Norwegian words that are the same as English words! Posted by on Mar 16, 2011 in Language

There are more words than you may think that are exactly the same in Norwegian as they are in English.  They are of course pronounced differently, but are indeed written the same way and have the same meaning.  Even better than cognates, right?   🙂

And some of these include:

problem (pro-bleh-em)

finger (fing-err) flip the “r”

glass (gloss) with a quick “o”

ski (shee)


over (oh-verr) “ver” pronounced with a soft, flipped “r”

under (unn-err)-the “d” is essentially silent

data (dah-tah)

test-same:) the word “eksamen” is also used, like “exam” in English

person (pehr-shoon) “per” pronounced with a soft, flipped “r”

burger (bur-gehr)-same as above for the “r”

pasta (past-ah)

arrangement (arr-angh-sheh-mahnt)

festival (fest-ee-vahl)

for (fohr)with a quick, flipped “r”

bank (bahnk)

Finally an easy language lesson, right?!

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: 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. LGB:

    Hmm, I always thought that “rs” in Norwegian is about the same sound as English “sh”, and no “r” is said then at all. Even between words if someone speaks rapidly, like in “vær så god”. According to that idea I would say “person” in Norwegian something like English “pehshoon”. Is it not true then, was I wrong?

  2. Stæld Lakorv:

    @LGB: As a Norwegian, I can confirm your observation of rs becoming a sh sound when clustered – yes, even across words, as in ‘vær så god’. It’s not a perfect rule, but in most of the cases, you’ll notice this is how it works.

    However, there may be dialects I don’t hear a lot from, which do separate the r and s sounds. My dialect is after all rather rough, and doesn’t conform with as much as half of these examples (eg., festival -> /fæstiva:l/; finger -> /’feŋer/).

  3. LGB:

    @Stæld Lakorv: Ahaa, thanks for your reply, I am a “hobby Norwegian learner” far away from Norway, so these kind of messages usually help me to understand newer and newer things 🙂 I almost always forget about the rich dialectical world of Norwegian which is very interesting for me at least … Thanks again!

  4. Gary:

    Pershon, absolutely hopeless. sh is being used more and more by young, uneducated people. It started forty or so years ago with a tv reporter speaking about a brons medal and pronouncing it bronsje.
    God the kids nowadays, even order shilling and ships. (Kylling og chips). Wouldn’t I just love to serve them exactly what they ordered. 🙂

    • Bjørn A. Bojesen:

      @Gary @Gary,

      I’d love to see the faces of those kids as you brought them that one shilling and those ships! 🙂

  5. Andreas from Norway:


    • Bjørn A. Bojesen:

      @Andreas from Norway @Thanks for your feedback, Andreas.
      Have you got any ideas for a better way to cover this topic?
      Best, Bjørn (who’s now in charge instead of Kari)

  6. David Hestrin:

    Mange takk!

  7. Hanna:

    Pudding also.