Talk the Talk, or How to Learn a Language

iPhone Learning smartphone languageTwo Apple iPhone 6, One red one grey. Photo:

Talk the Talk, or How to Learn a Language

Our guest writer, Karoline Gore, has kindly decided to share her thoughts on “Talk the Talk: How Smartphones are Changing Our Pursuit of a New Language.”


The Norwegian government is looking to tighten restrictions on foreigners that do not speak the language, and it may affect some of your friends and family. The Minister of Finance, Siv Jensen said that all newcomers to Norway must show a willingness to learn Norwegian and proficiency in the language.

Jensen wants to scrap the current rule that states that foreigners must follow 600 hours of language classes and introduce an assessment that determines an immigrant’s satisfactory level of the language. So, how can so many immigrants learn Norwegian to a level that’s proficient enough for the test?

The answer might be in the palm of your hand.

Learning a new language using an app

Based on research conducted by Buzzador, 97% of internet users in Norway owns a smartphone. With more than half of users reaching for their phone at least 20 hours a day, the small mobile device has become a part of our life. However, it isn’t just used for surfing the internet, updating social media, or chatting with friends.

Now, our smartphones are helping us learn a new language. The Apple Store and Google Play Store are full of thousands of apps that can help you learn Norwegian every minute of every day. These apps, such as Babbel and Duolingo, allow anyone to learn on the go.

A study that looked at 4,095 people using an app to learn a new language found that these methods are actually extremely beneficial. 82% of users found that using the app 15 minutes a day, several times a week helped them improve their knowledge of the language they are learning.

This could greatly increase the proficiency of Norwegian and help many of your friends and family pass the assessment test.

Virtual Online Pen Pals

Another way that our smartphones allow us to learn Norwegian is by connecting us to penpals all over the world. This is great for immigrants in Norway because it allows them to connect with someone that may already speak their native language.

By connecting with headphones, you have the ability to chat with someone that is familiar with your language to help you stay proficient in Norwegian. According to studies, these lessons help people learn a new language faster and can provide cross-cultural understanding which leads to a higher tolerance to ambiguity and anxiety, higher salaries and increased situational flexibility.

All of these things can greatly benefit anyone trying to adjust to the culture in Norway as well as obtain a job in the country.

Children Learn Through Emojis

For children of immigrants, a smartphone can be the key to learning Norwegian quickly and efficiently. Smartphones have revolutionized the way that we talk to each other. Particularly for children who grew up in the digital age. They understand an entirely new language that we’ve never encountered before: the language of emojis.

According to studies, the use of emojis actually increases a child’s ability to learn a new language. This is because children are able to attribute emojis cross-culturally and connect them to similar meanings when they see them on television, online, or through mobile apps.

Therefore, foreign children are able to connect with Native Norwegian children through emojis that can ultimately help them gain a better grasp of the language.

Children that use phones to talk to each other are generally able to pick up a new language faster and are more efficient at reading and writing Norwegian.

The new laws demanding immigrants to learn Norwegian can seem very daunting. However, the key to mastering the language may be sitting right next to you, in your hand, or in your pocket.

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This article is written by Norway Today’s guest writer, Karoline Gore, to be shared with our esteemed readers. Karoline is a freelance writer and editor.

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