My story of success / BIG THANK YOU / little bit of motivation for beginners ;-D
Hi everybody, Hi Duolingo-Norwegian team,
today I want to tell you a little bit of my successful story of learning Norwegian which started on this webpage about 16 months ago and ends, for now, with me working at a Norwegian company since wednesday and having absolutely no issues when it comes to my current capabilities to understand and speak Norwegian.
So how did I get there? Well, as I said, I started with duolingo. During the time I learned Norwegian here for the first time, I also wrote vocabulary cards in Anki. I invested around 1 hour each day on average on learning. In some periods even more. Otherwise I think this amount of progress ofcourse would have been impossible.
Within rather short time, I managed to get through the whole course here on Duolingo. I think at times I probably annoyed - or at least strained - some people from the Norwegian team here on duolingo with all my questions. But I could always count on them for giving great help, explanations and corrections when I wrote (or tried to write) in Norwegian. To me that was an unbelievable help and I cannot think of an appropriate way of thanking them because they were so great!
After finishing the course for the first time, I moved on to reading news. Some quality, some popular, some specialized magazines and websites. vg.no, Nrk.no, aftenposten.no and forskning.no just to name the most important ones. I used forvo, ordbok.uib.no and dict.cc to look up stuff that I didn't know how to pronounce or what they meant. Then I used lang-8 for a while just to get better with writing in Norwegian. In parallel I began to watch the news and listen to news-radio on nrk.no.
During that time, my progress - or "gold"-status respectively - on duolingo largely decreased. So I just did the whole course again. After that was done, I concentrated a lot more on watching news and films in Norwegian and I even found out that I had some DVDs which offered Norwegian subtitles, so I activated those.
A while after, I was in the situation once more that the "gold-status" of my Norwegian tree was quite poor, so guess what: I am now in my third run - because you NEVER can learn or practice TOO MUCH. ;-)
This spring I started to look for positions in my profession on finn.no. I wrote some applications. Then I was invited here for a job interview and hired shortly after. I got here on monday and started working at the company yesterday, on wednesday, the first of november.
Until now, almost everybody I talked to, in summary said something among the lines of "your Norwegian is very impressive for being here such a short time" or "have you worked/lived here for long?". But don't get me wrong: my Norwegian is far from perfect and there are definitely still a lot of things I say wrong, just because I didn't get that many chances to practice before I came here. I just was here one time during the phase where I learned Norwegian, and back then I was very shy about my Norwegian and often switched to English just because it's more comfortable and basically everyone here speaks it.
But I have realized that it is just about not being shy, not holding back and just going forward and trying to speak Norwegian as much as you can. Everyone understands and noone laughs or thinks worse of you if you make mistakes. When I read this first, I didn't quite believe it, but I now also have the feeling that Norwegians REALLY give you credit for trying in Norwegian and not just expecting them to speak English anyways. And if you feel misunderstood or struggle really badly and don't know any further, just use an English word, or switch when you cannot get through in Norwegian. People will understand and they definitely won't think any lesser of you.
Ofcourse there's also those moments where you say something incredibly stupid (or at least you think you do) and you wish you could just disappear into thin air, but hey - you'll just improve and won't make the same mistake again. So in the end, you really cannot "lose" at learning a language.
I hope this helps anyone who is struggling with insecurities using a new language, who is doubting if learning purely on the internet will work out in real life, or even those who offer their help here - either in the forums or as a contributor - if there is a phase at any time where you think if your work is really appreciated. Because it really is!
Have a nice day and I wish you success with your efforts!
Ha en fin dag og god suksess med dine anstrengelser!
Wow!! Thank you for your so encouraging story! I've been learning Norwegian here for only 18 days so far but I'm the "casual" version. I only use the time when I'm on the subway, at lunch time or when I'm waiting for the bus, but I'm still learning. Again , your story really encourages me! Thank you! Ha en hyggelig dag!
Congratulations on your job and for your language achievement!
Thank you for sharing your story; I want to second your comments about putting in the time: I started learning Norwegian because my kids have been badgering me to take them to Norway. I arrived at Duo a complete beginner, and idled about for a year, proud to reach level 15, but not really retaining much of what I was learning.
Then this summer, having concentrated on Italian for a while, I took the kids to Italy, but felt completely out of my depth (even with passable French), and found myself wondering if – at 47 – I might be a bit past learning a new language. That made me sad. But with our trip to Norway still looming (they're still badgering me), I decided to set myself some goals: level 20 by Christmas, and level 25 (plus a completed + fully gold tree) by next summer, meaning 70+ XP a day, every day, for 10 months. (And to ignore all other languages for the duration.)
Two and a half months later, I'm on track, and at 70+ XP a day (+ plus reading discussions, asking questions, looking stuff up in the dictionary, etc.), I'm noticing a HUGE improvement in both my understanding, and my ability to retain words/grammar. It's working! I am actually learning a new language!! And it's people like you, sheepster, who help me to keep going.
I'd also like to second your thanks to the team, who are infinitely patient and kind.
No age is too late! I am at 47 too, and I think we should feel free to pick up a new language at absolutely any age. If you or I are 65 or even 82 and decide there is a place in our mind for a new language (and what other mental exercise could be so stimulating and life extending?) then we should go right ahead. Congratulations on braving the new challenge and on your travels!
Gratulerer så mye og tusen takk for meldingen din!
I started learning on here 4 months ago and I feel like I've made quite a lot of progress in being able to read some Norwegian (or at least get the gist of what it's saying) but everything else I really struggle with. I struggle to write it, I can't understand anything that I hear and haven't ever tried to speak it! Your message gives me hope that I can improve that too and gives me some direction to go when I finish the tree.
Thank you! Lykke til med ny jobb!
Gratulerer så mye med ny jobb, Daniel! Vel fortjent.
I also commend you on not only sharing your success, but the whole story of how you got to where you're at now. Most people here dream of fluency in one language or the other, but if you don't put in the hours it's not going to be attainable. By being consistent and active in your learning, asking questions, utilising the resources available to you, and now taking a leap of faith with a new job in a new country, you're well on your way to making that dream reality.
I wish you all the best!
That's an amazing story! I'm still in school, but I dream of moving to Norway someday and this gives me hope with the language.
Honestly, this whole time I've been a casual learner, but after reading this I've decided to up my game. It's absolutely amazing that you've managed to learn so much in such a short amount of time, and it's given me the motivation and inspiration to reach that level!
Takk for dine gode ord!