Norwegian Language Blog

The Job Question Posted by on Apr 30, 2019 in Conversation

En norsk magiker. (Photo courtesy of Jan Sverre Samuelsen at Flickr, CC BY 2.0 License.)

Hva jobber du med? (What’s your job?) Many people love talking about their job, and Norwegians are no exception! 🙂 When everything else fails, throw in some work-related vocabulary to keep the conversation afloat…

– Jeg er sykepleier / lærer / baker. (I’m a nurse / teacher / baker.)

– Åh, det høres spennende ut! Hvor jobber du? (Oh, that sounds interesting! Where are you working?)

Note that in Norwegian, you don’t need to say you’re ”a” something (when talking ’bout professions). For example, instead of saying ”I’m a dancer” you’d just go ”I’m dancer” (Jeg er danser.)

As you can see, many job titles have the ending -er. You already know it from English: It’s added to verbs (action words) in order to denote the person performing the action. In that way, å lære (to teach) is turned into en lærer (a teacher).

Here are some more –er professions:

snekker, rørlegger, politiker, dommer, maler, sanger, fisker, jeger, designer, blogger (carpenter, plumber, politician, judge, painter, singer, fisherman, hunter, designer, blogger).

And here are som common job titles that don’t take the -er ending:

politi, brannmann, lege, prest, advokat, bonde, journalist [shorn-], fysioterapeut, psykolog, klovn, kokk, soldat, sjømann, bussjåfør, taxisjåfør, ingeniør [insheniOOR], filmstjerne (police, firefighter, doctor, priest, lawyer, farmer, journalist, fysiotherapist, psycologist, clown, cook, soldier, sailor, bus driver, taxi driver, engineer, movie star).


Liker du jobben din? (Do you like your job?)

Hva er den beste/verste delen av arbeidet? (What’s the best/worst part about the work?)

Jeg har snille kolleger. (I’ve got friendly colleagues. NB! One colleague is kollega.)

Det er en veldig sosial arbeidsplass. (It’s a very social workplace.)

Gleder du deg til sommerferien? (Do you look forward to the summer holiday?)

Norwegians who aren’t arbeidsledig (unemployed) usually work 37-40 hours a week, from mandag to fredag. Helgene (the weekends) are for fun and relaxation. Of course, people have different schedules. The guys drilling up olje (oil) in Nordsjøen (the North Sea), for example, often live on the platforms for many weeks in a row.

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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.