Norwegian Language Blog

“Sprek” Norwegians are Sporty Posted by on Oct 16, 2017 in Uncategorized

Rulleski (roller skis) makes it possible to keep your skiing skills afloat – even without snow! (Photo courtesy of Trysil at Flickr, CC License.)

Are you a spreking (≈ fit person)? An Icelander told me about this stereotype of nordmenn (Norwegians): They are people who are always active, do a lot of sport, and speed up and down fjellsidene (the mountain slopes) with top-notch utstyr [OOTsteer] (gear). Even if this stereotype is vastly exaggerated – I’ve personally known several ”lazy” Norwegians – it does contain et ørlite grann av sannhet (a tiny grain of truth)…

Norge har mye vakker natur (Norway has a lot of beautiful nature). That’s why it is very common å gå turer i skog og mark (to go on trips in ”wood and wilderness”). Even people in cities like Oslo and Bergen have ”the big outdoors” a bus trip away from the city centre. In winter, when snøen (the snow) is covering the hiking tracks, many people in Norway like to go skiing or snowboarding instead. Even Norwegians themselves say that they’re født med ski på beina [furtt meh shee paw bye-nah] – born with skis on their legs! 🙂

Of course, Norway has lots of other options for you to få opp pulsen (”get your pulse raising”, literally ”get up the pulse”):

  • fotball is maybe the most popular sport, with lots of lag (teams) of all skill levels, everywhere in the country
  • håndball is also quite popular – there’s a reason Norway’s national team so often wins international mesterskap (championships)!
  • swim in cool fjorder (fjords) or a bit hotter svømmehaller (public swimming baths), gå til turn eller dans eller karate (”go to…” = participate in gymnastics or dance or karate [classes]) in your local idrettshall (hall of idrett = sport)

Uansett om (no matter whether) you join an idrettslag (sports community) or you trener selv (exercise on your own), you’ll soon get a better understanding of what Norwegians mean when they smile briskly and compliment you with the words

Du ser sprek ut! (You look agile, sporty, fit!)

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About the Author: Bjørn A. Bojesen

I was born in Denmark, but spent large parts of my childhood and study years in Norway. I later returned to Denmark, where I finished my MA in Scandinavian Studies. Having relatives in Sweden as well, I feel very Scandinavian! I enjoy reading and travelling, and sharing stories with you! You’re always welcome to share your thoughts with me and the other readers.