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  5. Started my new job in Norway …


Started my new job in Norway a month ago!

And hit level 25 yesterday, after 292 days learning.

So I moved to Norway at the end of July, and started my new job on the 1st August. While I don't necessarily need to learn Norwegian to do my job, I really want to become fluent as quickly as possible as I hate to be the dozy one at the back who doesn't understand what people are saying, and ends up missing vital information.

Relocating to another country is terrifying for me, it's not something I've ever done before, but in spite of a couple of aspects of Norway that I find a little bit trying (I guessed before I arrived I would struggle with those things) I've had a lot of very powerful moments where I've felt strongly that I've done the right thing. My work colleagues seem pleased with me and have been very helpful!

One thing that keeps surprising people (even today while I was chatting to the cashier at the supermarket) is that my Norwegian is considered very good (for a newcomer.) Personally I think I still have a long way to go, but I can understand simple conversations, and I interject sentences and words in Norwegian whenever I can. For now, I am speaking in English sprinkled with bits of Norwegian, but the plan is to up the Norwegian and eventually cease the English! The fact that I am doing this (to me very minimal amount of Norsk) is astonishing to people, possibly because I am the only international colleague who does this.

To get this far I have gone though Norwegian on Duolingo "the slow way" unlike French or German, I could not test out or double my XP with timed testing as Norwegian was entirely new to me. I also did a free online course with Futurelearn. (Actually, this was quite good for working on your pronunciation, which was something lacking on the mobile app I use for Duo.)


I also took 10 one to one lessons in Norwegian in London before I moved out here, though we spent a lot of time debating in English, so I fear I did not learn as much as I could have!

I'll be starting more lessons here, evening classes twice per week for three months. I've already got some books in Norwegian to read, and an elderly copy of Bokmålsordboka which my colleagues tell me is very good. (I also got the Nynorskordboka. My colleagues recommended it for looking up any odd dialect words I stumble across.)

Still a bit shell shocked to be honest, but huge thanks to Duolingo and the Norsk team for bringing this course to us all, for free. I actually like the new crown system as I'm hoping the repetition will help me in my quest for fluency. My next step here is to make the tree gold!

Tusen takk!

August 29, 2018



Gratulerer med nivå 25! Bra jobbet. :) Thank you for posting about your experience after the move - I was wondering how you were doing with everything. Moving to a different country is definitely scary, but it sounds like things are going well.

I worked for an international company based in Oslo years ago, and there were people from any number of countries working there. I'm not sure I heard any of them communicate in Norwegian whatsoever, so I can kind of understand your coworkers being surprised by you. Now that you're surrounded by the language it'll be easier to pick up more of it, but taking classes will help even more. Good luck with your further learning!


I get that if you're only there for a few months then learning the language might not happen, but I've had 3 people tell me of coworkers they've worked with who had spent 10 years in the country and still did not speak a word of Norwegian. That's outrageously rude and disrespectful. I'm at the stage where I can understand more than I might blurt out, especially reading (where you have time to re-read and ponder the translation) but I've tried to show keenness to learn and speak as often as I can.

A fair few cashiers at the supermarket have rumbled me, and made encouraging noises at my efforts, being internationals themselves but now fluent.


Yeah, my experience at work was with people who were here for at least a couple of years. We also have immigrants who speak negligible amounts of Norwegian after decades here, though, which is probably a combination of not a lot of exposure, being able to get by anyway (younger family members translating is common), and also not pursuing language learning. If I chose to move to a different country I would work until I was at least intermediate level of the language spoken there. It's too frustrating when you can't communicate with people, not to mention potentially unsafe.

It really sounds like you're doing great. I have a harder time with trying and failing - I want to know it perfectly before I open my mouth, basically, which is obviously both ridiculous and impossible. :p Hang in there. Some days will be better than others, but overall it will improve over time. I still have days where I feel like I can't speak English. (Wait, that was probably not a consolation...?)


Så flott med en oppdatering!

Å bytte hjem, jobb, land og språk på én gang er ingen liten utfordring, så det må være lov å være litt shell shocked, spør du meg. Lykke til videre - med både norsken og det nye livet!


Det er så spennende og også så skummelt, men det var den riktige tingen å gjøre.


Thank you for posting this! I am a student in high school who one day hopes to live or at least spend free time in Norge. To hear a story like this is really inspirational. I'm sixteen and actually don't know if I'll ever be able to leave the country. My family is kind of dependent on me, and frankly I'm scared to leave them alone. But one day I hope I'll get the chance, so knowing that other people can do it with relative ease reassures me. I wish you the best! Ha en hyggelig dag!


Well, I wouldn't say it was easy! It took me 2 years of job hunting to find a job outside of the UK in my specialism, and my specialism took 20 years at least to build up. I'm also a very long way from 16 and never imagined that I would ever leave my homeland. There's no rush!


Hello! I wish you luck. I'm from Russia. I also move to Norway, but first I need to learn English and then Norwegian.


I'm also new to Norwegian and honestly I think the pronunciation/speaking is confusing so far. But anyway good job and keep it up!


Definately check out the Futurlearn course, there's an adorable old tutor who's recorded a series of pronounciation videos and they really helped me.


Good luck !! I believe you could pick up any languages fast and is very determined at doing so. Your co-workers must be very lucky to have a you


I'm not confident enough to be posting spontaneous replies in Norwegian here! Sometimes it seems to flow more, and I'll initiate a conversation in Norwegian (then get stuck.) Today I'm feeling more dense! It is getting there though.


Jeg gratulerer og ønsker lykke til med jobben!


Kult! Hvordan opplever du dette med dialekter? Jeg tror vi snakket litt om det før du flyttet - når du spurte om banning eller hva det var :)


What's a banning? Is that dialect?

I haven't noticed anything obviously different in the area I am based in. When people around me speak slowly and use simple sentances I can understand. When they talk fast and use long and complex sentances and technical terms I can't follow more than the odd word. It's more noticable when I listen to the radio. Sometimes I get it all, sometimes I understand nothing.


Banning = swearing


Thank you very much for sharing with us your experience. This is very inspiring. I plan to move to Germany next year and I hope that everything will be fine.

Keep up the good work. Success!


I was considering Germany and Austria, (which are keen on my skills) so I first came to Duolingo to re-learn my German (I knew a little already from my schooldays), but a job in Norway came up first. Going to Norway was not something I had anticipated at all, but the job is ideal so I'm very pleased to have ended up here. Even if it was an unexpected destination!


Great job! Hope you will like it here! :D Even though you can survive fine here by just speaking english, there is more entertainment and cultural things available when you understand Norwegian, and it also makes it easier to make more friends. A good investment!


It's good for the brain to become fluent in extra languages too. There's research now finding it can protect against Alzheimer's and help you recover faster from strokes.


Bra innsats!

Du trenger ikke nødvendigvis fysiske ordbøker. https://ordbok.uib.no/ er like god, og har både bokmål og nynorsk.


I wondered if you have any updates for us on this journey?


Well, I've been in Norway for almost a year and a half. I've bought a house here now and intend to stay, and hopefully apply for Norwegian citizenship eventually. (That will take 7 years in total!) I managed to arm twist work into paying for adult education evening classes in Norwegian for me. I'm about B1 now, but still feel very far from fluent. (Evening classes start again next week.) There's a few new, non-Norwegian employees at my work, some of whom started at the same time as me, but so far I'm the only one the Boss wants to go to Norwegian speaking mini local conferences as I'm considered to be the most advanced in learning the language. I can sort of muddle through a conference, but what with dialects, I've found that some people I can understand fairly well, but others I have no idea what they are saying. Getting there. Slowly!


Nice! Thanks so much for replying. I'm just gaining US citizenship myself, from the UK but obviously didn't encounter that language barrier.

I can only imagine the dialects, must be like a person learning English and then going to Liverpool or Glasgow.

I wish you all the best with your future endeavors!


Jeg flytter til Norge i tre dage. Hva slags ting var en overraskelse til deg?


I was warned of many things before I went that were a surprise when I was told, such as there are no fishmongers! OK, fishmongers exist, but they are very rare and unusual. I'd visited before, so what surprised me then was the incredible quality of light. The clouds are gorgeous, the sky often takes on a turquoise hue. The lake was warm enough to swim in when I arrived (not anymore!) But then I'm in a dry part of the country, if you're going to moister Bergen you might have a different experience.


Det er Trondheim for meg. Jeg tror at det regner der ofte. Men jeg flytter fra Danmark (og Finland), så kanske er kulturen og vejret ikke så anderledes.


Velkommen til Trondheim! Det regnet for ti minutter siden, men nå er det strålende sol.


Her i nord regnet det for 10 minutter sida, og det regner fortsatt (bare mer :p)


Bare vent, snart snør det! :D


For meg var det at ingen snakker "bokmål" ;-)


Thanks for posting this. You have a very interesting story. Someday I'll be working up (down?) the Norwegian tree in a serious way.


It's a long tree!

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