Linking Phrases

Posted on 31. Jan, 2016 by in Grammar

(Free image from Open Clipart.)

(Free image from Open Clipart.)

Ja… Nei… Kanskje… It’s very easy to be a new learner – you just have to say a few words and all the native speakers will cheer on you and say bra (good)! :-) Sooner or later, however, you’ll have to stitch all your grunts and monosyllables together to something a bit more eloquent… That’s where the conjunctions (in Norwegian also known as bindeord or ”binding words”) come handy:

Ola og Kari (Ola and Kari)
Hun datt og slo seg på isen (She fell and hurt herself on the ice)
Barna synger, og de voksne tar bilder (The children are singing and the adults are taking photos)
Vil du ha brus eller rødvin til maten? (Do you want lemonade or red wine with your food?)
De verken smiler eller ler. (They neither smile nor laugh.)
Liten men tøff! (Small but tough!)
Vi vil gjerne besøke Bergen, men ikke når det regner! (We would like to visit Bergen, but not when it’s raining!)
Jeg gleder meg til snøen kommer, for da kan jeg gå på ski! (I’m looking forward to snowfall, because then I can go skiing!)

Og-eller-men-for are often called sideordnende konjunksjoner, since they ordner (arrange/”fix”) two words or phrases ”side-by-side” without one of them being ”gramatically dominant”. In the latter case, the conjuction is called underordnende (”subjugating”) – here are just a few of the most common ones:

Jeg lærer norsk fordi jeg liker utfordringer! (I’m learning Norwegian because I like challenges!)
Hvis [vis] du er snill, får en klem. (If you’re nice, you’ll get a hug.)
Vi klarer oss bra dersom strømmen går. (We’ll manage fine if/in case the electricity ”goes”.)
Hva skal vi gjøre når snøen smelter? (What are we going to do when the snow melts?)
Lær norsk mens du sover! (Learn Norwegian while you sleep!)

Fiction Heroes in Norwegian

Posted on 21. Jan, 2016 by in Culture, Vocabulary

Donald Duck has been popular in Norway for decades… Photo from the Møllehaugen playground May 17th National Day Parade, Trondheim, 1955. (Photo courtesy of the Municipal Archives of Trondheim at Flickr, CC License.)

Donald Duck has been popular in Norway for decades… Photo from the Møllehaugen playground May 17th National Day Parade, Trondheim, 1955. (Photo courtesy of the Municipal Archives of Trondheim at Flickr, CC License.)

Har du sett den nye Star Wars-filmen? (Have you seen the new SW movie?) Ever since nyttår (New Year) I’ve been wanting to do a post for all the Star Wars fans out there! But I hate to say it – besides lyssabel (light sabre) and Må kraften være med deg! (May the force be with you!) there isn’t a lot of Star Wars vocabulary in Norwegian: the Jedi is jedien, Princess Leia is prinsesse Leia, Luke Skywalker is … Luke Skywalker.

The good thing is: Lots of names from American (and English) popular culture have got a Norwegian makeover! (Makes the world a bit more interesting, doesn’t it?) Below you can see some of the most important ones – feel free to add comments if I’ve forgotten anything! :-) Ever since WW2 or so Norwegian children have been growing up with Disney – as you can see by the number of Disney-related names. (Of course Transparent Language is not affiliated with Disney or any other concern!) Fun fact: While lots of Americans love Mikke Mus (Mickey Mouse), Donald Duck (yes, just like that) is the popular one in Norway! :-)

Ole Brum – Winnie-the-Pooh (brum is the sound a bear makes)
Pusur – Garfield (the cat; pus means puss)
Tommy og Tigern (”Tommy and th’ Tiger”) – Calvin and Hobbes
Lynvingen (”Lightning Wing”) – Batman (in the new films he’s just called Batman, though!)

Andeby – Duckburg
Donald Duck
Dolly Duck – Daisy Duck
Onkel Skrue – Uncle Scrooge
Ole, Dole og Doffen – Huey, Dewey and Louie
Fetter Anton (”Cousin Anton”) – Gladstone Gander
Petter Smart – Gyro Gearloose
Magica fra Tryll (”M. from Conjure!”) – Magica De Spell
b-gjengen [beh YENGen] (”the B gang”) – Beagle Boys

Mikke Mus – Mickey Mouse
Minni Mus – Minnie Mouse
Snipp og Snapp – Chip’n Dale
Langbein (”Longbone”) – Goofy

Ringenes Herre – The Lord of the Rings
Gandalv – Gandalf
Bilbo Lommelun (B. ”Pocketsnug”) – Bilbo Baggins
Hobittun (”Hobbit Farmyard”) – The Shire

And finally, to show that Norwegians aren’t exclusively influenced by the English-speaking world, a couple of Swedish children’s heroes… 😉

Emil fra LønnebergEmil i Lönneberga = Emil of Lönneberga
Pippi Langstrømpe Pippi Långstrump = Pippi Longstocking

Top 10 of 2015

Posted on 31. Dec, 2015 by in Norway and the world

New Year in Lillestrøm, Norway. (Photo courtesy of Marius Lauritsen at Flickr, CC License.)

New Year in Lillestrøm, Norway. (Photo courtesy of Marius Lauritsen at Flickr, CC License.)

As 2015 is about to hand over the torch to 2016, here’s a quick tilbakeblikk (retrospect) at the 10 most popular blog posts i år (this year). See you in 2016. Godt nyttår! :-)

10 The little words you always need

Some words are so common in conversation that you didn’t know you never learnt them until those awkward breaks turn up… How do you say ”hm” or ”uh-huh” in Norwegian? How do you signal you’re actually listening to the one you’re speaking with?

9 Modal verbs

Will, would, could, can, might, may, should, or shall we say ought? Modal verbs are always a mess. This post will make you wiser. 😉

8 100 most common written words in Norwegian

These words will make your newspaper skimming funnier, and maybe icebreak the conversation with those humble northerners around you in the busses, trains and ferries! (Well, at least it’s always nice to have a basic vocabulary to build on which to build your Norwegian cabin…)

7 Nudism in Norway

Are Norwegians less prudish than Americans? Or did Transparent Language’s reporter just have bad luck? Read the blog and judge for yourself… :-)

6 Gratulerer med dagen

A look at Norway’s biggest birthday celebration, the national holiday of 17. mai! Kari brings you some interesting facts straight from the happy streets of Oslo.

5 Norwegian pick-up Lines

Norway is full of beautiful people of both sexes. While I can’t guarantee the efficiency of these lines, there is a chance they’ll bring you a bit closer to the Norwegian of your dreams – or at least give people around you a decent laugh. :-)

4 It’s not all Blond Hair and Blue Eyes

According to legends, many people in Western Norway have dark hair and eyes due to Iberian sailors capsizing off the coast… Nowadays, immigrants from all over the world challenge the traditional view of what a Norwegian ”looks like”.

3 Why are Norwegians so good at speaking English

Foreigners coming to Norway are often shocked by the Norwegians’ almost perfect level of English – although some people do have an unforgetable accent (just watch some YouTube clips with the famous explorer Thor Heyerdahl!) In this post, Transparent Language’s Kari takes a look at the Anglo-Norwegian phenomonenon…

2 Strange and interesting facts about Norway

Did you know one of Norwegians’ favourite dishes is Grandiosa – a frozen pizza? Or that the same chemical is used when producing soap and the Norwegian national fish dish of lutefisk? Or that Norwegians like to go border-shopping in Sweden? Or that… :-)

 1 Norwegian numbers 1-100

In a land of numerous fiords, mountains, glaciers and valleys, counting is essential to stay on track! :-) And the good thing is that counting in Norwegian closely mirrors the system in English. En, to, tre, let’s count!