Norwegian Language Blog

Going on holiday Posted by on Jul 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

Norwegians rarely stay at home during the whole sommerferie (summer holiday), as most people can afford to go somewhere more exciting. A favorite destination is hytta (the cabin). Many families keep a cabin or cottage på fjellet (in the mountains, literally ’on the mountain’) or ved fjorden (at the fjord). These cottages can be everything from primitive huts (where you have to fetch water from a nearby bekk, ’brook’, and light candles in the evening) to luxury chalets with all the facilities of a modern house.

A lot of Norwegians go abroad. The reisemål (destination, literally ’travel aim’) of choice for many people is still Syden (”the South”) – in theory any place with crowded beaches, palms, cheap drinks and a realistic chance to get tanned. In practice, though, Syden means the Mediterranean Countries: Tyrkia (Turkey), Hellas (Greece), Italia, Spania, Portugal, Malta, Tunisia and a couple of others. In recent years, as Norwegians have become more affluent, the sphere of ”ordinary people’s” possible vacation whereabouts has grown considerably, comprising such faraway places as South Eastern Asia, Australia, Eastern Africa and South America.

The neighbouring Danmark is also popular among many barnefamilier (children’s families), as it has a lot of beaches, cheaper and more readily available øl og sigaretter (beer and cigarettes – for the parents!), and a language quite similar to Norwegian. In fact, a tourist agency ran a slogan for so many years that is has become a cliché among Norwegians: Det er deilig å være norsk – i Danmark. ”It is enjoyable being a Norwegian – in Denmark.”

Let’s take a look at a few phrases that might come handy when you’re on holiday with Norwegians:

Hei, snakker du norsk/engelsk/samisk?
Hello, do you speak Norwegian/English/Sami?

Jeg leter etter minibanken.
I’m looking for the ATM.

Hvor mye er dette i norske kroner?
How much is this in Norwegian kroner?

Vet du hvor hotellet ligger?
Do you know where the hotel is (literally: ’lays’)?

To øl, takk.
Two beers, please.

Jeg føler meg ganske full nå.
I feel quite drunk now.

Hvor lenge skal dere være her, da?
How long are you supposed to be here, then?

Vi kom med flyet i går, og vi drar igjen på søndag.
We came with the plane yesterday, and we’re leaving again on Sunday.

Parasoll, badebukser, bikini, badeball, sandaler, håndkle.

Parasol, swimming trunks, bikini, beach ball, sandals, towel.

Du er søt, kan jeg få smøre solkrem på ryggen din?

You’re cute, may I rub suntan lotion on your back?

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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. bites dans l’anus:

    Je ne suis pas du même opinion…cependant, je vous remercie pour la tournure de ce sujet qui le rend très plaisant à la lecture.

    • Bjørn A. Bojesen:

      @bites dans l'anus I’m sorry, I don’t speak French, but I guess you say that you’re not ”of the same opinion”?
      And that you nevertheless enjoyed reading the blog?