (by Thomas Kraft at Wikimedia Commons, CC License)

    Norway’s national bird is the little black-and-white river bird fossekall (”waterfall guy” = White-throated dipper)

  15. Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen was the first to reach Sydpolen (the South Pole, in 1911), and his landsmann (co-patriote) Thor Heyerdahl sailed all the way from Peru to Polynesia on a primitive raft (in 1947)
  16. history’s first troll was Norwegian (and a woman)
  17. Home of Nobels fredspris (the Nobel Peace Prize), Norway has so much likestilling (equality) that 9 out of 10 new fathers go on paid pappapermisjon (paternity leave), for 12 weeks or more, to spend time with their babies
Tags: , , , , ,
Keep learning Norwegian with us!

Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Try it Free Find it at your Library
Share this:
Pin it

About the Author: Bjørn A. Bojesen

I was born in Denmark, but spent large parts of my childhood and study years in Norway. I later returned to Denmark, where I finished my MA in Scandinavian Studies. Having relatives in Sweden as well, I feel very Scandinavian! I enjoy reading and travelling, and sharing stories with you! You’re always welcome to share your thoughts with me and the other readers.


  1. Antonio Consiglieri:

    Thor Heyerdahl sailed from Callao, Perú. Not Ecuador

    • Bjørn A. Bojesen:

      @Antonio Consiglieri @Antonio – You’re right. I’m correcting the article. Thanks! 🙂