As many of you know, I completed a Basic Conversational Norwegian language class before our recent trip to Norway. While I was very aware that these lessons wouldn’t teach me enough to become fluent, my goal was to have some phrases down in order to use them on the trip.
So how did I do while I was in Norway?
If I can be completely honest, I didn’t use the skill as much as I had hoped. (Bummer, right?!) Don’t get me wrong, knowing basic phrases would have been helpful at some point had I been traveling sans my Norwegian family–but it was so easy for them to translate everything. I am happy to report that I said hello (“Hei” or “god dag”) and thank you (“tak”) numerous times–You’re proud of me, I know.
I had a lot of fun as I listened to the conversations around me in order to try to pick out the few words that I did understand. However, while I sat at dinner and listened to my family discuss topics, ideas, and stories in Norwegian, I realized that I had a very, very long way to go.
I hope to get there one day.
On our last night in Oslo my family would drift in and out of the Norwegian language throughout their conversations. Switching from Norwegian to English and back to Norwegian–it was so easy for them. And to be honest, it made me slightly envious–how badly I want to acquire that skill. I thought it was very kind that they would go out of their way to speak in English in order to include the four people there who did not understand a word they were saying in Norwegian. It was different from anything else I have experienced; not understanding a word of the conversation and then in a split second being looped in the conversation as familiar words filled the air.
Throughout the evening, there were a few times that my sweet grandma would turn to her grandkids and say something, and through giggles we would tell her, “English, Grandma, English.” It brought back good memories of having to say the same phrase to my great-grandmother many many years ago.
Overall, I’m glad that I took the Norwegian Language class before our trip, even if I only know a few basic phrases. If I lived in Norway for a summer, I think it would be much easier to catch on as I would be completely submersed in the language and culture. Maybe that’s an idea for another trip? A Summer in Norway… I can see it now!
If you know one thing about me, it’s that I’m always up for a challenge. I’m keeping this dream of mine alive and know that one day I will be able to teach my own child the beautiful Norwegian language.
Takk bestemor for din hjelp og tålmodighet.