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I have spent the last few days with some Dutch colleagues and I find myself picking up on words here and there that sound familiar because of my experience with Norwegian. It´s quite fun actually! The differences in the familiar words are not very big-a few letters off and a couple sounds off. My American colleagues and I are constantly asking, “How do you say __________?” and the Dutch gladly pronounce and repronounce the words, as well as write them down so we can see them while we hear them. I would like to learn Dutch and I know right now the pronunciation is going to be very difficult.
As we were talking about what parts of learning a foreign language are hardest or easiest and what the best way to learn a language is, I had a flashback to a children’s book I read in a college Norwegian class: Ole Aleksander Filibom-bom-bom. It is a children’s chapter (and picture) book about a little boy that lives in an apartment that is alive and has feelings. Ole Aleksander Filibom-bom-bom has great adventures in his apartment building. I remember learning a lot when I read that book.
I strongly believe in children’s books as great tools for learning a foreign language. You learn basic vocabulary, grammar, sentence structure, names, culture, and more! I think in general, when you begin to learn a foreign language, your brain almost naturally reverts back to how a child learns a foreign language (if you are lucky). Many people have difficulty learning a foreign language and many do it with ease. Both groups I think can benefit from children’s books in the target language.
I recommend picking up a few Norwegian children’s books if you are a beginning Norwegian student (or if you need some reviewJ). Not only are they fun, but you will learn a lot, guaranteed!
Check out this video of Ole Aleksander Filibom-bom-bom!