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  5. "Er du tospråklig?"

"Er du tospråklig?"

Translation:Are you bilingual?

June 18, 2015



Is it this common in Norway to be fluent in two languages? I heard about Norwegians gladly speaking English to tourists if the locals recognize that they'd be understood.


Yes, it is very common for many Norwegians to be fluent (or close to) in English. More so the younger generations than the older. It helps that most movies/TV shows etc. aren't dubbed (with the exception of children's programs/movies), so they get a high exposure to English (as well as other languages).


So, if I were to come into a random small shop in a mildly populous city and ask for some of the more common products - beer, bread, milk, cigarettes - in English, would I be understood?


Definitely. I was on exchange there for a year and even though I spoke Norwegian sometimes people would hear my accent and just start speaking English to me without me wanting them to.


Did you get to get any meaningful linguistic practice?


Yes, I became mostly fluent in a year... I've lost a bit since then.


When I visited Bergen, I tried the very little Norwegian I had, but most of the time I barely got to use any before English was used instead (for which I'm grateful to all of them).


Heh, I remember being able to pass as a Norwegian, to anybody who was not from Norway, but all of the Norwegians knew I was an American the moment I took in a breath.

That was too many years ago, and I want to go back and visit family again.


If you consider what words like "bread" and "milk" are in Norwegian, you'll realise that even a Norwegian who hasn't learnt a jot of English would understand you there.


Indeed. How common is such lexical compatibility between the two languages? I don't know nearly enough of Norwegian to compare at this point.


There is a huge number of similar words. Half of English vocabulary is Germanic, and a fair part of that is mutually intelligible if one looks at the equivalent terms in Scandinavian, and even more so in Dutch.


I love the word "tospråklig"! It's so straightforward.


I said Can you speak two languages?


That would not mean exactly the same. "tospråklig" is usually referring to someone who has two mother tongues or who at least speak two languages fluently. Being able to speak two languages does not automatically make you bilingual.


No, fair enough, but at the same time the word literally means "two languages", so I guess I was being too literal.


It's an adjective, though—not just "two speeches" (=to språk) but a "two-speech-ling" (to-språk-lig), like an earthling or a changeling; more than simply "two languages" , it's "someone characterized by two languages", i.e., bilingual.


What about polyglot (when you speak more than 2 languages)?


That would be "flerspråklig".


Yes I am/Ja det er jeg/Ja d e æ! :D ♡♥


no, but m learning norwegian, french and latin.

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