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Asking about Origins Posted by on Sep 24, 2017

Hvor kommer du/dere fra? (Where do you/you guys come from?) Some people don’t like this question, but as a tourist it’s hard to avoid the natives’ curiosity. 🙂 When asked in a friendly way, it can be a genuine icebreaker… Let’s look at origins. The easiest way to reply is, of course, by means of…

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Let’s Look at Stars Posted by on Aug 31, 2017

Liker du å se på stjerner? (Do you like watching stars?) Sommernettene er lyse i Norge, men snart begynner mørketida… (The summer nights are bright in Norway, but soon the dark time begins…) Here’s some star-spangled Norwegian for talking about stjernehimmelen (the starry sky). Use it with caution, though, so you don’t kill et romantisk…

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Matching words to make them stick Posted by on Aug 27, 2017

Which is most important when learning a new language – grammar or words (vocabulary)? Well, most native speakers will forgive you if you make a grammatical mistake or two. Without  basic words, however, you can only point and smile. Here is a neat trick to increase your vocabulary: Learn micro-phrases with two or three words…

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Where not to put IKKE? Posted by on Jul 31, 2017

Ikke (not) phrases are often called negative phrases – even if some of them are very positive in meaning: Vi vil ikke ha mer krig! (We don’t want any more war!) Sometimes, though, even the most positive negative sentence can drive a poor language-learner mad: Where do(n’t) I put ikke? Let’s take some simple summer…

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Spelling your name in Norwegian Posted by on Jul 29, 2017

When you check in at a hostel or meet a new friend, you’re sometimes asked to spell your navn (name). Fortunately, the Norwegian alfabet [alfaBEHT] is quite similar to the English one you already know. In case you forgot bokstavene (the letters), here’s a crash course. The first pitfall: i and e. (I’ve heard several…

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