When I first thought of writing about Norwegian humour, I asked my foreign friends living in Norway what they thought of the topic. They did not even understand the question: “You mean you want to find out whether Norwegians have humour at all? Whether they ever laugh?”. To be fair, it is true that Norwegians don’t have the reputation of being the clowns in the room, … Continue reading Is there a Typical Norwegian Humour?
You have been living in Norway for a while, or have been reading this blog. In any case, now is time to get your knowledge of this society tested on these 30 questions. Do not use the internet to find the answers, but you can use your Norwegian partner or friends. I thought at first this would be easy for Norwegians but it turns out it … Continue reading Quiz: How Well Do You Know The Norwegians?
When you start learning Norwegian everything looks nice and simple. 5 million inhabitants in this country you think, it can’t be that hard. You’ll learn the one language here and you will be fine. Okay, two languages actually, with nynorsk. Wait, three with the Sami language (actually there are many Sami languages but they use one in official matters such as NAV). Why are there … Continue reading How to differentiate the Norwegian Dialects?
When people tell me “I loooovve French, it’s such a romantic language” it is obvious these people didn’t understand that our conversation was just about going down to the shop to buy a broccoli and oignons. I believe there is no such thing as one language being the language of love. In Norwegian, like in every other language, you will find many words to express … Continue reading Is Norwegian a Language of Love?
Yes I am surfing on some kind of language wave here (see my previous post: Confusing things Norwegians say). I promise the next blogpost will be about something else. Here is a list of words that have always confused me, and for a reason. A long vowel instead of a short one, a mistake in how you shape your “u”, making it into a “y”, forgetting … Continue reading More proof showing Norwegian is not an easy language
Sometimes I have to blink my eyes three times when I hear things that come out of Norwegian people’s mouths. I imagined this dialogue between me and a Norwegian for Norwegian native speakers to see what your expressions sound to our delicate (and foreign) ears. Ola: There is something muffens here, it seems like there are owls are in the moss. Me: Why would owls … Continue reading Confusing things Norwegians say
Unless you are some kind of language genius “What can I say, I have a good ear for languages” annoying kind of person, learning anything from Russian to Tahitian in 8 weeks, you’ll need to take Norwegian language classes. 1) Register in a language course, a.k.a norskkurs There are many schools and institutions in Norway giving such classes. Some are public such as Rosenhoff (this … Continue reading How to Become Fluent in Norwegian (Or Die Trying)
Every “happening” in Norway is an opportunity for us foreigners to learn about Norwegian customs: wearing a bunad for the 17th of May, drinking oneself to death and sleeping with one’s colleague for the Julebord (Christmas party), living in one’s underwear without taking a shower for 4 days during a hyttetur and so on. More recently, the Winter Olympics made me realise that sometimes Norwegians … Continue reading What is a Butter Boss (smøresjef) and other Norwegian lessons from the Winter Olympics
Becoming fluent in Norwegian is a long and bumpy path, full of “YEAAAHHHH I am so good at this” and “Oh my God I will never make it” moments. In the down moments, when you burst out laughing thinking THAT was a joke (sorry it wasn’t, say the eyes of your mystified colleagues), you will need some little things to keep you going. Small expressions … Continue reading How to Pretend to be Fluent in Norwegian
So I’ve been in Norway for a few weeks now, and all my colleagues keep asking me “so, how is your Norwegian?”. Well my Norwegian does not exist, I don’t understand anything at all so please don’t ask me to say anything. Oh yes maybe “Gouuyyuul” that everyone has been saying to each other over Christmas. I’ve already tried learning a Scandinavian language (and failed). … Continue reading Want to learn Norwegian? Forget everything you learned in Danish classes.