Europe

Five things you need to know about Norwegians

1 They say what they mean and they mean what they say

There is no such thing as tact in Norway. Direct, to the point and without the slightest hint of a sugar coating, a Norwegian will always tell you exactly what they think. “We are famously direct,” says Sverre Landmark, who heads up the marketing for one of the city’s biggest new developments. “Even the Swedes are more gentle with what they say. We just say it. Whatever it might be. If we don’t think something is good, we will say so. It can make us come across as rude. Especially during deals, negotiations and on e-mail.”

2 If you please

A continuation from the national trait of being direct, Landmark adds there is actually no usable word in the Norwegian language for ‘please’. Given that it is a term that hardly exists, don’t be surprised that it is rarely used. But don’t assume that means the sentiment is not there.

3 Dress down

Business attire in Norway is famously laid back. “We are professional but playful,” says Oslopolitan urbanist Erling Fossen. Full suits are almost as rare as nuanced criticism in Oslo….

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