How to Say Hello and How Are You in Norwegian: A Comprehensive Guide

Greetings play a vital role in any language, serving as a way to establish a connection and show respect to others. In Norwegian, there are several ways to say hello and ask “how are you?”. Whether you want to use a formal or informal approach, this guide will give you a variety of options to choose from. Let’s explore the different greetings and regional variations in Norway.

Formal Greetings:

Formal greetings are generally used when addressing someone you don’t know very well, or in a professional setting. Here are some phrases you can use:

1. Hei, hvordan har du det?

“Hei” means hello, and “hvordan har du det?” translates to “how are you?”. This is a polite and standard way to greet someone formally in Norwegian.

2. God dag, hvordan går det med deg?

“God dag” means good day, and “hvordan går det med deg?” translates to “how are you doing?”. This greeting is slightly more formal and commonly used in professional settings.

Informal Greetings:

When greeting friends, family, or people you are familiar with, a more casual approach is appropriate. Here are some informal greetings:

1. Hei, hvordan har du det?

Yes, it’s the same phrase as the formal greeting. In Norwegian, the same phrases can be used in both formal and informal situations. It is perfectly acceptable to use this phrase when greeting friends or acquaintances.

2. Halla, hvordan går det?

“Halla” is a more relaxed and casual way of saying hello, similar to “hey” in English. “Hvordan går det?” is the informal way of asking “how are you?”. This greeting is commonly used among friends and peers.

Regional Variations:

While Norwegian is spoken throughout Norway, there are some regional variations when it comes to greetings. Here are a few examples:

1. Heisann! Korleis har du det?

In some regions, such as Western Norway, people may say “heisann” instead of “hei”. “Korleis har du det?” is the regional variation of “hvordan har du det?”. These greetings add a unique touch to the language and reflect the local dialects.

2. Moro å sjå deg! Ka skjer?

In the Trøndelag region, you might hear “moro å sjå deg!” instead of “hei”. “Ka skjer?” is the regional variation of “hvordan går det?”. These greetings have a distinct charm and are commonly used by locals.

Tips for Proper Greetings:

1. Eye Contact:

When greeting someone in person, maintaining eye contact is important in Norwegian culture. It shows respect and interest in the conversation, making your greeting more genuine.

2. Handshakes or Hugs:

Handshakes are the most common form of greeting in formal settings, while hugs are more common among friends and family. Be mindful of the situation and follow the lead of the person you are greeting.


1. Formal Examples:

  • “Hei, hvordan har du det? Jeg håper du har en fin dag.”
  • “God dag, hvordan går det med deg? Er du klar for møtet i dag?”

2. Informal Examples:

  • “Hei, hvordan har du det? Har du vært på kino i det siste?”
  • “Halla! Hvordan går det? Vi må møtes snart og ta en kaffe!”

Remember, greetings not only serve as a way to exchange pleasantries but also reflect the cultural norms and values of a society. By using the appropriate greetings, you can show respect and establish a positive connection with Norwegians.

Now that you have learned various ways to say hello and ask “how are you?” in Norwegian, feel free to practice and experiment with these greetings. The more you engage with the language, the easier it will become.

Written by Matthew Elliot

Hei alle sammen! Jeg heter Matthew, a passionate linguist and expert in Norwegian language. My fascination for Norway and its beautiful dialects birthed numerous guide posts about saying common Norwegian words. When I am not busy writing on the nuances of the Norwegian language or teaching "Jeg elsker deg" to language novices, you'll find me hiking through fjords or attempting to perfect my Klippfisk recipe. As a true Norwegophile, I get immense delight in unraveling the intricacies of Norwegian culture and bringing a slice of Norge to my readers. Håper du nyter å lese mine innlegg like mye som jeg liker å skrive dem.

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