Have I mentioned that I have a little international Abenteuer planned? Yep, I’ll be heading to Norway for a two-month research stay this spring! Even though the major point of my time there will be work (must hand in dissertation by, cough cough, next year), I am over-the-moon-excited!
I’ll be based in Oslo with a side trip to Trondheim, but have my sights set on some serious weekend traveling through the country. To quench my excitement, I’m already lining my feed reader with Norway-based blogs so I can start gathering ideas. I also plan on getting in touch with the Norwegian side of the family that I’ve never met — my great-grandfather emigrated to the US of A, but most of the rest of the family remained in (or returned to) Norway.
Even though my stay is still several months away, I’ve already begun my great Norwegian adventure by starting to learn the language…
My path to learning German was inspired by love and the desire to be able to speak the native language of my sweetheart. But of course, the process of building my life here in Germany (over the last four years) has benefited immensely, both personally and professionally, from my ever increasing fluency. It’s probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but it’s been worth all the blood, sweat and tears, a million times over. Sometimes I can hardly believe that such an ungifted language learner like me has ever managed to become so comfortable in a foreign language.
And now I’m ready to face the challenge of learning Norwegian (Bokmål)! My goals are a little different than for German, of course. For now, I’m just aiming to be able to communicate the everyday basics and have a general idea of what’s going on around me during my research stay. Although my working language will be English, a little effort towards learning greetings and some formal niceties will probably go a long way.
I’m curious about how this language learning process will be, especially now that I’ve already got one language under my belt. I can already sense that my confidence is much higher and my expectations more realistic. Plus, I’m already a pro at making lots of mistakes and embarrassing myself, so might as well keep that ball rolling. :)
Another interesting quirk this time around is that I’m learning Norwegian in German, if that even makes sense. At the beginner levels, there’s still a lot of explanation going on, and since I’m enrolled at a German university, the explanation, of course, is in German. I thought this might blow my mind, but the first lesson yesterday was actually totally fine. And somehow, since there are so many similarities between the two languages anyway, it kind of does make sense.
In any case, I’m excited to finally get this adventure started!
Do you have experience learning other languages, Norwegian or otherwise? Or tips on what I should do and see during my time in Norway? Please share!