Original illustration by Ole Johnny Hansen for afroginthefjord.com

How to differentiate the Norwegian Dialects?

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?

Illustration: Ole Johnny Hansen for www.afroginthefjord.com

Is Norwegian a Language of Love?

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?

Illustration: Ole Johnny Hansen 2015 for afroginthefjord.com

More proof showing Norwegian is not an easy language

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

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.