Scandinavian languages are hands down the easiest for verbs!

Scandinavian verbs: Now listen and learn on iOS!

Our new trio of Scandinavian Verb Blitz apps for iOS was treated to a major update today. You can now click verb tables to listen to the verb phrases spoken!

Danish, Norwegian and Swedish Verb Blitz for iOS use Apple’s text-to-speech technology to deliver the same experience as users have done in our Android apps. The audio element turns the verb tables into a much more interactive experience that engages students’ listening skills.

Look, listen and learn

When browsing the verb tables in any of the apps, simply tap on a target language phrase to listen to the spoken form. It’s a great way to engage both visual and auditory learning styles. And doing so may mean those verbs stick even faster.

You can download the apps free from the App Store via the following links:

 

 

Scandinavian languages are hands down the easiest for verbs!

Easiest languages – from a Verb Blitz point of view!

As language nuts, we often get asked by tentative, wannabe linguaphiles: which is the easiest language to learn?

Well, we’re well-equipped to answer that.  That is, at least from the perspective of experts on one part of speech: the verb. We’ve worked tirelessly on verb drill apps for some time now. We love verbs. And it’s given us the kind of overview that language geeks like us crave.

Scandinavia has it! 🇩🇰🇳🇴🇸🇪

The verdict: the Scandinavian trio – Danish, Norwegian and Swedish – are by far the easiest languages to learn from a verbs point of view.

Why is this, you ask? Well, unusually for most European languages, verbs don’t change for person. That’s right – they’re the same all the way through I, you, he/she it, to we, you (plural) and they.

Times change…

It hasn’t always been that way. Their common parent language is Old Norse, which was chock-full of endings. It had a complex system of verb groups and endings for person, as well as tense and mood. In fact, modern Icelandic still has all those characteristic endings of Old Norse, while mainland Scandinavia has simplified them all away. And they really have simplified them to the max – even the verb ‘to be’, notoriously tricky across many languages, has just a single form per tense. Compare them in this table:

🇩🇰 🇳🇴 🇸🇪 🇬🇧🇺🇸🇦🇺🇳🇿
jeg er jeg er jag är I am
du er du er du är you are
han/hun/det er han/hun/det er han/hon/det är he/she/it is
vi er vi er vi är we are
I er dere er ni är you (plural) are
de er de er de är they are

English – usually the ‘easy grammar’ candidate – is left in the dust by the Scandies here!

Some caveats…

It’s not all plain sailing (is anything?). Like its Germanic cousins English, Dutch and German, the Scandinavian languages have a clutch of ‘strong’ verbs. These display patterns of ablaut (stem vowel change), often to indicate tense. Think of the English:

  • break – broke – broken

The past and past participle aren’t formed with the usual, regular -ed ending. Instead, the change of vowel tells us that they’re past tense forms. Likewise, in Norwegian, the same occurs:

  • brekke – brakk – brukket

However, if your native language is English, Dutch or German, you’ll be used to this system instinctually. Another reason the Scandinavian languages are easiest for verbs!

Complex can be good!

Also, let’s not discount the wonderful challenge – and logical beauty – of complex, highly inflected verb systems. There’s something deeply satisfying about getting all those Spanish / French / Polish / Hungarian endings right. Sometimes, easiest doesn’t mean more fulfilling!

Still, simplified verb systems are something that continue to make Danish, Norwegian and Swedish very attractive propositions for language learners. And of course, they have their own quirks and foibles in other parts of speech, just to ensure there’s still some level of challenge! 😁

Have a look for yourself! Try Geoglot’s free Verb Blitz apps for the Scandi languages:

Danish Verb Blitz for Android

Norwegian Verb Blitz for Android
Norwegian Verb Blitz for iOS

Swedish Verb Blitz for Android

Norwegian Flag Image

Norwegian learners: master those verbs with our new iOS app!

Finally, iPhone and iPad users can join the Verb Blitz party. Geoglot’s popular Norwegian Verb Blitz is now available as a free download on iOS!

Featuring a hefty verb bank of over 300 Bokmål verbs, it’s a great tool for learning some core norsk vocab. You can drill down into each of them for information on the simple past, past participle, and tense construction.

Powerful self-test drills

And what’s more, it’s a powerful drill tool, with several games for self-testing. These include:

  • Infinitive quizzes – drill those meanings!
  • Conjugation / tense quiz – can you pick the correct translation?
  • Gapfill quiz – hone those spelling skills

There’s also a nifty performance section, where you can see the verbs you’ve found trickiest throughout the exercises.

Norwegian verb quirks made easy

Typical for German languages on the Indo-European tree, Norwegian features a raft of so-called strong verbs. This means that the infinitive, simple past and past participle forms often differ in their vowel, amongst other things; compare “do – did – done” in English, another German languages. A good example is ‘to see’: in Norwegian, “se – så – sett” (see, saw, seen).

Norwegian Verb Blitz is full of these quirky strong verbs, giving learners plenty of material to chew on. But you’ll also find lots of regular, everyday verbs too, providing a rounded introduction to some essential core vocab in the language.

Download for free!

As with most of our apps, Norwegian Verb Blitz for iOS is a free app, supported by minimal in-app advertising. We’ll never put ads in an actual learning game, so they shouldn’t get in the way of your practice.

Norwegian Verb Blitz for iOS is available for free from the App Store now!

Norwegian holiday verbs: free worksheet

Keen to share what they’ve been learning with the rest of the language learning community, the Geoglot team has been busy creating resources full of useful content for hacking your speaking skills.

In the first of a planned series of free downloadable materials, you can get some conversation Norwegian under your belt with this worksheet, focussing on ten useful verbs for talking about holidays in the present, past and future tenses.

Click here to download “Norwegian: Holiday Verbs” in Bokmål [PDF]

Enjoy, and leave any feedback and future resource requests in the comments!

Scandinavian trio joins the Number Whizz range

Aficionados of North Germanic languages will be excited to learn that Danish, Norwegian (Bokmål) and Swedish have been added to our range of Number Whizz apps.

Now you can learn to count in those languages on your Android device, as well as test yourself with challenging number games!

As always, the apps feature both presentation elements, games for drill and practice, and the ultra-handy Number Writer, which will spell out in the target language any whole number you care to enter between 0 and 999,999,999.

The apps are available for free (supported by ads) at the Google Play store from the following links:

Happy learning!

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