Norwegian Language Blog

Brrrrrr! Det er kaldt! Posted by on Dec 6, 2008 in Uncategorized

It’s cold!  I don’t know about all of you, but I’m here in southern MN and it is truly a winter wonderland today.  We’ve had a pretty mild winter so far, but this week the mercury dropped dramatically and the snow began to pile up.  Norwegians are experiencing the same vær right now.  The following is one of the main headlines in a Norwegian avis (newspaper), Aftenposten (

“Benytt sjansen i skisporet og akebakken – i morgen kommer minusgradene på Østlandet. Neste helg kan mildværet komme igjen.”

“Take advantage of the chance to ski and sled-tomorrow sub-zero temperatures will come to Eastern Norway.  Next weekend mild weather might come back.”

You might notice that my translation is not a direct translation from the Norwegian.  In case you are curious, the following would be the direct translation:  Take advantage of the chance in the ski path and sledding hill-tomorrow comes minus degrees in the eastland.  Next weekend can mild weather come again.

Which one makes more sense?  The loose translation, right?  Like all foreign languages, Norwegian can almost never be directly translated.  It’s simply impossible to expect two languages to employ the exact same grammar rules.

So, back to the cold.  Det er kaldt!  It is cold.  Det snør.  It is snowing.  Det er is på veiene.  There is ice on the roads.  And just to clarify, when the Norwegian newspaper writes that the temperature is going to be sub-zero….it means below 0 degrees celsius, so below 32 degrees F.  I don’t feel so bad for them.  It was 8 degrees F here yesterday and it’s supposed to actually drop below 0 F.  Yikes!!




snø= snow                


langrennski=nordic skiing       


å ake=to sled   


å gå på ski=to go skiing

It is believed that Norwegians are born with skis on their feet.  I think every Norwegian that I met while I lived in Oslo skis.  Both alpine and nordic.  Young and old, big and small, everyone.  In fact, I had quite an embarressing experience while skiing in Oslo.  My friend and I decided to rent nordic skis for the semester.  The very first time we were out the weather conditions were unfavorable for skiing.  It was a little too warm, so slushy icewater got stuck to the bottom of our skis and froze so we couldn’t move on them.  We were halfway around a lake, so we had to pick up our skis and carry them back to the starting point.  It was not a fun experience.  The second and last time we skiied we got passed by an old man that looked about 100 years old, just truckin’ along.  We felt so defeated that decided we were done. 

The truth is that nordic skiing is much harder than alpine.  You have gravity on your side with alpine skiing!  I actually plan å gå på ski tonight.  The only downfall is that in Minnesota we don’t exactly have mountains, so small hills have to suffice.�

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About the Author: kari

I attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, where I majored in Norwegian and History. During college, I spent almost a year living in Oslo, Norway, where I attended the University of Oslo and completed an internship at the United States Embassy. I have worked for Concordia Language Villages as a pre-K Norwegian teacher and have taught an adult Norwegian language class. Right now, I keep up by writing this Norwegian blog for Transparent Language. Please read and share your thoughts! I will be continuing this blog from my future residence in the Norwegian arctic!