Our history | Lingu

Our story

Historien om Lingu startet i den ideelle organisasjonen KIA som jobber med integrering og norskopplæring. Gründer Odd Bjerga arbeidet i denne organisasjonen og kom i kontakt med dyktige og ressurssterke mennesker fra mange ulike land.

Idéen om Lingu oppsto i denne konteksten av migrasjon og kommunikasjon, og menneskelige talenter.


company founded


students last year


classes last year


staff members

13 years with Lingu

Lingu is celebrating 13 years in business in 2021. Here is a short timeline with
our most important milestones on the road, to where we stand today.

"Hello, World!"

We launched the website lingu.no on the 16th of December 2008. We remember this date as our ‘birthday’. The first website was designed by Favo. Visit the first indexed version of lingu.no at Wayback Machine.


16th of December 2008

Eurovision Fever

Our first commercial was on the radio, and it had a theme related to Eurovision fever. In August 2010, we had over 200 course participants in various languages such as English, Chinese, Japanese, Russian and Persian.

16th of July 2010

Accreditation from HK-dir

In 2011, the focus on Norwegian language training began to take shape. After we got the approval from HK-dir (then called Vox),we launched what is still our flagship product today; Fast-track Norwegian Course, which is a Norwegian course with English as a supporting language, combined with online self-study, and with intensive progression (track 3).

Fast-track Norwegian
Fast track norwegian
See program

23rd of July 2011

Our first online course

In the autumn of 2012, we launched our first fully online Norwegian language course. It provided the access to a learning platform and individual guidance from a teacher.

November 2012


In the spring of 2013, we changed the logo and established guidelines for the brand.

May 2013

Lingu Stavanger

Lingu Stavanger opened its doors with full courses at all levels.

92 students

took their first course in our
Stavanger course center.

5th of August 2013

In the summer of 2014, we received our first commitment for a state subsidy of NOK 400,000 for Norwegian language training in the workplace. There were four companies in Rogaland, who benefited from the course in spoken Norwegian. Kompetansepluss is a large part of our business today.


government subsidy


classes done so far

10th of June 2014

50 hours of Social Study Online Course

In 2014, we launched our first 50 hours of Social Studies Online Course in. We had 84 students registered for the first round of courses. Since then, several thousand people took the course and gave it 5 out of 5 stars

22nd of September 2014

Video-based online courses

Launch of our online-based Norwegian Course with video conferencing, virtual classroom and individual tutoring.

10th of August 2015


Lingu became a protected trademark in education and language-related work.

10th of March 2015

Launch of norskbloggen.no with Yngvil Vatn Guttu as editor and Tor as mascot. Our Norwegian blog today has well over 20,000 readers every month.

10th of August 2016

Acquisition of Educate AS

Lingu acquired Educate AS and establishes New Lingu Oslo in Rådhusgata 20.

29th of August 2016

Free webinars

In September 2016 , we started our free webinars for everyone to be able to who learn Norwegian freely. It was a part of our content marketing. The webinars have been a great success among the readers of Norskbloggen and course participants at Lingu.

1st of September 2016

Innovation in language teaching

With the goal of reinventing Norwegian language learning, we were inspired by the Software-as-a-Service, business model, traveled to Silicon Valley, and learned from exciting services such as Yogaia. The result ended up being the today's subscription to Norwegian language training. As a member of Lingu, you get access to everything you need of resources and teaching at your level.

About the same time, we also launched our first ebook, 99 idioms. Illustrated and explained for Norwegian learners.

9th of January 2017

Lingu Bergen

After we had increased activity in teaching Norwegian and Kompetansepluss in Bergen, we opened an administrative office with Erik Simonsen as Head of the department.

1. nov 2017


By appointment with Allservice, we took over the contract to deliver the AMO courses «Norskopplæring med yrkespraksis» for NAV Tiltak Rogaland. The course consisted of 40 participants who received intensive Norwegian language training for eight weeks, and then three months of work training and language practice in a company.

10. sep 2018

Merger with International Language School AS

Our partner International Language School AS merged with Lingu in January 2019. ILS brought in a large customer base, with well-known names such as the Tax Administration (Skatteetaten), DNB and the Government Pension Fund Global (Oljefondet). All employees and course instructors in ILS continued in Lingu after the merger. One of the most important contributions from the ILS in the course portfolio is English courses for the business community.

1. jan 2019

Lingu Sandnes

Lingu Sandnes opened its doors in the middle of January 2019. It was equipped with large course premises for large groups, as big as 50 people. The office closed again and moved to new premises in Stavanger in 2021.

15. jan 2019


Ten years after acquiring the Norwegian domain name (.no), we finally got our hands on the global domain ‘lingu.com’. This milestone changed our growth ambitions from national growth to a global mission.

2. aug 2019

with Camilla Cahill

Every Norwegian learner's got something to gain from our podcast, whether it's pronunciation, understanding the dialects of Norway, cultural knowledge or vocabulary. The podcast grows in popularity with every episode.

Camilla Cahill


Explore next

8. nov 2019

Time to move ON

Covid-19 changed the education industry. Just hours before the Prime Minister announced the land closure, Lingu decided to move online. A few months later, the management made a decision to remain online - for good. Lingu is now online-first.

Camilla Cahill

12. mars 2020


Lingu receives NOK 10 million from the state to develop new, digital learning tools and make these available to municipal adult education centers in Norway. 3,000 participants from adult education registered for our game-based e-learning materials, Samanehs reise.

10. okt 2020

Lingu Haugesund

With a new contract for NAV, Lingu opens new premises at Kompetansehuset in Haugesund.

We have new course premises
for large groups of up to

50 people

feb 2021


With funds from Imdi, Lingu launches the new online course Norwegian for health professionals and the teaching materials Selenas Anatomi Participants get free classes for up to NOK 10 000 from Klippekortordningen (government funding).

22. juni 2021

Since the early days as a startup, Lingu has bootstrapped into becoming the leading language training provider in Norway. Lingu is today both an edtech company and a language school. Our team of one hundred people are working hard to create unique learning experiences.


The company's management consists of an innovative and curious crew with a long experience in adult education and with a heart for language, technology and education. As a caring business, we want to offer engaging, digital solutions for our users, as well as facilitate personal development for the people we work with.

Business idea

By linking talent, technology and pedagogy, we can create products and services that enable communication and interaction across language barriers. Our products and services will expand people's horizons and create both new career opportunities and sustainability in a diverse world.

Learn more about Lingu

Meet the team

Our history


Our mission