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How to Do a Norwegian Accent

Learn how to do a Norwegian accent from voice and speech coach Andrea Caban in this Howcast video.


Here are some tips for a general Norwegian accent. Go all the way for it, then knock it back for some more authenticity, but go all the way for the caricature if you want. So first, we look at the oral posture. So, I'm going to say a phrase in my Norwegian accent and I want you to try to identify what oral posture is.

[In Norwegian accent]: "I went to high school in Norway. I would say it was pretty normal".

Do you notice that there's some tension in my lip corners? And that my jaw doesn't move that much. The jaw is closed a little bit. Now, let's take a look at some sound changes for the Norwegian accent. Well, the first one you probably hear is that "w" to "v" transition. Norway becomes "Norvay, I went to high school in Norvay". That becomes a "v". So, give that a shot. The "oo" sound gets a little more rounded so "high school" becomes "high school, school, ool". It's a little bit more rounding of that sound. Sometimes you'll hear a tapped "r" sound, like in the word "pretty", I went to school in Norvway. I have to say it was pretty normal". But not in the word normal.

So, you've got to investigate that for yourself and see when a tapped "r" feels right. And you'll know when it feels right if you're in the oral posture. Also notice that there's no "schwa" sound, that "uh", American sound in words like, "normal, mal, mal" in your Norwegian accent become, "normal, normal". Give that a shot. So, what's the musicality of this? It's a friendly accent. Yes, there's some upward inflection at the end there. What else do you notice? Listen to some native Norwegian speakers and let them tell you what the musicality of their accent is and then give it a shot for yourself.

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