Tuesday, 28 February 2012

The language

As you may know last week I spent in class. I have been trying to learn Norwegian since November and even though I did quite well, it was the pronounciation that stumped me a great deal. So, when I saw a course being advertised in Norway, I liked the sound of it and registered. It would be one week of intensive Norwegian and also meeting Norwegians and seeing businesses. A minimum of ten participants was required. Unfortunately they never got more than about four and the course was cancelled. However, I still had time off and felt that even though that course had been cancelled, that didn't need to mean I couldn't do a course anyhow.

I contacted a company that did offer courses, both for groups and for individuals and asked them to put together a course for me on my own. And not that lousy hour and a half per week, no four hours a day for five days. Which in the end turned to five hours a day for four days. So, on Tuesday morning I took the bus to Groningen, where the course was to be held and arrived nice and early to meet my teacher: a Dutch girl studying Norwegian in University.

The first day I was still a bit self-consious about reading out loud and by the end of that day I was exhausted. Learning pronounciation while having a massive cold and a headache isn't a good combination, I can tell you. Day two however I was a bit more confident. I managed to pronounce unnskyld to a satisfactory degree, even though any word with a u and a y in it is a horror to me, the sounds are so similar to me! Besides being able to pronounce quite well, I also saw that my level of grammar was already quite high and that I knew a fair amount of words as well. My teacher was amazed of me and said so on several occasions.

By the end of the week I was a bit sorry I hadn't ordered for a two-week course, it might have been even better, but I already noticed a big difference after I got home: I listen to Norwegian radio quite often and that night I was able to understand a whole lot more than I did before! I was able to distinguish more words from the mush that is Norwegian. Because to be honest, it is quite a mush. It's fairly easy to read, but when it comes to listening, ten words become two and you have to figure out which ten are meant!

This week I will take it a bit easier, although I still have all my grammar notes to type out, since it's a big muddle right now. But I am able to buy an apple now: Jeg vil gjerne ha et eple! And more importantly: I know how to pronounce it!


  1. It seems very similar to the Danish language. Same problem: reading is fine, but pronouncing all those words... I think you are doing great! (Well...a bit as I expected you would do, with your talent for languages! You go, girl!)

  2. Euhm...seems your comments have to come from far, far away. I'm not Zipper, and I wonder why I actually AM Zipper... ;-)

    (Something to do with some account in the past, I guess.)

    It's Blowsabella, by the way...

  3. Oh, I am so impressed by you! I only know English and a little German--certainly not enough to understand anything conversational!

    Keep up the good work!

  4. I think you are remarkable, especially since I have learned a second language despite haven't taken French in school.

  5. I wish I had your determination.
    I actually studied French for seven years, and can read it reasonably well (not very well, but reasonably well) but am useless in Quebec or in France.
    I only studied Spanish for one semester, but my parents lived in Mexico for many, many winters, so I can get by in Spain, even though the Spanish people look down their noses at me when I speak "Mexican".
    Hope you are rid of your cold. I've still got something in my chest: bronchitis or pleurisy or pneumonia, so will probably have to cancel my scheduled trip to BC tomorrow to see friends.
    Luv, K

  6. Well done. You're doing really well.
    Did you visit Carolina while you were there?

  7. In answer to Jabblog's question: she did! She even stayed the night here and tried to teach me some Norwegian. I now understand why she has difficulty with words that have a u and a y in it. I would have difficulty with all worlds. Very confusing language.

  8. Wow! I'm impressed. Very impressed.

  9. So glad that meeting with that girl helped you. Now we know you won't go hungry since you can ask for apples :)


Any weighty (and not so weighty) comments are welcome!