Try not to be confused with the norsk I use in this post-I am intentionally using different dialects to expose you to what I hear on a daily basis:) I have written on this topic before and I´m sure I will again. I just find dialekter (dialects in traditional bokmål, dialekta i nord Norge for eksempel) so incredibly fascinating. I understand the reason for the existence of så mange dialekta, why and how they formed, and that people are stolt av dialekten demmes (proud of their dialect). However, I still manage to retain a certain curiosity and interest in the whole concept of dialekta regardless of how much I understand about them. I guess mainly I like to listen to them and hear the differences and maybe if I´m lucky, guess where the person is from 🙂
I lived in Oslo for close to a year in 2006 and so on the street and in my classes I heard mostly bokmål. There was one girl that I became friends with in my history class that was from Valdres, in the middle of the country, and I could barely understand a word of what she said, literally. That was the first time I really understood how different dialektene kan være (the dialects can be) and how difficult they can be for even other Norwegians to understand! I was just talking to a Norwegian the other day about this. He was telling me a story about when he was on a hunting trip with a few guys from different areas in the country, maybe even within a couple hundred kilometers from one another, there was one guy who had to basically translate nearly everything one of them said because the others couldn´t understand his dialekt. I just find that fascinating.
My good friend who I spoke most norsk with (we were very much with other international students) when we lived in Oslo spoke nord norsk because his pappa comes from nord Norge, a couple hours southwest of Tromsø by car. Because we spoke so mykkje norsk sammen ( so much Norwegian together–på nord norsk), I more or less adopted nord norsk and therefore speak kind of a blanding (mixture) of bokmål and nord norsk. I remember even then, when we lived in Oslo, that people would look at me confused and ask me where I came from. I would explain the story and it would make sense. Lots of Norwegians have this experience. Although all seem to be proud of their own dialekter and where they come from, if they leave home and reside somewhere else where people speak considerably differently, they will no doubt pick up some of that and leave behind some of their words from home. This is certainly the case with a guy I met recently who was born in Tromsø and has spent a significant amount of time here, it´s definitely his home, but also spent part of his childhood growing up in California and Alabama. He told me that he has never managed to fully speak the Tromsø dialekt.
What´s cool about all of this, is that it almost seems that every individual speaks his or her own dialekt. Every individual has different friends that come from different places, parents that perhaps come from different places and thus speak slightly differently, etc. There you have it-my second post on dialekta, and there will surely be more, for I am always intrigued and always listening for more insight. A new friend told me that soon he will have me speaking his dialekt for it is the best. We´ll see 🙂 I´ll let you know how it goes.
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