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I could never go to another country and not try to learn the language

I just couldn't. My friend and I were talking and I told them that I was planning on going to Norway in a few years and he was like "you know they speak English there. right so you don't have to learn Norwegian". But even if I didn't try to learn Norwegian. There would still be this... divide between us. I would want experience it in full, even if it means learning the language. That's what people don't understand sometimes.

I don't even know if the title makes sense

June 11, 2017



You're on your way with German, and have English already, so I'd guess you'll easily pick up some Norwegian. I also prefer to spend my holidays where I understand something little of what is said around me.


thanks. I am making progress in German, there's struggle here and there. I just need to incorporate it in more ways than Duolingo. I am trying to choose my next language but it's a tough choice.


Why not pick Norwegian? Then - once you're fluent - you can speak with me in my mother tongue (which is Swedish). Two languages neatly caught with one stone, and you're thoroughly prepared for your upcoming Norway trip. I assume you've looked into going by boat along the "Hurtigruten" route? Or perhaps travelling along the railroad "Norlandsbanen" and if you search on YouTube for "nordlandsbanen minutt for minutt" you don't actually have to go there... You could also search for e.g. "der ingen skulle tru at nokon kunne bu"... or check out "Honningsvåg" and "Nordkapp" and the midnight sun. For me it'd be a no-brainer...


It really gets under my skin when people say "they speak English there" or "everyone already speaks English" Especially if you're going to stay there for an extended period of time. In fact, I believe that if you want to study in Norway, they require you to get proficient in Norwegian first. Which is really how it should be.
Honestly, If I were planning on going somewhere other than the UK/Ireland, Australia, or English-speaking Canada, I would refuse to speak English if I could avoid it, with few exceptions.


I feel the same way about people saying "everyone speaks English there" I would also try to avoid using just English


I actually disagree hiding for cover I like going for a few days on a vacation abroad multiple times a year.. but I'm sorry I can't learn all the languages of the world just for that. I'm fluent in 3 languages and I'm in love with dutch.. there's just no more space in my brain to put a bunch of strange words I won't need ever again.

And I find it actually very offending when I ask in english "where is the train station please?" and the response I get is "you are in X, next time learn to speak Xish"... well excuse me, for not wanting to struggle to say a broken sentence in an embarrassing accent, that you wouldn't have understood anyways, and then having to explain that I didn't understand your answer in Xish so can you please repeat that in english?

I don't think people owe me to talk in english, but if they can, why not? why be rude about it, especially considering they don't know me and chances are I know more languages than they do...

that's my tourist point of view.

and from the other side, I never expect (or actually encountered) a tourist in my country who tried to ask me something in our language, it's always english, and I don't see anything wrong with that. If a person would tell me "thank you" in my language (when it's clear he is a tourist) that'd just make me laugh and wonder why..it will not warm my heart at night.


I'm American. Nation of monolinguals and all. To counteract that, I had the idea to learn some of the languages of places I would visit (concretely implemented all to often by just choosing to go places where I'd already studied the language quite a bit). Then the person during my time in France who was most annoyed by the French inability to speak English was the Greek guy in my language program, and some Italians at the Lisbon airport asked me what time it was in English. I told them and then asked them in Portuguese (not knowing where they were from) why they'd spoken to me in English. They told me they couldn't speak Portuguese and had thought I was Norwegian. After than I just sort of stopped worrying about using English :)


I try to learn a few keywords - thank you, hello, whatever they say for a toast, shopping words, etc. It's a nice enough balance that they know you're interested, but you also don't have to learn the whole language.


If you learn Norwegian you can e.g. watch native Norwegian television, listen to native Norwegian radio, read Norwegian native newspapers, magazines, books, ... and follow native Norwegian news, speak to basically all people there and so on...


I'm sorry if I offended people. I know there are people who don't agree with me. and yes there is a difference between staying in a country for an extended period of time, just going for a few weeks and living there.

If I decide to go to Turkey for a few weeks, I'm not going to learn the whole language (unless I really want to) but if I'm going there for a few years then I'll learn more than tourist phrases

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