8+ Best Norwegian Textbooks & Phrasebooks for Beginners

Looking for the best Norwegian textbooks?

See, some people like learning with courses.

Others want language apps. And some people like learning with textbooks.

And Norwegian textbooks are a simple way to learn Norwegian. Why?

Books guide you from page 0, to page 1, to page 3… to page 100. From your first words to your first conversation. You learn tons of words and grammar rules along the way.

So, in this guide, you get…

Best Norwegian Textbooks & Phrasebooks

best norwegian textbooks

1. Sett i gang

This textbook is used in universities so it definitely deserves a spot on the best Norwegian textbooks list. Sett i gang, meaning “let’s get started” is designed for North American learners who are interested in Norwegian.

  • Publisher: Createspace
  • Pages: 233

As with other books, you’ll learn basic words, phrases, how to talk about yourself, sample dialogs,  tons of culture, and…  it is also well written so you’ll find the learning process simple and enjoyable.

2. The Mystery of Nils. Part 1 – Norwegian Course for Beginners.

This may be one of the best Norwegian textbooks out there. Not because I said so, but because of just how many 5-star well-thought-out reviews there are.

  • By Skapago
  • Pages: 230

So, what’s the big deal? From chapter 1, you’re already reading a simple Norwegian story (a story about “Nils”) that builds up from chapter to chapter. You’re not just taught the usual, “Hi, how are you” phrases here. Then after every story, you get the grammar explanations, word lists and exercises to nail it all in.

So, the big deal is in the writing style and presentation of the book. Very simple to get through.

  • Conclusion: Good overall textbook.

Yes, there is also audio for you to listen to.

3. Colloquial Norwegian (Colloquial Series)

This is another solid textbook for learning Norwegian, and a whopper of one at that – over 391 pages.

  • By Routledge
  • Pages: 391

So, if you want a comprehensive approach to Norwegian — speaking, listening, reading, writing, grammar, exercises, and more — this is a valuable resource. Yes, it also comes with audio (CDs).

  • Conclusion: Good overall textbook.

The only downside? If you’re not serious and want a gentle introduction, maybe you’d do better with something lighter than a 300+ page book. And if so, check out the Norwegian phrasebooks down below in this guide.

4. Complete Norwegian Beginner to Intermediate Course: Learn to read, write, speak and understand a new language

This is another good textbook that promises to take you to the Intermediate level.

Definitely a strong contender on my list of best Norwegian textbooks.

  • Pages: 288
  • by Teach Yourself

This 15 chapter textbook seems to cover it all: grammar explanations, dialogues, vocabulary, exercises, and cultural insights. The only complaint (from some people) is that it may be too fast-paced for some learners – however that may be just a personal preference.

I do like the promise of getting you to the B1/B2 (Intermediate) level.

5. Norwegian Tutor: Grammar and Vocabulary Workbook

Why is a “workbook” on my list of best Norwegian textbooks?

  • Pages: 262
  • By Teach Yourself

Well, it’s one thing to just “read” things and passively take them in. It’s another thing to practice and do exercises. Reading puts information into your head temporarily. Exercises make the information STICK like gum under the table.

Here you get 200 grammar and vocabulary exercises to help you master Norwegian. And yes, there’s an answer key too, so no worries.

  • Conclusion: Good for vocabulary and grammar. Good for practice and making things stick.

6. Short Stories in Norwegian for Beginners

You know what’s a good way to learn Norwegian? Through stories!

  • Pages: 224
  • By Teach Yourself

This 224-page story book has 8 stories to help you get immersed in Norwegian and read. That way, you have “fun” and pick up words along the way. There’s also an audio version (sold separately.)  There are also plot summaries for each story, review questions and vocabulary list after every story – although lists don’t have ALL words. So, you may need a dictionary for this.

7. Norwegian: An Essential Grammar

Now, if you’re looking to level up your Norwegian and speak on a more native level… you’ll need grammar. You’ll need to know the different kinds of sentence patterns so that you can express yourself better.

And this is where the Norwegian Essential Grammar book comes in.

This is a good book for Beginners that are not just wanting to get their feet wet…but who want to improve and are planning to study the language for years. It’s 208 pages long and is filled with grammar rules and explanations. However, it does lack exercises.

Grammar books can be “heavy” to take on. So, I wouldn’t advise spending hours at a time. Study in short spurts.

8. Berlitz Phrase Book & Dictionary Norwegian

Berlitz is well known for their language books and dictionaries.

And a dictionary, while not a textbook, will still be very useful to any Norwegian learner.

Mostly geared towards travelers, this 224-page book promises to teach you over 3000 words and phrases. It also includes phonetic guides to help you pronounce the words. Good little book to have as reference for words.


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These are some of the best Norwegian textbooks and books I’ve found so far.

But, if you want something a little more than a “book,” then I recommend NorwegianClass101.

NorwegianClass101 is a Norwegian learning program. You get audio/video lessons made by real teachers. The lessons get you speaking in minutes and are just 3-15 minutes in length. Just press the play button below to check out a lesson.

So, if you want to HEAR real Norwegian and learn faster with a program, I recommend them.

Click here to get a Free Lifetime Account at NorwegianClass101.com.

– The Main Junkie