Norwegian Language Blog

Norwegian Vocabulary for Emergencies Posted by on Aug 9, 2011 in Uncategorized


When one learns a new language, I think that shortly after grasping numbers and days of the week, one should learn vocabulary that pertains to nødstilfeller (emergencies).  Even if you find yourself traveling in a country with a high percentage of people who can speak English, when a nødstillfelle occurs natural instincts are the first to kick in-and this typically includes speaking your first language.  Therefore, I think it´s important to know at least basic phrases you might hear or be asked or told in a nødstilfelle.

Let´s start with a few words and simple phrases:


En krise-a crisis

I vannet-in the water


Nødutgang-emergency exit



å drukne-to drown





en ulykke-an accident

å nødlande-to emergency land

luftambulanse-air ambulance

Ring politiet!-call the police!

Vi må til sykehuset.-  We need to go to the hospital.

Han har blitt skutt.  Vi må stoppe blodet.  He has been shot.  We need to stop the bleeding.

De må komme ut av vannet ellers skal de få hypotermi.  They have to get out of the water or they will get hypothermia.

I have been present for 2 nødstilfeller in Norway.  The first was when I a student at the University of Oslo and lived with a handful of other students in a flat.  One of my roommates was suspected of committing selvmord, so I had to call politiet (the police).  I will spare you of all of the drama that ensued before I called and while I was waiting.  Unfortunately, the response time was not good at all. After about a half an hour, 2 police officers showed up.  My roommate had fortunately not committed selvmord, but rather was in his room the entire time this all played out.


The second time that I was present for a very serious nødstilfelle was on a hunting trip hours away from civilization.  The hike was about 4 hours in the mountains.  One of the hunters in the group swallowed a chunk of meat or potato and it got stuck in his airway.  When we discovered he was still very uncomfortable even after receiving the Heimlich maneuver and was turning purple and explaining that his leg was numb, we called the luftambulanse.  It took over a half an hour for them to arrive on the scene, however, it is certainly more excusable than 2 police officers in Oslo.


It was scary, but also pretty cool to watch a helicopter land in the middle of the mountains at the little hunter cabin we were staying at.  Noway has powerful air and marine ambulance divisions due to the topography of the country.

See the luftambulanse website here.







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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!