Norwegian Language Blog

Archive for November, 2008

Kveldsmat-a before bed-time snack Posted by on Nov 23, 2008

Kveldsmat literally means “evening food.”  How many of you eat a late night snack soon before you fall asleep?  For me it all depends on what time I ate dinner (middag) and how substantial it was.  I ask myself, “Er jeg mett eller sulten?”  (am I full or hungry?)  It’s not a habit for me…

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Am I Norwegian-American or just American? Posted by on Nov 21, 2008

There are several pockets of the United States that are heavily populated with descendants of Norwegians.  When someone asks me where my descendants are from, I say Norway (because literally all of my great-grandparents except one are from Norway and without them, my existence would be impossible).  However, I don’t say that I am Norwegian.  Years ago before…

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Norwegian, Danish, and Swedish–what’s the relationship? Posted by on Nov 20, 2008

Like the romance languages, Scandinavian languages have much in common.  Danes and Norwegians can understand each other and so can Norwegians and Swedes.  Swedish and Danish do not have quite as much in common.  Norwegian seems to be the common denominator.  You might wonder why this is? Denmark, Sweden, and Norway have a complicated relationship. …

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The demise of norsk? Posted by on Nov 17, 2008

I attended the University of Oslo spring semester of my junior year of college in 2006.  Fortunately for me, I was proficient enough in the Norwegian language that I could choose to take classes beyond those designed for international students.  There were only a couple dozen classes taught in English that were offered to international…

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Caution: Designated forest areas in Norway Posted by on Nov 14, 2008

Europeans are so liberal.  I remember hearing that Europeans are liberal since middle school.  Women in France don’t shave their armpits or legs.  Marijuana is legal in Amsterdam.  Did you ever hear about a gay part of a forest in Norway-with lots of bird feeders?  I lived in the outskirts of Oslo for 8 months and…

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Kaffetime Posted by on Nov 13, 2008

At first glance, an English speaker would think kaffetime means coffee time.  In a way, this is what Norwegians mean when they say kaffetime. However, literally translated, it means ‘coffee hour.’  You can say kaffetime or just kaffe and Norwegians will know what you mean.  Growing up, I always had the impression that Americans were…

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Barbaric Norwegian Posted by on Nov 8, 2008

I remember my Norwegian professor (the only native professor I had at St. Olaf) telling our class one time that the Norwegian language is barbaric.  Think of what it would have sounded like to listen to barbarians talk to each other.  “He go to movie theater.”  “She want to Spain.”  In current American English, we would…

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