A Trip to Trondheim

Posted on 31. Oct, 2014 by in Geography, History

Huse i TrondheimTrondheim [TRONN-hime] is the third-largest city of Norge (following Bergen and Oslo). I recently had the chance to visit it and thought I’d share a bit of denne vakre byen (this beautiful city) with you.

Trondheim is the capital of Trøndelag, a historical region that links the remote Nordnorge (Northern Norway) to the rest of the country. In a way, it’s the true centre of Norway. Vikingene (the Vikings) made it their capital. Den norske kongen (the Norwegian king) is still sworn in here. The kroner (crowns) of den norske kongefamilien (the Norwegian royal family) are being kept here.

Many people come to Trondheim in order to experience Nidarosdomen, a huge cathedral. (The name means ”the Nidaros cathedral”, Nidaros being an old name for Trondheim.) It was built on top of the grav (grave) of Olav den hellige (Olav the Holy), the most important Norwegian saint. (In the Middle Ages, Norway was a Catholic country, and had saints like Mexico or Italy.)

There are many students in Trondheim, partially because of NTNU, a huge university specialising in natural sciences. This of course means that there are a lot of things going on in the city, from the bustling beer halls of Samfundet [SAMfunneh] – a students’ cultural house – to the romantic, uptown cafés of Bakklandet. This doesn’t mean that you’ll find students’ prices here, though. I generally found the city to be really expensive. For instance, a night in a vandrerhjem [VANdreryem] (youth hostel) dorm cost me about 350 Kroner, more than 50 American Dollars.

Nidarosdomen. Courtesy of Jan Hammershaug at Flickr (Creative-Commons Licence).

Nidarosdomen. Courtesy of Jan Hammershaug at Flickr (Creative-Commons Licence).

I’ve only been to Trondheim på høsten (in Autumn/Fall), which is a season that suits it well. Trehusene (the wooden houses) on both sides of Nidelva (the river Nid) are the perfect match for all the colourful leaves. Nidelva, which gave Trondheim its old name Nidaros (”the Nid estuary”) runs into Trondheimsfjorden.

There are lots of cosy restaurants and pubs in Trondheim, and several museums, such as Rockheim, Norway’s national museum of popular music!

What’s up with all this -heim stuff? Heim means home, and Trondheim is the ”home” of the people known as trøndere. (In Norwegian Bokmål and Danish the word for home is hjem, which is why you’ll also see the name spelt Trondhjem.) Many Norwegians outside Trøndelag still view trøndere as a bit different. I guess this is because their dialect is very distinct and a bit hard to understand if you’re not used to it. Trøndere sometimes end their phrases with sjø [shir], which is short for skjønner du (you see).


Posted on 27. Oct, 2014 by in Vocabulary

veryTo say something is ”very something”, the ordinary Norwegian word to use is veldig [VELdee]:

Det er veldig flott på fjellet. It is very beautiful in the mountains (literally: on the mountain).

Du synger veldig bra! You sing really well!

Another common word is kjempe [beware of the special Norwegian ”kj” sound, it’s like the ”ch” of German ich liebe dich]. This is actually a noun – meaning ”a giant” – so it is prefixed to the word it’s describing (added directly without spaces). It’s a bit more informal than veldig:

Dette var kjempemoro. This was really hilarious.

Bak steinen satt det et kjempedigert troll. Behind the rock there was a very huge troll.

If you want to be even more informal, you can spice up your language with some slang words and prefixes, such as sykt (sickly), sinnsykt (insanely, literally ’mentally-sickly’), drit- (sh*t-), døds- (death-):

Denne kjolen er sykt billig! This dress is freaking cheap!

Jeg føler meg bare sinnsykt deppa. I just feel insanely depressed.

Bilen din er bare dritstygg. Your car looks like cr*p. (Literally: Your car is just sh*t-ugly.)

Nå er jeg dødslei alt maset ditt! Now I’m sick and tired of all your talk/complaints! (Literally: Now I’m death-tired of…)

A few adjectives (descriptive words like ”blue” or ”round”) have their very own ”very prefixes”:

Hesten deres er smellfet. ≈ Hesten deres er veldig fet. Their horse is very fat.

Himmelen var beksvart. ≈ Himmelen var veldig svart. The sky was very black.

Smell- is used almost exclusively with fet, and bek- can only be used with svart, for example. There is also the old word meget which is still used in some formal settings: Jeg er meget imponert! (I’m very impressed!)

But now we’re talking literary niceties, so don’t you worry! :-)

Stick to the simple words, så går det veldig bra (then it will go really well).

Betasuppe in Two Languages

Posted on 30. Sep, 2014 by in Food, Traditional

Betasuppe looks better on a real table, but this was the only free-to-use photo I was able to find… (Courtesy of knuton at Flickr, licensed under Creative-Commons.)

Betasuppe looks better on a real table, but this was the only free-to-use photo I was able to find… (Courtesy of knuton at Flickr, licensed under Creative-Commons.)

It’s autumn in Norway, and the days are getting cold. Is there a better way to regain inner heat than sharing a steaming pot of betasuppe? The word means ”bit soup”, and it’s an all-time Norwegian classic. Remember the flatbrød! :-)







 Ingredienser til 4 porsjoner

4 ss byggryn (kan utelates)
1 ¼ dl gule erter
1 ½ l kaldt vann
300 g kjøtt av sau/lam

2 stk gulrot
4 stk poteter
2 skiver kålrot
1/4 finhakket purre
eventuelt persille

Slik gjør du:

Legg byggrynene og ertene i bløt hver for seg natten over. Kok vann, erter og gryn i ca. 90 minutter. Tilsett kjøttet, og kok det i ca. en halv time. Ta opp kjøttet og del det i terninger. Legg terningene tilbake i gryta. Skjær grønnsakene i terninger og tilsett. Kok i ca. 15 minutter til alt er mørt. Suppa skal være tykk. Smak til med salt og pepper. Dryss eventuelt med finhakket persille før servering. Server med flatbrød.

Ingredients for four portions

4 tablespoonfuls of barley groats (may be excluded)
1 ¼ decilitres of split peas
1 ½ litre of cold water
300 grams of mutton (sheep or lamb)

2 carrots
4 potatoes
2 slices of rutabaga/swede
1/4 finely chopped leek
if convenient, parsley

This is how you do:

Soak the barley groats and the peas separately during the night. Boil water, peas and groats for about 90 minutes. Add the meat, and cook it for about half an hour. Remove the meat and cut it into cubes. Put the cubes back in the pot. Cut the vegetables into cubes and add them. Boil for about 15 minutes until everything is tender. The soup should be thick. Add salt and pepper to taste. If convenient, sprinkle with nicely clipped parsley before serving. Serve with flatbread.

Disclaimer: In order not to violate anybody’s copyright, the recipe has been rewritten by me from different online sources. If you want to try a more refined recipe, please take a look at the description and images shared by the blogger arcticgrub.