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Working With Norwegians

Glossary of Norwegian Business Terms

Here’s a few words you might hear as your work with Norwegians.

Pull one out to impress a colleague sometime!

BIRKEBEINERRENNET – A famous ski race in Norway that business executives often participate in. Companies have their own teams and your achievement in the tracks has become as important as your resume.

DET GRØNNE SKIFTET – ‘The Green Shift’. Creating a sustainable society based on green jobs and reduce the country’s dependency on oil and gas production.

FELLESFERIE – The summer holiday shutdown. You won’t be getting much work done this time as your colleagues will no doubt be out on holiday.

FJORD – One Norwegian word that has become truly international. Fjord in its basic meaning ‘where one fares through’ has the same origin as the word “fare” (travel) and the noun “ferry”. The narrow canyons with steep sides called fjords are formed by giant glacier slowly moving across the land and carving these paths.

GÅ PÅ TUR – ‘Take a hike!’ Literally. Not everybody actually does it, but everybody likes to give the impression they do it, and everybody at the very least talks about it. Norwegians love exercise!

HV-ØVELSER – Similar to the American National Guard, this is a mandatory military training exercise some of your colleagues might be part of. It’s the one time when it’s OK to make jokes about shooting guns with a Norwegian.

HYTTE – A small winter or summer cabin that Norwegian workers like to retreat to as much as possible. In Norwegian business culture it’s not considered extravagant to have a cabin.

KVIKK LUNSJ – The Norwegian version of a Kitt-Katt bar. You eat these with your Norwegian colleagues after a good cross country ski. Norwegians just love milk chocolate!

LANGRENN – Cross country skiing is a long and tiring physical activity your Norwegian colleagues will try talk you into. A Norwegian will tell you that cross-country skiing involves the highest endurance levels of all sports, as its motions makes use of every major muscle group, and that it burns the most calories. So in other words it’s pure torture.

LAW OF JANTE – A description of Norwegian group behavior that criticizes individual achievement as unworthy.

OPPSØKENDE SALG – Perhaps the one thing Norwegians hate to do the most! Cold calling customers and doing sales.

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