About

bilde aftenposten

I am The Frog in the Fjord: a French lady who lived in Denmark for a bit before moving to Norway for good. My name is Lorelou Desjardins, I come from Marseille in the South of France and have been living in Oslo since 2010. I am trained as a Human Rights Jurist, and speak English, French, Norwegian and Indonesian.

This blog is about all these new realities foreigners like me face when trying to adapt to a new culture, language, country and most of all to new people. In this case, trying to understand the Norwegian culture and blending in (or trying hard).

I am hoping to give non-Norwegians a glimpse of what make Norway and Norwegians so awkward and so lovable; and to give Norwegians something to laugh or to think about. My illustrators, the very talented Ole Johnny Hansen and Tori Lind Kjellstad, make every post I write come to life with their unique views on whatever I understood (or misunderstood) of their culture. I love their work and I hope you do too!

In March 2017, my book En frosk i fjorden – Kunsten å bli norsk (A Frog in the Fjord – The Art of Being Norwegian) was published by Norway’s biggest publisher Cappelen Damm. Since 2014 I am also a permanent chronicler (fast spaltist) in VG. I work as a freelance writer for newspapers, magazines, comic strips and books; and hold lectures on inter-cultural issues and my experience of Norwegian culture in universities, companies and corporate events. You can send me an email at froginthefjord@gmail.com. I have also appeared on many television and radio shows in Norway, see here. 

The Frog in Numbers:
Since January 2014, this blog has between 15.000 and 150.000 views per month. Around 80 to 90% of my readers reside in Norway, some are Norwegians and some are foreigners. The USA is the second country reading my blog the most, usually by people of Norwegian descent.

Bonne lecture!

Remember, copying without asking is stealing! I have no copyright over any of the illustrations, except for one or two which involve frogs 🙂

© “A Frog in the Fjord” 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lorelou Desjardins and A Frog in the Fjord with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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93 thoughts on “About

  1. Hey! That’s an interesting blog, specially since I’ve been struggling with Swedish myself and these languages are quite similar. But I wanted to ask if you are writing in French somewhere as well – or if not, maybe you can suggest some interesting French blogs/about French/France, since I’m trying to boost my language skills above “Can I have one milk and chocolate bar, please,” but it’s turning out to be really difficult.

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  2. No, I live in Estonia, I just studied Swedish for fun (that sounded a lot more boring than it is supposed to). But let us know if you start writing in French. 🙂

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  3. Takk helgal (er du helt gal eller Helga? 🙂 Jeg håper at du fortsette å liker bloggen min. Jeg prøver å skrive ærlig hva jeg tenker om vår kjære Norge og Nordmenn. Takk for støtten!

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  4. I am a swedish guy that lived in Norway 10 years and since then around in Europe. I read a few of your posts…. Spot on nostalgia thank you 🙂

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  5. I realy like this blog, I just moved from Northern Norway to Oslo and there is a cultural difference even there so i will say i have lived trough some of thees feelings my self. keep wrighting!

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  6. Salut, jai lu ton article sur Likestilling dans le pays des viking.Tres vrai et interessant, surement tres sympa pour les norvegiens de pouvoir lire ca et de regarder leur coutume avec un masque etranger. Bonne continuation!
    Un autre Frosk qui habite en Norvege (Fransk-Norsk 😉

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  7. Great blog, you’ve a new follower right now. I’m spanish, mediterranean, so we may have similar views 😉 I’ll see you around here!

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  8. Thanks for the joy that comes with reading it! 🙂 Having lived in Norway for quite a while myself, I find it pretty well informed and funny.

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  9. Hi

    Maybe you would like to get your money back on that “No Ads” deal because I’m seeing them everywhere.

    Anyway, love your blog! Keep it up!

    Hilsen


    David

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  10. Can you put a feed on your blog so we can follow it by receiving updates by mail etc. For a native Norwegian, this blog is really fun to read.

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  11. The best thing I’ve come across on the net in a long time. And as one who moved to Norway as a young adult (decades ago), I find so much that reverberates. Norway has changed a lot since I moved here and has not changed at all. En plus, j’arrive encore à lire la version francaise… Det gir en litt forskjellig opplevelse å lese det samme på to språk. Keep it up!

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  12. Salut Lou 🙂 Je suis tombée sur ton blog grâce à un article sur osloby.no! Je n’ai pas encore eu le temps de le découvrir, mais j’ai vraiment hâte, j’adore le principe et c’est la meilleure façon pour qqn (ici: les Norvégiens) d’apprendre à connaître sa propre culture, à travers les yeux de l’autre 🙂 Je suis professeur de norvégien en ligne et je publierai sûrement certains de tes articles sur ma page facebook (www.facebook.com/norskmedsilje) si ça te dérange pas! Au plaisir de te lire et à bientôt dans les champs de commentaires 🙂 Silje

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    1. C’est la même ici 🙂 Il n’y a pas longtemps, j’ai découvert le blog de Lou après avoir lu l’entretien à osloby.no. Je ne peux pas arrêter de rire 🙂

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  13. Juste pour prévenir… tout est pas kikoo super en Norvège. Après quelques années le rideau tombe, et ca fait très mal. Je suis ici depuis bientôt 7 ans et j’aurai jamais du. Jamais de vrai boulot, de vrais potes qui peuvent rendre service si vraiment besoin, habitant de seconde zone, système de soins catastrophique, etc… faut surtout pas mettre toutes ses billes dans le même panier ici et ne pas hésiter à repartir en FR. J’aurais du faire cela il y a cinq ans, maintenant je suis bloqué et trop vieux pour recommencer ma vie une nouvelle fois en France (la France ou grâce aux concours on peut avoir du boulot, pas grâce à des connaissances comme c’est le cas ici). Bref tant mieux si ca roule pour toi mais te laisse pas embobiner, c’est une société ultra superficielle ce pays, et le manque de “normalité”, que ce soit pour trouver un compagnon, manger de la bouffe correcte, etc… se fait vite sentir. Quand cca arrive on se dit “je suis un immigré c’est normal de galérer un peu, ca va aller…” et on patiente, patiente, on encaisse, et puis au final c’est trop tard on est trop vieux pour étudier à nouveau, on peut plus rien faire. J’avais un blog du même genre en 07-08 sur nos amis Norvégiens mais j’ai jamais continué… 🙂

    Après de longues années ici j’ai l’impression que les seuls expats heureux sont ceux venus par amour pour un(e) local(e) ou pour un taff surpayé dans le pétrole… ces derniers n’étant ici que pour remplir leurs bas de laines et rentrer en France blindés…

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  14. Hi, Ms Frog. I love your blog, particularly fun to follow being a Norwegian living in another European country. Can I link to you on my FB page?

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  15. Blogg agréable et amusant à lire! Francaise, j’habite en Norvège depuis 27 ans, dans le Romsdal, et nous avons 3 grandes filles norvégiennes qui habitent à Oslo.
    J’ai passé ma vie à faire ce genre de comparaisons entre nos 2 pays aussi!
    Mais je trouve dommage de révéler nos “secrets” sur la Norvège et sur
    les norvégiens, il ne faudrait pas que trop de francais soient tentés et rappliquent ici!
    😉
    Valérie

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  16. Thank you for a very entertaining read. Spot on!

    I’m a Norwegian myself, but have travelled quite a bit and also lived abroad for some time, and your observations are a bit too close to the mark. You really manage to let your affection for all our little quirks shine through though, so all in good fun 🙂

    By the way, have you observed the Norwegian custom called “Where are you from?”, enacted whenever two Norwegians without common acquaintances meet.
    If you have, I’d love it if you’d share your thoughts from an outsiders perspective.

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  17. Hi! Thanks so much for putting this blog together. I discovered your blog earlier today and I’ve read all the posts already!
    I actually live no where close to Norway but I am dating a Norwegian guy and would find it really interesting if you can write something about the dating culture in Norway? We’ve been fine so far (6 months into the relationship) but I am visiting Norway and his family this summer and so I’m trying to do my research, if you know what I mean ;). If you can’t find the time or enough material, that’s fine too though. I’d enjoy your other posts equally as much.
    Thanks again!

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  18. Hei, Frog in the fjord!! J’adore votre blog! c’est drôle, original et intéressant ! 🙂
    Je suis passionnée par la culture scandinave et j’apprends le norvégien depuis presque 3 ans… enfin, j’essaie !! depuis la France, ce n’est pas si évident!!!
    Un blog comme celui-là m’encourage à continuer!!! Merci!!! 🙂

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  19. Omg hahaha your blog is so great 🙂 I’m thinking about studying in Norway and it’s so interesting for me to read about Norway on your blog. So I can get an idea how it is to live there as a foreigner 🙂

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  20. I am a latin american guy living in Norway since 2 months… so I feel a lot of you talk apply to me as well… great blog, fun to read and informative 😀

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  21. …og jeg håper det er i orden at jeg trykket “Del på Fb”? – denne bloggen er så hjertelig godt skrevet at jeg kan ikke annet enn å anbefale den videre. (Jeg er selv norsk/fransk og kjenner meg så godt igjen fra begge sider!) (Y) 🙂

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  22. Kom over bloggen din og har lest alt om Norge og Nordmenn.
    Er nordmann selv og kjenner meg igjen i nesten alt du skriver. Etter å ha lest alt, småfnist en halvtime og blitt påmint at jeg må ta meg en tur til hytta snart, syntes jeg det var på min plass å legge igjen en kommentar. Stå på !! Fantastisk blogg 🙂 Hilsen Olivia

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  23. I love your French frog with beret, etc. Interesting blog …you have to understand that Canada does not get large mass migrations of Norwegians wanting to immigrate to Canada. And we don’t read much about Norway in the international press in Canada.

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  24. Bonjour, je viens de lire votre récent article dans VG à propos des étrangetés que l’on rencontre dans ce pays. A mourir de rire ! Tout y est tellement exact ! Après douze ans de vie dans ce pays et trente trois ans de mariage avec une norvégienne (et oui, je ne suis plus si jeune…) je pourrais même en rajouter, en rajouter…Mais là n’est pas mon propos. Je voulais juste vous dire bravo. Je vais suivre et diffuser votre blog dans la mesure de mes moyens. J’habite à Kristiansand, si vous avez besoin de quoi que ce soit, n’hésitez pas…
    Hilsen
    Jean Marc

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  25. hei,
    I had so much fun reading this, I used and use forsatt this tricks by myself!
    And I know a lot of this situations, too.. That`s the fun in beeing a foreigner and learning a new language..

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  26. Bonjour,

    Je viens de découvrir votre blog.
    Merci à VG.no et à vous, bien sûr!
    BRAVO pour votre approche “cultural studies” (ma spécialité à la fac) et votre humour !

    Pensez-vous compléter la partie in french ?
    J’aimerais bien le mettre en lien sur mon blog qui lui traite des royaux norvégiens … je sais, je sais, nul n’est parfait !

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    1. Chère Maud,
      Les lecteurs francophones interessés à lire sur les Norvégiens sont en général anglophones aussi. J’ai eu très peu de retour sur les textes en francais du coup j’ai un peu lâché l’affaire.
      Désolée! mais j’adore écrire en francais, qui est quand même ma langue maternelle. (dsl pour le manque de cédilles)

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      1. @Frog: You can simply add the lacking French characters ç, œ and «», or in fact any other character, to your Norwegian keyboard with the help of Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator. Give it a try, it’s free and it works like a charm!

        http://microsoft-keyboard-layout-creator.software.informer.com/

        Personally, I don’t write French fluently, but I need to be able to spell French and German names correctly on a regular basis, so on my Scandinavian keyboard I added key combinations such as ç = AltGr + c, Ç = AltGr + C, ß = AltGr + s etc.

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  27. Wow! Such a koselighet comes from your posts 😀
    I followed your blog, since I’ve had some meetings with Norwegians and especially with their very soothe language; it seems I’ve acquired some aspects of their world and culture without realizing it, or simply have had them always!

    Best regards,
    Æ.

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  28. Hi, dear friend!

    I was made aware of your blog on Norway and Norwegians by my niece in Norway. I am originally Norwegian, so is my entire family. I now have lived many, many years in the US, and started reading with enthusiasm, as I could easily recognice most aspects of your experiences with Norway. However, I must say, that I totally lost interest when I repeatedly found cross-refferences to – pretty much – “those (negative word) Americans”. I wonder what your experience with the USA is, or is it just your way of kissing up to Norwegians? Just saying. You should learn more about Amercans, probably the greatest and social people on this planet, before you rag on them for “being nothing but small talk”, etc. So, I’m out.

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  29. Petite devinette: pourquoi le pissenlit est le løvetann en norvégien et le dandelion en anglais? Ben oui, dandelion c’est dent de lion, non? Tout serait bien si cette plante s’appelait la dent de lion en français mais non … 😉

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  30. Thank you very much for publishing this blog, I very much enjoy reading about your observations. Most are indeed spot on, and similar to my own. I really love your sense of humour about happenings in daily situations many others are not aware about. While I have been long enough in Norway to see things from the inside, my cradle was kicked further south …

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