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Does anyone here speak Norwegian?



  • @Fenrir

    Tribe mentality and "småborgerlighed" conflicts a lot with my values.

    Edit: "Småborgerlig" = petty bourgeoisie :) (just looked it up)
    You shouldn't move to Norway then :)

  • JoshuaJoshua Veteran
    edited February 2011
    taler som om man har kartofler i munden.
    Haha, I had a Norwegian person tell me this in English, I didn't know it was a common phrase though. Too funny. Danish doesn't sound so terrible to me, it's more subtle, though of course when a Dane speaks in English with a really bad accent it's terrible, it sounds like an ogre. Sorry if this offends the Danes here. :rolleyes:

    Google translates 'småborgerlig' as 'Philistine' LOL!


    Yes, with rythm I meant the speed - I once heard a radio programme about Danish and its relation to the other Nordic languages. It was said that Danish has a "machine gun rythm" (which isn't a rythm at all - it was described as "dakdakdakdakdak"). Norwegian was said to have a "DAKdak, DAKdak, DAKdak"-rythm :)
    This has absolutely nothing to do with this conversation, but I'm reminded of the ancient, expanding Roman empire, when confronted with the Germanic tribes they were said to be saying, "Barbarbarbar!", hence the name: Barbarian. hehe


    One thing is confusing me a bit about the pronunciation of an adjective's vowel when inflected into either the neuter or plural, e.g.:

    hvit - I expect to be a long i, but what about hvitt, standard rules say this is a short i?

    bo - I expect this to be long also, like an 'u' as opposed to a long o like in som, however in the past tense bodde I'd expect this to be short, like in your name.

    I did have another question but I think I figured it out, let me verify it. You can't double an 'm' at the end of a word, correct? Therefore dum has a short u, therefore the plural dumme has the same short vowel?

    Thank you!!
  • "Hvit" (white) is pronounced with a longer I than "Hvitt". You probably know this, but you don't really pronounce the H, so "Hvit" will be more like "vi-t", and "Hvitt" will be like "vitt". Also be ware that some dialects (mine being among them) pronounce it "kvitt" and "kvi-t" (the - means the letter is long, didn't know how else to portray it)

    The O in "bo" (live) is short, while in "bodde" (lived) the emphasis is mostly on the D, so it can sound almost as if the O disappears.

    Well, I can't think of any words with a double M at the end, so your assumption that the U in "dumme" (stupid) is short is correct. Also note that the U in "dum" is pronounced like an O (domme)

    Now, I answer as all of these questions as they are pronounced, and I can't really back up my explanations with any rules, I'm like "It's just the way it is". I hope I'm not confusing you in any way, or going against anything you've read or heard. If I do, please let me know, and I'll check my "facts".
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    You're the nicest viking I've ever met, @Jokke. :)
  • JoshuaJoshua Veteran
    edited February 2011
    lol, yes he is.

    @Jokke, you've never really contradicted anything I've read except when you say dum is pronounced with an 'o' and I think it was bok that you said is pronounced with an 'o' also when I'd expect a 'u', however this isn't necessarily bad. English and Norwegian say their 'o' and 'u' a bit differently and when considering that they are very similar sounds (I mean, there really isn't even an 'o' in English, it's like a schwa followed by a 'u' to make some strange diphthong that we pretend is 'o') already it is no wonder that they are confusing. When I listen to 'som' honestly it sounds 60/40 with a stronger 'o', but it's really hard to distinguish.

    Thank you though again, my Norwegian is getting better. I don't practice as much as I'd like but it's so easy when you speak English it doesn't really matter. The real question is memorizing vocabulary and then biting the bullet and buying a Norwegian novel with my crappy American dollars, it will cost me $50-$100 dollars for a decent sized, popular book. Sigh.
  • edited February 2011
    Have you considered going to Norwegian news-sites (, and reading some articles there? Or hear some Norwegian songs and translate the lyrics?

    Also, doing some searching:øker&nav=contentclasses:public

    This site apparently has a large collection of free digital books, some of which are downloadable. A quick glance through the directory shows that there close to none written in modern Norwegian, but it may be worth a peek.
  • @ Jokke

    I uttered a wish for moving to Norway, yes. Because Norway has the social system of Denmark without the neo-liberal, racist government. What you say has made me think more about it. I have forefathers who came from Norway (as is evident in my middle name "Halling"), and my father's wife has a lot of Norwegian friends who I saw regularly as kid - I always experienced them as fun and open people (more so than Danes), but then again they were friends of the house.
    I dunno - I don't like the neo-liberal wave which has hit most of the world and made most people suffer while certain privileged classes make their money off of them, and I don't like un-thoughtful, uneducated, hateful opinions - which about rules out any place in this world. Gotta meditate more I guess :)

    The flat Danish accent which some Danes utilize to great extent sounds just terrible. Our prime ministers always seems to have it :P
    It's most profound among the generations before mine, who grew up with German TV, as opposed to today where children grow up surrounded by American-english.

  • @Jokke

    Do you come from Denmark originally, and why did you move (in/out - if I may ask)? I think a lot about emigrating because I find the Danish culture to be undesirable. Tribe mentality and "småborgerlighed" conflicts a lot with my values.
    I am from the UK but I lived and worked in Denmark for some years when I was younger. Unfortunately, I found that there where a number of people with right-wing political views, largely legitimised by the Dansk Folkeparti and there influence on mainstream politics. I have to stress that there are many liberal and openminded Danes whom I enjoyed spending time with.

    It seems that in order to 'fit in' it is necessary to speak Danish and embrace the culture, which seems fair enough. However, there are a number of folk who will always be suspicious of foreigners and the government does not make it easy for Danes to marry non-danes. This appears to have created a rather paranoid element in the society, especially regarding muslims.

  • Sorry I called you "Jokke".

    I agree with you. It even extends to people not liking even a foreign accent. My general impression is, that young Danes are way more open to foreigners than their parents, grandparents etc. Where many in their middle-age is almost offended or at least a little bothered by having to speak English, many younger people see it as a great opportunity to "test" their skills irl.

    Generally ill-will towards foreigners is seen among people with poor or no skills (national surveys show this). They do also vote for Dansk Folkeparti and read the sensationalist papers, they are more worried about crimes, economy and the general future and they have an above-average support for strict sanctions for crime, and even above-average support for reinstatement of the death-penalty.
    They make up about 14% of the populace officially (the percent voters who vote for DF). The nationalist views in particular are more widespread, though
  • I think you are about right with that one.

    Edit: I should have said "their influence" though not there, as in over there. Ooops.
  • @Jokke

    Hey, for various reasons I'm going to be incredibly busy for the next half week, I won't be able to study much, however afterward I'll have both two studying roommates and Pimsleur Norwegian therefore I'll come back with a vengeance, will you still be around if I disappear for three or four days?

    One question though:

    "Det var en gang en gutt som hadde tjent lenge hos en mann nordenfjells."

    There was once a boy who had served with a man for a long time northen mountain's.

    This doesn't make any sense to me, I'm so lost.
  • edited February 2011
    Yeah, that's what I mean by "old" Norwegian, not used today. "Nordefjells" translates roughly to "mountains IN THE north/North in the mountains"

    Being in the Norwegian Coastguard I'm 6 weeks at sea, 3 weeks ashore. I'll be going out on Tuesday, and won't be back for six weeks. I MAY pop in, depending on where we are and whether we get a satellite connection, but i can't promise anything. I'm sorry if this is an inconvenience to you.
  • I can't say I'm not sad, but I completely understand, no inconvenience. Besides, I'm sure I'll have much better questions then because I'm sure I'll be much more seasoned then. You're in the coast guard? How's that?
  • Any translation problems like that one I can easily fix - the grammar may be different from mine, so I don't dare correcting that (not in details, at least) :)
  • Awesome!!

    Well, I forgot to ask the obvious. Does the genitive ending (s) also function as a dative?

    Could you say: Jeg sprang husets.
  • Being in the Coast Guard is an interesting job. I enjoy it quite a lot.

    I'm afraid I don't under stand the meaning of your sentence.. Could you give me the English meaning, and I can translate?
  • "I ran to the house" with the "to" being the dative (husetS), but I guess not. I'm just trying to figure out the nordenfjellS thing... It's not in my grammar book so I'm lost, I wanted to know how to expect it in the future since I'll be reading these fairy tales a lot. Besides it's not surprising, I believe in Romanian the genitive and dative have coalesced.
  • I'm not a 100% on this, just a personal theory, but the S in "fjells" is just a plural form, like in English, meaning more than one mountain. Not used in Modern Norwegian.

    Proper translation would be "Jeg løp/sprang til huset". If you ran to a spesific part of the house, for instance the kitchen, it'd be "Jeg løp/sprang til husetS kjøkken", because it "belongs" to the house. However, in practice, someone would just say "Jeg løp/sprang til kjøkkenet".

  • Agh, so in Norwegian you literally read: There was once a boy who had spent a long time with a man northen mountains.

  • Translated word-by-word, yes.
  • JoshuaJoshua Veteran
    edited February 2011
    @Jokke !!!

    Hey, I was doing a bit of reading and I can't figure this out: "Du er ikke redd for TIA du,..."

    You are not afraid of... Erm?

    Hope you can help before leaving, thanks again!

    PS: I'm using Pimsleur to nail the accent. I've improved greatly because of it. You might actually with some luck understand me if you were to hear me speak Norwegian, hehe. The twang to a simple word like 'en' has so many layers, I fear if I hadn't grown up hearing a variety of American English southern drawls (I've been spelling this wrong for some time as where I'm from the final 'aw' sound always has an 'l'afterward for me, strange and sorry) and Celtic accents on television I'd have no luck, but fortunately I'm somewhere in the ballpark, finally Indiana has aided my linguistic endeavors.
  • edited February 2011
    "Du er ikke redd for tia du"

    tia (dialect) = tiden = time.

    "You, You're not afraid of time.."
    You keep practicing, maybe we can have a teamspeak/ventrilo/skype conversation when I come back.
  • Maybe, hehe.

    Tia is pretty lame, how am I supposed to figure that out? So now in fairy tales I have both to contend with archaic speech and dialects, great.

    Well thank you Jokke, have fun.
  • Yeah, I know. I was assigned to read "Markens Grøde" in school, written in 1917. Near impossible to interpret, even for a native speaker. Good thing my teacher was so old he could explain the words to us.
  • @Joshua, Pimsleur rules! I would know Japanese by now if not for having trouble paying attention. I kept trying it from the beginning every so often, get up to lesson 8 or 9, and then get bored with it and stop. It was great though, really was easy to follow.
  • JoshuaJoshua Veteran
    Japanese is rough.

    I think I'm going to read Harry Potter in Swedish because by the time I can afford a Norwegian novel I could have learned Swedish already.

    When you get back Jokke I might know Swedish. I can already read it thanks to Norwegian and a quick looksy at the grammar. I've rewired my brain or something.
  • CloudCloud Veteran
    edited March 2011
    I don't think Japanese is as tough as most people think it is. It has a reputation as being tough. Actually the spoken language drops a lot of stuff, for instance one might say "Want to go to a movie?", or "Going to sleep", where the subject/object are implied so you're dropping the "Watashi wa" and "Anata wa". This seems to be the common usage, and you usually only stress the subject/object when indeed you need to be specific or stress it. :)

    The written language, which includes Chinese "kanji" characters adapted to Japanese culture as well as an alphabet of 46 or so (as opposed to our 26)... now that's a bit of a challenge!
  • DhammaDhatuDhammaDhatu Veteran
    edited March 2011
    Hello Joshua

    Jeg ønsker lykke for deg|no|

  • @Cloud
    Japanese is easy to pronunciate, and the grammar seems simple enough.
    but Joshua said "Japanese is rough", not tough.
  • CloudCloud Veteran
    I'm not sure what the difference is between rough and tough. They're often used interchangeably. :)
  • JoshuaJoshua Veteran
    edited March 2011
    Japanese has one of the simplest orthographies of any language I've come across, maybe some creole could out do it?

    The two alphabets actually have over I believe 120 characters forming a consonant + vowel matrix (including a final n), plus two to three thousand kanji depending on the desired competency.

    And yeah, it's a topic / comment language like ASL or a large part of Mandarin, like these languages there's a tendency to drop anything that was once mentioned rendering sentences into apparent fragments for strict nominative / predicate languages like ours. It also has a number of clitic-like particles that function rather like the most popular nominal cases found in European languages...not to mention a large plethora of other particles that are more annoying than the quantifiers of Mandarin. In addition to this the entire paradigm structure is different, in other words to say very basic things, especially moods and aspects, requires entire formulaic plug-n-play sequences. All along you heavily inflect for both verbs and adjectives, even negation requires a separate conjugation. Then the damn honorifics it shares with languages like Khmer and Vietnamese. Screw that, but it could be worse, it could be its sister Korean or cousin Turkish. In this vein at least Japanese is easy.


    Hm, tactilities aside rough and tough both seem to mean difficult IMO.
  • JoshuaJoshua Veteran
    Hello Joshua

    Jeg ønsker lykke for deg|no|

    Why thank you, perhaps you could send me one hundred dollars so I could afford an imported Norwegian book? Perhaps I could pleasure you like a rockless crack fiend might?
  • "Jeg ønsker lykke for deg" = "I wish you luck"??

    Perhaps it'd be more correct to say "Jeg ønsker deg lykke til", but that's Google Translates fault. Don't get me wrong, one can understand the meaning of the sentence, but it makes more sense this way.
  • To exemplify the similarities, in my language the wish for luck would just be "Jeg ønsker dig lykke til", but it's pronounced a little differently :)

    Normally the phrase "Jeg ønsker dig held og lykke" would be used, literally "I wish you luck and happiness" (lykke is in fact "happiness", whereas "held" is "luck", but the words can be interchangeable)..
  • Jeg er tilbake, og klar for å svare på spørsmål som eventuelt har dukket opp i mitt fravær.
  • What "angst because of Norway??"
  • Hi Joshua,

    I'm a bit late to the party, but I'm an American who has studied Norwegian so I thought I'd mention the resources I used.

    I started with the Strandskogen's "Norsk for utlendinger - 1", published by Gyldendal, which came with a cassette so I could hear the language spoken. I imagine nowadays they use CDs.

    Over the long run, my most important sources were the Aftenposten web site and Haugen's Norwegian-English Dictionary, published by the University of Wisconsin. My copy cost $21.50 new at Borders. My guess is that you should be able to find used copies at Amazon and elsewhere. Haugen is an old dictionary, but it is the only dictionary I know of that gives the genders. It also covers regional words better than the popular Blaa Ordboeker. (I'm using the old Danish spellings for the modern Norwegian vowels.)

    Also, I had a very wonderful Norwegian girlfriend, but that resource may not be open to you. ;-)

    There's a tremendous amount of variation in Norwegian, both from place to place and from period of time to period of time, and even in the same place at the same time. The young people I talked to in Oestfold pronounced "Oslo" three different ways: Oh-slow (American pronunciation) when talking to me, Oo-sloo (modern Norwegian) when talking to their friends, and Oo-shloo (Oestfold boendersspraak) when talking to their parents. Unless you want to specialize in Norwegian studies, your best bet is to focus on the modern Oslo bokmaal dialect and seek out specialized resources if you need to understand dialects from other regions. I have a Rigsmaal dictionary published about a hundred years ago that I sometimes use for older Norwegian. That doesn't work for fairy stories, because those are both old and from outside Oslo. (It does work for modern Danish, mostly. :-))

    BTW, last time I checked, Aftenposten was till claiming that they were using a modern Rigsmaal standard, but the standard has been updated to the point that a non-native speaker like me can't tell the difference between their rigsmaal and everyone else's bokmaal.

    I would recommend focusing on newspaper websites instead of fairy tales because they use dialects that are currently spoken by more people. Jokke may feel that VG or some other website is better for current Norwegian than Aftenposten, and he's the expert on that. Aftenposten just happened to be the site that I used.

    Also, look for radio shows that NRK has made available on the web. That will allow you to hear spoken Norwegian. I think other broadcasters have also made their shows available in recent years.

    I'm currently trying to learn Spanish and my Norwegian has gotten pretty rusty, so I won't offer to translate because I may do more harm than good. I just wanted to tell you what I did when I was trying to learn Norwegian, in hopes that it might help.

    You may also enjoy the comics at Scandinavia And The World. This gives a view of Scandinavian stereotypes from a Danish point of view. Her view of the US is not exactly flattering, so you may want to avoid it if you are strongly nationalistic.

    And a bit of Ren Galskap: Danish is the dialect of Norwegian spoken south of Skagerak. ;-)
  • Is this thread dead?
  • JoshuaJoshua Veteran
    Well, I really would love to know Norwegian and none of your advice and help has been in vein, don't worry, but at the present moment I'm so inexplicably poor and at the same time online Norwegian materials are so rare and boring it's just not very practical or fun anymore. Learning Norwegian will seriously require me to spend upwards of $200 dollars for literally just a few books and a dico, and not to get too personal but I'm nearly living on the street right now and I definitely don't even have regular internet access, so Norwegian is on hiatus.
  • Ah, I see. Sad to hear that, and I hope you get back on your feet again.

    Måtte en vind av hell og lykke følge deg på din vei.
  • JoshuaJoshua Veteran
    I hope so too, and thank you. I was afraid you might be frustrated, you never know with vikings.
  • We're very patient, just don't piss us off :)
  • Hi.

    Long time no see.

    I just thought I'd drop by and see how things are going with you, @Joshua. Are you still practicing, or have you decided to switch to Swedish now? :)
  • I cant speak Norwegian. But according to John Lennon a Norwegian would.

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