Illustration: Tom Espen de Bourg 2015 for afroginthefjord.com

Confusing things Norwegians say

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

How to Become Fluent in Norwegian (Or Die Trying)

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)

What is a Butter Boss (smøresjef) and other Norwegian lessons from the Winter Olympics

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

© Alice Baguet Illustration by www.alicebaguet.com

How to Pretend to be Fluent in Norwegian

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

Want to learn Norwegian? Forget everything you learned in Danish classes.

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.