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Surviving the Sunless Season Posted by on Nov 30, 2021

North of the Arctic Circle, there’s no sunrise in the winter sky. But do Northern Norwegians really live in total darkness? I asked Bjørn Farbu – a doctor until recently residing in Harstad – about life in mørketida (the dark season). What brought you to Nord-Norge (Northern Norway)? My girlfriend is from Tromsø. We met…

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Adding Endings Posted by on Oct 19, 2021

Hale-n til hval-en. (The tail of the whale.) In Norwegian, adding endings to nouns is even more important than in English. (Illustrative photo by xx)

One of the funny things about Norwegian is that you can’t avoid adding endings to words. Well, of course English learners also sometimes struggle with that – how do you add a plural -s to box? But generally, as long as you know how to add an -s to words, you don’t have to care…

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Election Time! Posted by on Sep 13, 2021

It’s election time in Norway! Today, all Norwegian citizens get the chance to vote for their favourite parti [parTEE] and help decide who’ll be the country’s next PM (in Norwegian: statsminister, ”minister of the state”): Will Erna Solberg stay in power or will folk (people) pick somebody else? My predecessor Kari already described how makt…

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It’s a Numbers Game Posted by on Aug 28, 2021

How often do you need to do number tricks in a foreign language? Det står nok ikke øverst på lista (it probably isn’t on top of the list), but still, if you’re a little bit like me, you’ll sometimes find yourself in situations where simply counting is not enough… In Norwegian, saying basic calculations out…

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Norway says never again Posted by on Jul 22, 2021

Ten years ago Norwegians experienced one of the saddest days i manns minne (in living memory, literally ”in man’s memory”). I don’t want to repeat the tragedy here – that’s the job of aviser (newspapers). Suffice to say that 77 innocent human beings lost their lives to the terrorist Anders Breivik on Utøya (an øy…

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A Sip of Norwegian Comedy Posted by on Jun 30, 2021

Gi ungdommen en flaske brennevin før idretten tar dem! (Give the young people a bottle of brandy before they’re possessed by sports!) This quote by Per Inge Torkelsen is very well-known in Norway. A famous comedian and klovn (clown) from the city of Stavanger, Torkelsen passed away eight days ago. Having grown up in the…

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Summer Nights in Norway Posted by on May 31, 2021

Gratulerer med vel overstått! (Congratulations with a ”well passed” [birthday]!) This belated greeting – a handy Norwegian lifeline for forgetful people – will have to do for all you fans of Norway in 2021. Due to technicalities, I was unable to wish you gratulerer med dagen (happy constitution day) on May 17th. Beklager tradisjonsbruddet! (Sorry…

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