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Norwegian units of measurement and conversions Posted by on Jun 17, 2010 in Norway and the world

The United States is pretty much the only industrialized nation in the world that doesn˙t use the metersystem (metric system) as a means of measurement.  For me, learning ord (words) related to måleenheter (units of measurement) in et fremmed språk (a foreign language) can be quite difficult. I have enough trouble på engelsk (in English) trying to remember how many pints are in a gallon and how many feet are in a mile.  Beyond learning ordene (the words) themselves, I also find it difficult to learn omregninger (conversions), especially for those måleenheter whose verdier (values) change on a regular basis, such as valuta (currency).

So, I intend to provide you with vokabulær that will help you describe lengde (length), volum (volume), areal (area), vekt (weight), and penger (money).

tomme – inch (literally thumb, is about 2.54 cm)

fot – foot (one foot is about 30.48 cm)

mil, landmil – Norwegian mile (which is 7.018 American miles)

fjerdingsvei – quarter mile (a quarter of a Norwegian mil, or 2.82 km)

rommål – gallon (about 3.8 liters)

en halvliter – basically a pint (about .473 liters)

tonn – ton

unse – ounce (an ounce is about 28.35 grams)

pund – pound (1 pound is about .4536 kg)

krone – crown  (today the Norwegian crown is worth about 15.6 cents)

grad – degree (Norway uses celsius)

It´s equally important to know how to describe the størrelse of of clothing items and containers.

en kopp – a cup

et glass – a glass

ei flaske – a bottle

en bolle – a bowl

en tallerken – a plate

ei sleiv – a scoop or ladle

en skje – a spoon, a spoonful

liten – small

middel – medium

stor – large

Norwegian sizing for both pants and shirts are typically numerical.  I´ve found that this is getting more and more popular here in the U.S. in some of the stores I shop in.  It makes more sense to me because the numbers seem to allow for greater specificity.  Or maybe I just fit into European clothing better than clothing that you find in the malls in the U.S.

Hopefully now you can describe items via størrelser and know a few omregninger!

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About the Author: kari

I attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, where I majored in Norwegian and History. During college, I spent almost a year living in Oslo, Norway, where I attended the University of Oslo and completed an internship at the United States Embassy. I have worked for Concordia Language Villages as a pre-K Norwegian teacher and have taught an adult Norwegian language class. Right now, I keep up by writing this Norwegian blog for Transparent Language. Please read and share your thoughts! I will be continuing this blog from my future residence in the Norwegian arctic!


  1. BM:

    A pint in the UK and Ireland is 570ml, since it’s 20 ounces to a pint (instead of 16?), and our ounces are a bit smaller.

    I’ve never heard anyone in Norway use the “old” measurements, with the exception of mil. In fact, I’ve been met more with confusion than anything else whenever I mention tommer. People tend to start holding their thumb up side-ways, with a confused look on their face. So what was meant as an inch then becomes a cm.

    At my work, I’m the only one who can count in dozens, which can also be problematic, because, since dusin is so rarely heard, they think I’m saying tusen. Huge difference!

  2. Kathy Wigen:

    Can you translate this recipe into English?
    1. Bland pulveret med 7 dl kaldt vann og 1 beger (3dl) seterromme eller lettromme. Bruk visp.
    2. Kok opp under omroring og la groten smakoke i ca. 7 minutter.
    NB! E35 34 svaert viktig at en rorer hele tiden for groten koker opp og den forste tiden etter oppkok.
    Onskes en friskere rommegret, erstatt 1 dl vann med 1 dl kulturmelk. Serveres med sukker, kanel og gjerne et smoroye
    estatt romme med 3 dl melk. Samme fremgangsmate som for rommegrat.

  3. BM:

    1. Mix the powder with 700ml water and 1 carton (300ml) of sour cream. Use a whisk for mixing.

    2. Bring to the boil whilst stirring, and let the porridge simmer for ca. 7 minutes.
    NB! E35 34 very important to stir constantly before the porridge boils, and during the first moments after boiling.

    If you want a healthier porridge, replace 100ml water with 100ml cultured milk. Serve with sugar, cinnamon, and preferably a dollop of butter.

    Serving suggestion
    Replace the cream with 300ml of milk. Same method as with Rømmegrøt.

  4. Brenda B:

    Would you please translate the following recipe? I can use Google Translate, but the “hg” and “g” do not change and I am unsure of the measurement.

    Thank you!

    Begynn med deigen
    8 hg finmalt rugmel
    2 hg hvetemel
    25 g gjær
    7 dl vatn
    1 ts salt

    La deigen heve noen timer. Bak ut til tynne kaker med vanlig kjevle. Deretter krotes kakene med spesialkjevle for å få mønster og ekstra utbaking. Kakene stekes så til de blir sprø.

    Før servering bløtes kakene i vann. Smør og sukker er det vanligste å bruke på krotakaker, men de kan også serveres med ost, syltetøy og annet pålegg.

  5. windows 8 features:

    I am extremely impressed along with your writing abilities as well as with the layout to your weblog. Is that this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Anyway keep up the nice high quality writing, it is uncommon to peer a great blog like this one these days..

    • Bjørn A. Bojesen:

      @windows 8 features Well, the people at Transparent made the theme… On Kari’s behalf I thank you for the kind words about her writing! Now I only hope I can keep it up… (Kari unfortunately had to leave the blog…) 🙂

  6. Tom Nelson:

    I’m trying to find the meaning of older units of measurement in Norway, can you help with this article?

    Allodial land records for Drangedal are not extant for the period as early as 1603 but from 1611 and 1624 we have a good survey of land property there. In 1624, Torbjørn Jørgensson Vrålstad owned, among other properties, 9 huder of Vrålstad, 2 pund and 4 mæler grain of Vefall in Drangedal, ½ tn. of Holtan in Nesherad, 1 hud of West Prestholt and ½ hud of Nordbø in Bø.


    • Bjørn A. Bojesen:

      @Tom Nelson @Tom
      This is not exactly my field. Can anybody help Tom out? 🙂

  7. Judy Flynn:

    I am so excited to have found this. I’m looking forward to enjoying this blog. The answer to my first question was the initial post above, English translation for Toro Romme Grot. Thanks