I received a tweet last weekend from Lauren Karlisle (@laurenkarlisle) and decided to answer her questions in a two-part blog post.
— Lauren Karlisle (@laurenkarlisle) January 12, 2013
First off, thanks for the tweet Lauren! I LOVE hearing from blog readers!
As I mentioned on Twitter, yes I do speak, read and write Norwegian. My road to learning Norwegian actually started in Austria in 2005, when I started learning German (the vocabulary in both languages is very close), furthered when I started teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) in Hannover and was vamped into overdrive when I moved to Norway in 2007. I’m not perfect by any
means and still have a ways to go before I reach what I would consider a “comfortable” level of Norwegian in all situations, but I am fully
conversational and get around pretty well. My strongest skills are in reading and writing. One of my goals in 2013 is to get over my “fears” concerning my heavy accent and improve my speaking skills. I do have to say that my speaking
skills are the weakest of the three, more due to my “perfectionist” mentality towards speaking, than anything else. But, for me, this has been true for the other languages I’ve learned over the years too (Spanish and German).
pupils learn bokmål in school, and most state publications are in bokmål too (although most are actually available in both languages). In Oslo, many speak bokmål only, while in my area (Stavanger – Rogaland) many speak nynorsk or both. In Norway, most if not all newcomers learn to speak bokmål in language school. So if I had to choose one of the two languages from your perspective, I’d
Watch videos on YouTube for Norwegian language tips. Be sure to watch the videos all the way through once, and then watch twice more, each time repeating everything the speaker says in Norwegian OUT LOUD. I know, you’ll feel silly the first few times, but this really helps get your mouth used to making new sounds and your tongue working in a new way.
The language books which have been most helpful to me in learning Norwegian are the “Teach Yourself” Series, which come along with CDs. I’ve also used the book Practical Norwegian Grammar by Ase-Berit Strandskogen to great success. This book explains Norwegian grammar in detail, in English.
Find online support and resources from Universities and academics. Many of the
Norwegian Universities have invested several thousand kroners in developing resources to help their international
students improve their Norwegian skills. Here are a few online resources I have