Norway - There and Back Again!

Hei hei alle sammen! At the end of December I packed myself and my hard-won Norwegian up and flew to Bergen for a few days!

I've been working on the Norwegian Duolingo tree for a bit over a year now, plus I've been using some of the recommended external sources and the like for further study. I won't say I was wholly confident in my ability to get anything done in Norwegian, but I was determined to try.

It actually went fairly well! Highlights definitely include being able to purchase train tickets from an NSB machine without having to switch to the English menu, asking if I could take photos of things, asking about yarn requirements and then purchasing yarn and needles at Husfliden, and successfully convincing the very kind women at the Bryggens museum that they really, really did not have to find me a nålebinding kit with English instructions. Ooh, and picking up my Bergen Card and asking for help finding cocoa mix at a grocery store. :D

A lot of my conversations ended up being a mixture of Norwegian and English, and I certainly seem to speak the language and read it better than I can hear it to understand it...but I still thought I did all right for a year's worth of independent study! I plan to go back in about a year and see how far I have come then.

It was of course very beautiful, and New Year's Eve was great, to see the fireworks over the wharf. I also made very good use of the television at the apartment I was renting, and was tickled to use Netflix with no option for English subtitles! And it was fun to see commercials for the new Ylvis show coming, and to sit and watch SKAM's entire third season on a television without homemade subtitles on it.

Naturally I rode Fløibanen, and the view from the observation deck was breathtaking.

Thank you for everything, Norwegian team, and here's to more learning!

January 7, 2018


Cool! I plan to go to Norway, too.

January 9, 2018

Highly recommend! It was a very nice experience I wish to repeat.

January 10, 2018

I try to go to Oslo with the Erasmus-Exchange-Program for one year!

January 10, 2018

Congrats! I went to Oslo a little over a year ago, and loved it. I'd love to go back and stay longer, if only I had money. I'm sure there's a way of living cheaply enough to allow it at some point, since the flights are cheap enough for me, with how close it is to me in the north of the UK. When I was in Oslo, I only knew the very basics, which I'd quickly taught myself right before. I was still proud that I could read some signs and sometimes understand what someone wanted, in very vague terms at least. I'd still talk in English, but even a basic level gave me a slightly better experience, and just being able to understand small phrases was exciting for someone who has never been able to speak a foreign language before. I've always been interested in scandinavia generally, but this was what really made me get started learning norwegian seriously, along with finding duolingo at around the same time.

January 9, 2018

I absolutely want to go back to Bergen, it was completely wonderful. I agree with you - understanding even a little is exciting when you've never managed a second language with any success.

January 10, 2018

I love that part of your mission was yarn-seeking. Naturally!

January 9, 2018

Oh, the second I found out there was a yarn store at the bottom of the street I was staying on, I knew the trip was meant to be, haha! I even took a day train up to Dale to see the Dale of Norway outlet and little historical sweater display.

A very cool thing was at Husfliden, I asked a lady about sock yarn, and later she checked me out at the counter when I was ready to buy, and I thought she looked familiar...and she was! It was Åse-Britt from the NRK Norwegian Knitting Night!

January 10, 2018

Sounds like a very exciting trip! Congratulations on your trip and your Norwegian experience. I can only imagine how fulfilling it is to finally put your hard work into use!! I'm going to Oslo this February. While I'm still not confident with my skill (I have been learning it a little over year too, but got distracted a lot by college work smh), I'm hoping it will be at least useful to understand signs and some lines in Grease Norge.

January 13, 2018

I hope you have a fun time, the bits and bobs of promo I have seen for it look like it will be a blast. Maybe if you are familiar with the English version it will help you catch words you know in the Norwegian version? If the Norwegian translation is pretty close I would think you would be able to use familiar lines as sort of landmarks and then go, oh, yes, that's [that line]!

January 21, 2018

"seem to speak the language and read it better than I can hear it to understand it..." Norwegian spoken the "Bergen way" is pronounced a bit different from the n. spoken on Duolingo.

January 8, 2018

It is, I made very sure to listen to media with all sorts of Western dialects, studied what I could of Bergensk, and I interacted with people that used Western and Eastern Norwegian dialects. In general, my listening comprehension is not so hot no matter the dialect. :)

January 8, 2018

That is SO cooooo!!! I've been learning Norwegian for almost 3 months now and I'm very excited when I can recognize SOME Norwegian words on the internet although I'm still a beginner. ;) I've been to Bergen twice and I agree with you that it's amazingly beautiful! I WILL back there for sure and I'm hoping next time I go there, I can use a few sentences I learn from Duolingo! ;)

January 10, 2018

The thing I can for absolutely sure lay at Duolingo's feet was buying train tickets. I thought of it the whole time I was clicking through the machine, haha!

January 10, 2018

I’m in Arendal, anyone else in the south? :D I’m lucky enough to practice with native speakers, but sometimes it would be nice to talk to other learners.

January 11, 2018
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