All posts by fnab


Kampen-an area close to the Munch museum

Are you going to visit the Munch museum? Do not return to the city centre immediately after your visit. Instead you should spend some time to explore the area around .

Follow this way , and suddenly you will be in a totally different part of Oslo, called Kampen. Since this area didn’t become a part of the city before in 1878 it is mainly dominated of small, charming, old wooden houses and narrow streets. This is a nice place just to walk around, and do nothing.  What you actually can do is to enjoy a coffee at Javelin  in Bøgata.


Kampeparken is situated at the highest point, and in periods without too much vegetation, you can have a great view over the city and the hills surrounding Oslo.

Are you really hungry and want a decent lunch, you can pop into Dileks. This is a relaxed cafeteria, not fancy at all, but has probably one of the best eggs and fried potatoes portions in the whole city. They have a vide range of lunches, included vegetarian offers, and for approximately 100,-NOK you will get enough food to survive for many hours:)

Kampen was earlier a workers area, and many years ago this area apparently had so many communists that it from time to time was called Petrograd. Back in 1878 it was a battle between workers and police/military soldiers up here, later on known as Onsumslaget, named after the fabric owner who was the main reason for the riot.


Today Kampen is a very popular residential area, but has still remained some of its earlier atmosphere and it is very different from what you can see in the western parts of Oslo.

Akerselva- the heart of Oslo

Oslo is surrounded by nature with the fjord and forests, and in the middle: the river Akerselva. 


It is possible to walk along the river all the 8 km from the fjord and up to Maridalsvannet. Or you can just walk a short distance. Actually, you don’t have to walk at all. You can find your self a bench at the riverbank, relax and watch all the different types of people passing you.



If you do decide to walk, you will find plenty of nice places to stop for a coffee, beer or something to eat.




Today, after too many days with rain and cold, the sun was finally back. I asked my camera to join me for a walk along the river, and luckily it behaved the way I wanted:) Since I live close to the river, I know this area well, and I love it! Not only because it is a beautiful place, but also because of the history. This is where everything started around 1850, the place that made Oslo into a modern city as a result of the industrial revolution.



The river is an important part of Oslo’s cultural heritage, and still the old fabric buildings are left, but with totally different content. The fabric workers have been replaced of galleries, restaurants, music halls, TV-studios and a vide range of other businesses. The river is still the same, or actually it is much cleaner than 30 years ago.



If you happen to be in Oslo around the 22nd of September, you ought to attend the arrangement Elvelangs. This evening all the electrical lights are turned off along the river, and thousands of torches lit up the. All the way along the river there are music, dance, theatre and other cultural experiences. And you will definitely not feel lonely. Every year around 30 000 people are out walking this evening. You can see pictures from Elvelangshere.

Do you have some spare time, or just want to get away from the city centre? Take a stroll along Akerselva. I am quite sure you will never regret.

Synes, tror or tenker?

Three small, innocent words, but often a source to frustration. If you look them up in a dictionary, you understand why. These three words have one translation in common: to think.

Since tenke  is the word most similar to think, it is not a huge surprise that this is the most frequently used word by English speaking persons. The only problem is that in Norwegian we only use tenke to describe brain activity…. Jeg skal tenke på det./ I´ll think about it . In addition we use tenke in the meaning of have planned to do something. Jeg har tenkt å gjøre det i morgen. / I have planned to do it tomorrow.

Consequently, almost every time you want to use tenke , you are probably supposed to choose between synes  or tror.

Synes  is used when you have actually experienced what you are talking about. Jeg syns filmen er god./ I think the film is good. (I have seen the film and know it for sure.)

Tror  is used when you really don’t know by experience. Jeg tror filmen er god./ I think the film is good.(maybe you have read a review or talked to someone who has already seen it.)

As a rule of thumb: Synes  is used when you have an opinion based on first-hand experience. If you have to base your opinion on information not experienced by your self,tror  is the word to choose.

If you don`t have any information at all? Well, then I normally prefer to say: Jeg vet ikke! (I don`t know!)

Good luck:)

“Hvis” or “Om”?

A very common mistake made by foreigners speaking Norwegian is that they are mixing up hvis and om . Something that is fully understandable!

Hvis is a conjunction of condition. Om is also a conjunction of condition, but in additionom is used as a subordinated conjunction without expressing any condition, and as a preposition as well.

Expressed in a more general language, this means that to be able to use hvis something has to happen as a result of something else.

Hvis du spiser opp all fisken, får du en is.” (If you eat up all the fish, you will get an ice cream.)

“Jeg kommer kl 18:00 hvis jeg rekker toget” (I arrive at 6pm if I catch the train.)

If something is not a result of something else, you have to use om .

“Jeg lurer på om han kommer kl 18:00” (I am wondering if he arrives at 6.)

A general rule is that whenever “whether” can replace “if” , om is the correct preposition to use. If you are starting a sentence with om /hvis  they are normally interchangeable, but in the moment you use the word in the middle of a sentence you probably have to do with a subordinated conjunction, and the correct word will be om .

Confused? You are not the first one:)

Another simple way to solve this problem is to forget about the word hvis . Om works as three different things (just like a Kinder egg) and can always be used instead of hvis. You may not achieve a perfect academic language that way, but you definitely avoid daily mistakes.

A small glance at the Norwegian world of compound words.

Compound words are a common part of Norwegian vocabulary. We have thousands of them, made of two or three words and never written separately. In Norwegian a compound word is always written in one word!

Besides, some combinations are more frequently used than others. A word we really appreciate is the word “små” in a lot of different combinations.

Actually it was a student of mine who asked if I had ever noticed how often this specific word is in use. I had to admit that I had never paid any attention to it, but of course he is correct. We do use it a lot. In the meaning of little, slightly etc

Instead of saying: “Det er litt kaldt ute” (It is a little cold outside) you can say: “Det er småkaldt ute” A film might be “småmorsom”, and if you do not feel completely well you might tell that you are “småsyk”

What ever you do, please remember:  a compound word is always written in one word. It is absolutely a difference between “småmorsomme historier”  (a slightly amusing stories) and  små, morsomme historier (small, funny stories.)

“I feel about the meeting”

It is hardly a big surprise that one can feel a lot of different things during a meeting, but this was probably not what the speaker had in mind. Most likely he has used the wrong word for to know….

In Norwegian we have to different words that both means to know: vite  and kjenne. What is totally logical for Norwegians may cause you a bit of trouble.

Å kjenne  have two basic meanings: to be familiar with someone or to describe a physical sense of feeling. This is the only word for to know that you can use about a person.

Han kjenner  Lise. (He knows Lise)
Hun kjenner  kulden. (She feels the cold.)

Å vite  means to have knowledge about something or be aware of something. This verb is never used for knowing a person.

Jeg vet  hvem hun er, men jeg kjenner  henne ikke. (I have information about her, but I do not know her personally.)

Regardless your feelings when you attend meetings; the correct headline should be:
Jeg vet om møtet. (I am aware of the fact that it will be a meeting.)

Language resources


Introduction to Norwegian

A free, online course for total beginners. Developed by the University of Oslo.

Learn NoW

A very good online beginners course from NTNU (the university in Trondheim.). Instructions both in English, Spanish and Polish.


This is a really good place for learning basic words and phrases in Norwegian. There are hundreds of phrases and audio spoken by native speakers. In addition you will find flashcard and multiple choice learning methods. With small “chapters” it is possible to learn a little every time you visit the website.

På vei

Interactive exercises based on the book På vei. Of course it’s best if you have the book as well, but I will especially recommend the listening exercises. These you can benefit a lot from. A slightly negative thing is that all comments are only available in Norwegian. So even if this is a beginner’s book, the difficulties with understanding comments make the exercises more suitable for intermediate learners.

Intermediate students

Stein på Stein

Interactive exercises based on the book Stein på Stein. Intermediate level, and with good listening exercises. A slightly negative thing is that all comments are only available in Norwegian.

Norsk grammatikk for internasjonale studenter

These online grammar exercises from the university in Oslo are good for intermediate learners. Everything is in Norwegian, so you might benefit from a good grammar book as well as a dictionary.