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Norwegian Family Vocabulary: Nouns for Relatives

Language students interested in learning the Norwegian language must begin by learning some basic vocabulary. Learning the words for the names of relatives is one of the easiest places to start during the first introduction to Norwegian word lists. Before learning any vocabulary, however, students must first learn that nouns in the Norwegian language express three grammatical genders as reflected by an indefinite article. The three indefinite articles in Norwegian are:

  • en – masculine
  • ei – feminine
  • et – neuter

The following sections list the Norwegian words and the English translations of some of the most common and most useful Norwegian family vocabulary.

Female Norwegian Relatives

The following words are useful vocabulary for talking about female relatives in Norwegian. The first word is the indefinite article followed by the singular form of the noun, and the second word is the English translation.

  • ei bestemor – grandmother
  • en brordatter – brother’s daughter
  • en brud – bride
  • ei datter – daughter
  • ei datterdatter – daughter’s daughter
  • ei farmor – maternal grandmother
  • ei gudmor – godmother
  • ei halvsøster – half-sister
  • en hustru – wife
  • ei jente – girl
  • ei kone – wife
  • ei kusine – female cousin
  • en kvinne – woman
  • ei mor – mother
  • ei mormor – maternal grandmother
  • en niese – niece
  • ei oldemor – great grandmother
  • et pikebarn – female child
  • en pleiedatter – foster daughter
  • ei pleiemor – foster mother
  • ei stemor – stepmother
  • en svigerdatter – daughter-in-law
  • ei svigerinne – sister-in-law
  • ei svigermor – mother-in-law
  • ei sønnedatter – son’s daughter
  • ei søster – sister
  • en tante – aunt
  • ei tippoldemor – great great grandmother

Notice that many of the words for female relatives in Norwegian resemble the English translation: for example, søster in Norwegian and sister in English.

Male Norwegian Relatives

The following Norwegian word list provides the vocabulary for talking about male relatives in the Norwegian language.

  • en bestefar – grandfather
  • en bror – brother
  • en brorsønn – brother’s son
  • en brudgom – bridegroom
  • en dattersønn – daughter’s son
  • en ektemann – husband
  • en far – father
  • en farfar – paternal grandfather
  • en fetter – male cousin
  • en gudfar – godfather
  • en gutt – boy
  • en halvbror – half-brother
  • en mann – man, husband
  • en morfar – maternal grandfather
  • en nevø – nephew
  • en oldefar – great grandfather
  • en onkel – uncle
  • en pleiefar – foster father
  • en pleiesønn – foster son
  • en stebror – stepbrother
  • en stesønn – stepson
  • en svigerfar – father-in-law
  • en svigersønn – son-in-law
  • en svoger – brother-in-law
  • en sønn – son
  • en sønnesøn – son’s son
  • en søstersønn – sister’s son
  • en tippoldefar – great great grandfather

Again notice that many of the Norwegian vocabulary words for male relatives resemble the English translation: for example, sønn in Norwegian and son in English.

Other Norwegian Relatives

The following Norwegian vocabulary words allow Norwegian language students to talk about other family members and relatives.

  • et barn – child
  • et barnebarn – grandchild
  • en besteforelder – grandparent
  • et ektepar – married couple
  • et enebarn – only child
  • en familie – family
  • et folk – people
  • en forelder – parent
  • et fosterbarn – foster child
  • et oldebarn – great grandchild
  • en oldeforelder – great grandparent
  • et pleiebarn – foster child
  • en pleieforelder – foster parent
  • slektinger – relatives
  • et spebarn – infant, baby
  • et stebarn – stepchild
  • søsken – siblings

Learning the vocabulary for family relationships in Norwegian is a great first step to learning the language!

For a lesson plan idea for teaching Norwegian family vocabulary, see German Vocabulary Lesson: German Family Tree.

Refenences

Norway Word List: https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/Norway_Word_List
Norwegian Genealogical Word List: http://www.feefhs.org/guides/Norwegian-wordlist.pdf

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