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About Norway

Information about sizes and systems in Norway and other generic information that will help you plan your move. Everything, from plugs to voltage, from shoes to paper sizes, has different standards in different countries. Will you be able to use your electrical appliances? Or watch your DVD? If you know what sizes and systems are used before you move, you are ahead of the game.

Countries have different standards, so when moving abroad becomes imperative to have a basic knowledge of the standards used locally. Paguro has already done the research for you.

Language: Norwegian is the official language of Norway, but general knowledge of English, Swedish and Danish is good. Most young people are fluent in English, and familiarity with French or German is not uncommon.

Norway has two official written languages, Bokmål (Dano-Norwegian) and Nynorsk (New Norwegian). They have equal status and they are both used in public administration, in schools, churches, and on radio and television, but Bokmål is used by the majority. Books, magazines and newspapers are published in both languages. The decision of which language to use in schools is left at the local level.

The vast majority of the Norwegian population speaks Norwegian as their native language and everyone who speaks it, whether it be a local dialect or one of the two standard official languages, can be understood by other Norwegians (with more or less difficulty). However, the minority Sami language is not related to Norwegian and cannot be understood by Norwegian speakers who have not studied it. In Finnmark, road signs and other kinds of public information may also have text in Sami language.

Religion: Norway has an official Protestant State Church based on the Evangelical-Lutheran religion. Although there is no separation of Church and State, the right to exercise religion freely has been given to the population in accordance with a 1964 amendment to the Constitution. The vast majority of Norwegians are members of the State Church of Norway, and the remaining portion of the population is divided between a number of other faiths, which are in number of followers the Humanist Movement (represented by the Norwegian Humanist Association), Islam, the Pentecostal Movement, the Roman Catholic Church, the Evangelical-Lutheran free church, Methodists and several lesser free churches. Norwegian religious expression is largely private.

Currency: Norwegian Krone (NOK) = 100 øre. The Norwegian Krone is divided into the following denominations.

  • Coins: 50 øre and 1, 5, 10 and 20 NOK 
  • Notes: 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 NOK

Time zone: Standard time zone is GMT + 1 hour. This means that when in London is 11 am in Oslo is 12 o'clock. Norway observes Daylight Saving Time during summer months, where the time is shifted forward by 1 hour;  2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT +2). 

Electricity: In Norway is 220 - 230 volts, 50 Hertz. It is important to pay attention to the voltage system. Even though you've bought a plug adaptor, the different voltage may cause your expensive electrical appliances to cease functioning with a bang in a smelly cloud of blue smoke. If in doubt check light bulbs at home or in a supermarket and read the information on it.

Electrical plugs: Type C and type F. Plugs used are round-ended, two-pronged, continental plugs.

  • Type C: A two-wire plug, ungrounded, with two round prongs, commonly known as Europlug, is probably the single most widely used international plug. It will mate with any socket that accepts 4.0-4.8 mm round contacts on 19 mm centres. It is commonly used in all countries of Europe except United Kingdom and Ireland.
  • Type F: Plug F, commonly called "Schuko plug", is similar to C except that it is round and has the addition of two grounding clips on the side of the plug.

Phone jacks:  In Norway you can find Finland/Norway phone jack with three flat prongs.

Mobile phone system: Norway is the birth place of GSM technology. GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) digital mobile phone and UMTS technologies are used for Norwegian mobile phones. The major mobile phone operators are Netcom, Telenor, Chess and Tele2. Norwegians already rank among the most eager mobile phone users in the world.

DVD zone: DVDs are Region 2. It is possible to buy multi-region DVD players. 

TV system: PAL B/G system, like most of Europe. It is possible to get video recorders that play both NTSC (for Japanese and American videos) and PAL.

Measure system: Metric.

Phone code: country code is 47
International phone calls

  • Calling Norway: IDD of the country you are calling from + 47 + phone number (*)
  • Calling from Norway: dial 00 before the country code + city/area code + phone number.

(*)The previous area code/subscriber number format in Norway was replaced by national 8-digit numbers beginning the 1st June 1992, therefore eliminating area codes. Use of the national numbers was made mandatory in 1993.

Paper: The basic printer paper and folder paper size in Norway is A4.

Mattresses: Most bedding (sengetoy) sold in Norway are made in the Scandinavian countries. Mattresses (madrasser) come in foam or with springs. Water beds (vannsenger) are available, but they are not used very much. By far the most popular covers are duvets (dyner) filled with down (dun) or man made materials. Bed linen is mostly cotton. The standard measures of mattresses found in Norway are the following 
Single bed: 90x200 cm (sometimes you can find also single mattress measuring 70x200)
Double bed Queen size: 140x200 cm  
Double bed King size: 180x200 cm  

Pillows: The standard measure for pillows is 50x60 cm.

Clothing sizes: Clothes come in European and American sizes, but sizes vary according to manufacturer. For instance, French and Italian makes tend to be smaller in size compared to Scandinavian and American sizes. For information about where to buy clothes, see Shopping.
Continental sizes are more commonly used. Recently the clothes that are imported tend to have a label that provides information on the equivalent American, British and Continental sizes.

For a woman with a bust of about 88cm, a waist of about 72cm and hips of about 96cm, her dress size in various standard is:

- 12 in the UK
- C38 in Norway, Sweden and Finland
- 40 in Belgium and France
- 38 in Germany and the Netherlands
- 44 in Italy
- 44/46 in Portugal and Spain
- 10 in the USA

The following is a conversion chart of clothes sizes:

Mens shirts

US/UK            European
14                    35
14.5                 36-37
15                    38
15.5                 39-40
16                    41
16.5                 42-43
17                    44
17.5                 45

Mens suits

US/UK                European
34                         44
36                         46
38                         48
40                         50
42                         52
44                         54
46                         56

Womens Dress and Suit Sizes

US           European      UK
N/A             34              8
 8               36            10
10              38            12
12              40            14
14              42            16
16              44            18
18              46            20
20              48            22

Children's clothes

European (height in cm)                    US                        UK
56 (newborn to 2 months)   X-Small (0-3 months)        17 to 21"
62 (2-4 months)                   Small (3-6 months)        19 to 23"
68 (4-6 months)                                                      23 to 27"
74 (6-9 months)                Medium (6-12 months)     27 to 29"
80 (9-12 months)              Large (12-18 months)       29 to 31"
90 (2 years)                       X-Large (18-24 months)   31 to 33"
125                                                 4                             43
135                                                 6                             48
150                                                 8                             55
155                                               10                             60
165                                               14                             62

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