Why Norway (and, thus, Norwegian) is Awesome
Recently I fell in love with Nordic languages. Maybe because they sound like liquid music. I don't know if it's the fact that I think Iceland is the most beautiful place on Earth, or because I think nobody is more awesome than the Danes because they invented Legos. Perhaps I owe this to the reality that Sweden has awesome meatballs. And all of these languages have long histories with amazing people. Just look at the Vikings and Ylvis. I'm learning Danish right now, and I gotta say, I've never had more fun in my life. It's hard to pronounce, sometimes hard to spell. I make lots of mistakes. But in the end, when I finally pronounce skildpadderne correctly I come away feeling like I just saved the world or something.
Swedish is on it's way, and I await it eagerly. But Norwegian isn't here yet. That's ok, I can wait. But maybe I can help speed it up a little bit, too. Below are some reasons I think Norway is an amazing place with amazing people.
The beauty of the Norwegian fjords is absolutely spectacular. Fjords are typically found near the coast of Norway. They're formed when a glacier retreats, forming a big u-shaped valley which the sea fills with water. Typically, when somebody thinks about a fjord they associate it with Norway. No surprise, because there are over 1500 fjords in Norway.
The Northern lights, or Aurora Borealis are caused by caused by the collision of solar wind and magnetospheric charged particles with the high altitude atmosphere. The result: breathtaking beauty. The Northern Lights are something we often associate with Norway. Although visible in many other northern places, the best place to see them is northern Norway because it's the most accessible and has a fairly moderate winter climate.
They've gotten a bad rap as raiders (remember pillage first, then burn). However there were also a lot of Vikings that were explorers, settlers and traders. In reality, they weren't much worse than the British. Over all, they're pretty awesome, especially because they drank ale and had cool ships. Although the Norwegians won't try to kill you and make your skull into a cup anymore, they still can look a lot like vikings.
When you give a Norwegian a pair of skis and direct him to a snow covered slope, get ready to see some serious awesomeness. Norway has won a total of 329 medals (118 gold) at the Winter Olympics with their top sports as cross-country skiing and speed skating. If you go to Norway, you'll have tons of opportunities to ski, and you'll get to watch the best skiers in the world (the Norwegians).
Norway is known for it's seafood. After all, when most of your country is bordered by water you tend to get good at fishing. They have excellent salmon, trout, codfish and herring. It's a part of Norwegian culture, it's a part of Norwegian history, and it tastes really good (if you don't let it sit out too long).
Norwegian architecture may not be the most amazing in the world, but some of it is pretty cool. Directly above is the Akershus Fortress, a huge medieval castle built to protect Oslo. Another amazing piece of architecture is the Oslo Opera House.
Although bloody, and depressing, Norse Mythology is pretty amazing. If you haven't read stories about Thor, Odin, Loki and the rest of the Norse gods you haven't had fun yet. It's a lot more interesting than Harry Potter, and if your familiar with it you you'll learn quite a bit about Norwegian culture and history.
Above is Edvard Grieg, perhaps the coolest composer of all time, he was Norwegian. Among some famous Norwegians are: Ronald Amundsen the first guy to reach the South Pole. Roald Dahl wasn't born in Norway, but both his parents were Norwegian, he wrote awesome books like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Sonja Henie was a Norwegian figure skater and film star. She won more Olympic and World titles than any other ladies figure skater, she was also once one of the highest paid stars in Hollywood. Kristofer Hivju has an awesome beard. This alone is pretty cool, that and he acts in The Game of Thrones. Here's a list of some other famous Norwegians.
Most of the Norwegian vocabulary dates back to Old Norse, the language of the Vikings. Norwegian is also mutually intelligible with Swedish and Danish. If you want to know what Norwegian sounds like, imagine having a potato in your mouth, being drunk and singing. But seriously, it sounds pretty cool. Here's the unofficial national anthem of Norway.
I probably haven't told half I could have about Norway, probably not even a fraction. But (hopefully), by now you realize that Norway is pretty darn awesome. Their language is a part of their culture, a part of their spirit. It is a part of their history, a part of their pride, a part of their awesomeness. Duolingo can help us to experience a little bit of this Norwegian coolness, help us to obtain the key that unlocks so many treasures. Most of you probably know that most Norwegians speak English. So why learn it? Because you don't really understand a man until you talk to him on his native turf, in his native tongue. Norwegian is a part of Norway, it's part of its aura, it's part of it's entire being. Every language is a key to the country it's from, it fits the country like the skin on our body. Please Duo, help us to get this key! Help us to unlock another door that will lead us on so many adventures.
I loved your post. You already 'had me sold' by the picture of the fjord. Then that northern lights one was stunning. You can see the Northern Lights, but not possibly as well as in Norway, from where my family are from - It's called Caithness and is the most Northerly bit of Mainland Scotland.
Then you tipped me over the edge with the seafood. I don't know why Brits don't seem, in general to have taken it on board!
You may think you have a lot of coastline, but we are an Island, and we share a similar bounty to Norway (Yet most of our finest, gets exported. Mad!)
The Viking bit is Interesting. The Vikings went everywhere. Whilst we have a picture of rape, pillage and plunder (Which certainly happened) they were mostly traders, It was a commercial thing. In Britain we had the Dane-Geld (A Viking controlled area) and the 1066 and all that - The Normans - Vikings from France (Put simplistically) and then the Vikings just dissolved into Britain, as they did everywhere. - As far away as Sicily, and the Near-East.
They didn't seem to be concerned with overtaking a country; they may have ruled some for a while, but they got integrated into the countries they 'visited'
I've always thought of myself as a little Anglo-Saxon boy, but my dad showed me an interesting thing. [Caithness, The Orkneys and Shetland, where my family are from are far more related to Scandinavia than Britain]
"Feel the palms of my hands" he said. I felt them. He had hard nobbly bumps in them. "It's a part of Viking hereditary. Feel your own!"
I did. I have them too!!! :) .
They also have way better movies than Hollywood, with actors who are hired because they can act, not because of how they look.
But that's not just Norway! It's all the Scandinavian counties. I couldn't and can't think of a greater director than Ingmarr Bergman [I've probably spelt that horribly wrong!] - But if you want to watch a bit of truly brilliant acting and cinema photography try finding 'The seventh seal'
I'm no good with computers, but I managed to find it. I don't think it's on Youtube, but it's on the Net somewhere! :)
As a Norwegian it's nice to see a post like this ^^ hopefully Duolingo will accept Norwegian into the incubator soon...
While our language has descended from old Norse, it's probably not as similar as it once was... From what I've heard, Icelandic is a lot closer to that ancient language, and they've retained some understanding of Old Norse.
I've never heard we sound like drunkenly singing with a potato in our mouth before, although we do like potatoes, singing and alcohol here in Norway haha
Please drop me a line if DL ever gives you the go-ahead on this. Norwegian is my native language, and I consider myself fluent in written English. I'm too busy to supervise a team, but I'd be more than happy to contribute if needed.
How do you upload photos?I'd like to create a discussion like this but for French this time!:D
What you do is you put: !  (put a link to the photo) And don't put spaces between: !( I just had to put spaces or else it would disappear.
I can't wait for Norwegian! It's one of the first languages I looked for when I first signed up for Duolingo. I was disappointed that it wasn't available, but now with Danish in beta and Swedish incubating, hopefully Norwegian will be coming soon. :-)
No, you got it wrong: DANISH sounds like drunk singing potato-mouthes! Norwegian is a TON easier to pronounce. :-)
I'm sold because of the seafood. ;) I'll get to see how intelligible it is with Danish once I finish that tree...
Written Danish looks a lot like Norwegian Bokmål. If you are able to write a job application in Danish, you could probably read the corresponding Bokmål one with few - if any - problems. Spoken language is a different story, but many Danes understand Standard Østnorsk and southern (especially Agder and Rogaland) accents quite well.
Certainly, there are differences that tend to cause cause awkward misunderstandings between Danes and Norwegians who do not keep them in mind, such as "bøg" (means "beech" in Danish and "gay/queer/fag" in Norwegian + Swedish) and "grine" (means "to laugh/grin" in Danish and "to cry/weep" in Norwegian).
I'd advise against trying to learn these two languages simultaneously, as the different grammar and punctuation rules - on top of the casual awkward differences - would most probably leave you very confused. That doesn't mean it can't be fun once you know your way around casual conversation in one of them, though.
I love seafood too! But you wouldn't believe how hard it is to find appetizing Norwegian seafood pictures!
This is a really great post so thanks for sharing! I've learnt a lot about Norway from this. I've always thought that Norway must be one of the most beautiful countries because of the all pictures I've seen of the most incredible scenery there! I hope to visit one day and see for myself.
I'll always have a strong love for Norway though because they pretty much invented the (rather controversial) music genre of Black Metal, which although certainly not to everyone's taste, is my favourite genre! It's evolved a lot from what it was in the 1990's in Norway, but would have never been possible without the original start there.
Anyway I can't wait for Norwegian to be added to the incubator - I definitely hope to complete the Norwegian tree one day! I would have thought that it would be quite soon given that Danish and Swedish have already been added but we will have to see.
As a descendant of Scandinavians, I too would like to see Norwegian on here. I could watch Ylvis videos on youtube and consider it immersion. I didn't know the Danes invented Legos. I have a few children's books written in Danish that I was given that I would like to be able to read to my kids. I plan on learning Swedish next.
This articule nicely sum up my thoughts about Norway. I've been waiting for Norwegian in Duolingo since day 1.
I've recently become intrigued by Norway as well, mostly through a show called Lillyhammer.
I have been in Norway, and the landscape is truly breathtaking. I found Oslo to be a somewhat boring city, and super expensive. but Bergen is a cool city. if you like mythologies, what do you think about the hebrew mythology, the bible, which is probably the greatest book ever written. if you want to read it in its original language, you should ask duolingo to add hebrew also.
Hebrew has been requested many times on DL. But you should be careful about the use of the word 'Mythology' - it means different things in different cultures.
'Myth' can mean something 'made up - not true' whereas I believe the 'Greatest Book' is more than 'Myth' in that sense. :)
I bought a book on 'Learning Biblical Hebrew' - it is simply laid out, and introduces two consonants at a time - But it was still too hard for me - I got no further than Aleph and Bet. I reckon if DL tackle it, I may actually be able to learn :)
the biggest problem in learning Hebrew is the letters. of course, its not a Latin language so there are many differences between Hebrew to European languages, and that makes it even harder. it didn't stop Tolstoy from learning Hebrew from the rabbi of Moscow so that he could read the bible in its original language. luckily for me Hebrew is my mother language so i didn't have to struggle with it (even though learning English was not so easy from the same reasons).
Moving in Bergen in November with my wife! Can't wait for the DL Norsk course! Any way to speed it up? :)
I'd like to learn Norwegian, but apparently spoken Norwegian is different to written and there are two forms...
If you were to learn Norwegian, you would learn bokmål, the most widely used written language, which roughly corresponds to eastern dialects spoken in and around Oslo. That's the "standard" spoken language as well (although we generally pride ourselves on not having a proper standard, as most people use their own dialect in all situations).
This makes me want to visit there now.....on second thought I want to travel all over the place sooo. No, seriously, it looks beautiful there, have you been there @GeniusJack? I think I'll try Danish now too!
I'm glad this post is inspiring! I've never been there, but I would love to go!
Oh yes, Norway is definitely on my "Have to visit someday in the future" lists now. I'll have to second @panagiotists13, perhaps one for France? :) Or the USA lol.
Then I think you should make it a priority. Your post was perhaps more passionate than a native Norwegian could have made. :)
Sometimes it sounds so much better for an 'outsider' to sing the praises of a country. than for a 'native' to 'blow his own trumpet.'
Your photos were gorgeous. Maybe you should get a job as a travel agent specialising in Norway! lol :)