Hot Is Relative

Teaching English in Japan, I find some interesting differences in how certain words are used between English and Japanese.  The words may translate directly, but they may not have the same connotation.

For example, the weather has been unusually warm this week, reaching 21 degrees Celsius yesterday.  Usually, it’s in the low teens at this time of year.  Numerous people have told me it’s hot.  I always responded by acting surprised and saying I actually felt quite comfortable with this temperature.  I said it felt warm, and that hot meant it was uncomfortable, causing me to sweat.  That’s normally in the high 20s or above.

While hot may mean the same thing between Japanese and English, the Japanese may use it as a more relative term.  Hot could merely mean it’s warmer than normal.  In English, we usually mean it’s uncomfortably warm.  21 degrees is certainly not hot.  It is warm and very nice.  I think hot in English is more absolute.

Of course, what’s hot could be different between people from different countries.  In Canada, I often thought 28 degrees was hot.  After spending ten summers in Japan, 28 is actually not so hot, especially after a hot summer of two straight months of 30-plus temperatures.  It suddenly feels merely warm to me.

Language is fascinating, isn’t it?

What Is Norway?

Now on to the 9th top country to visit this blog, we have the Scandinavian country of Norway.  With 113 views, it makes up 0.6% of the views in 2014.  If you’re Norwegian, from Norway, live or have lived in Norway, or have visited Norway, please give me a little help.


A long, thin country with a long coastline, Norway has an area of 385,178 square kilometres, making it the 61st largest in the world. It has a population of 5,136,700, which is 116th in the world.  The capital and largest city is Oslo, which has a population of 647,676 (1,502,604 metro).  The official languages are Norwegian, Lule Sami, Northern Sami, and Southern Sami.  The Kingdom of Norway achieved unification in 872, though it has joined with other neighbouring countries several times in its history. It’s most recent split was with Sweden on June 7, 1905.  The head of state is the King, currently Harald V. However, the head of government is the Prime Minister, currently Erna Solberg.  The type of government is unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy.

Norway is a country filled with amazing natural beauty, from its mountains to its fjords.  The cities are very historic.  It’s ranked first in the world on the Human Development Index, and has an extremely high standard of living.  I’m quite interested in Norway mostly because of my ancestry (I’m 1/4 Norwegian from my maternal grandmother).  So, if you are Norwegian, from Norway, have lived or visited Norway, please help me out and answer these questions.

  1. What places would you say are the best to visit?
  2. What would you say is the truly Norwegian food?
  3. What is a truly Norwegian activity, sport, or pastime?
  4. For the readers out there, who is/was the greatest (or your favourite) Norwegian author?

Thank you very much! Please share so I can get as many answers as possible.