Norwegian Joys Posted by Bjørn A. Bojesen on Feb 28, 2022 in Grammar, Norway and the world
Since you read this blog last month, a horrible krig [kreeg] (war) has broken out in the midst of Europa. Let’s all hope and wish it will end as soon and as peacefully as humanly possible. Verden trenger fred. (The world needs peace.) And we need to be able to communicate respectfully and try to understand each other, even if we don’t always agree – isn’t that why we’re language learners, after all?
Learning, however, isn’t easy when your mind is full of frykt (fear). Focusing on nice and even nerdy things is, I think, the way forward. With that in mind, here are some things I like about Norwegian:
• Æ, Ø and Å! How can other languages cope without those beautiful letters?
• The language can be written in two different ways, bokmål (book language) and nynorsk (New Norwegian). Yes, I know this is frustrating to language learners. Yet this constant focus on two different spelling systems, with slightly different vocabularies, adds a lot of vitality to the Norwegian language scene.
• Norwegian has lots of nice words that match its wild landscape, such as seter (place of mountain pasture) and li [lee] (the slope of a ridge or valley).
• Unlike most European languages, Norwegian is a tonal language. This gives it a unique melodic quality, as if its speakers were singing rather than talking.
• Norwegians excel at inventing their own translations for international anglicisms. What is a ”net board” (nettbrett)? It’s a tablet, of course…
• The little word kos (≈ ”cosiness”) says everything about the joys of stay-at-home family life in a cold climate.
What do you like about norsk? Feel free to share with the other readers in the comments section.
BTW, you might get a new blogger soon. As much as I’ve enjoyed writing for this blog, I also feel I’ve reached a point where I have to rehash a lot of ideas. So let’s see, and take care! 🙂 Thanks for reading.
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