Tag Archives: Norwegian

The Multilingual Desire

Ever since I started using Duolingo to study languages, I’ve had a growing desire to learn multiple languages. There are many languages available on that platform, and it continues to grow.

My experience learning languages started in 1986 when I was 9 years old. I studied French in school until 1994, when I was 17 years old. I didn’t take French in grade 12, but instead challenged the final exam and passed it easily, getting full credit for the class. I was good at it. I had confidence that I could learn languages easily.

In university, I took a class in Japanese and enjoyed it a lot. I did very well in that class, and it helped me a lot when I moved to Japan in 2005. I had full intentions to learn the language and become fluent. I studied it on my own. However, I worked entirely in English. My interactions with Japanese people were with friends who spoke English well, coworkers who spoke English, students who I taught English, and people in shops. It was when I went shopping or out to a restaurant that I was able to use Japanese. As a result, I have no problem going shopping or ordering in a restaurant in Japan. My confidence in speaking Japanese didn’t grow at all. I didn’t speak well enough to have a conversation with my wife’s parents, or even with my wife. My listening improved, but my speaking did not. That’s my fault.

I started using Duolingo to relearn French. I also started doing Esperanto, since studying it has been proven to help people learn other European languages more quickly. I also started learning Spanish.

My studying has stalled recently. I’d like to get myself back into it. I’d like to focus on French and Japanese. French will be useful for future job prospects in Canada, while Japanese will be useful for me with my family and my in-laws. And since we plan to travel to Japan often, I can use it there.

But I don’t want to stop there. I want to get back into studying Spanish, as well as German, Norwegian, Russian, and Irish. My family heritage includes German, Norwegian, and Irish. My grandfather was born in Russia, so a lot of research into his family history has to be done in Russian. I think it would help. And I’d also like to learn Tagalog. I have some Filipino friends, and I think it would be fun to be able to understand what they’re talking about.

Are you using Duolingo? Are you studying a language? Let me know in the comments section below. Also, you can check out my Duolingo profile and add me as a friend.

Test Driving Languages – Norwegian

320px-Flag_of_Norway.svgMy next test drive is the Norwegian language. It’s the language of my maternal grandmother’s family, so I have a great interest in learning the language. It’s said to be pretty easy for an English speaker to learn, as it’s similar to English, but has easier grammar. It’s a Germanic language, and shares a lot with Swedish and Danish.

Jeg er en mann.

— I am a man.


It uses the Roman alphabet, so is pretty straightforward. However, it also has Æ, Ø, and Å. Other than that, easy.


It takes a little getting used to, but once that’s done, it’s not difficult. There are a lot of silent Ts and Ds, though. And some sounds don’t look anything like the letters that are used (from an English point of view). But the pronunciation rules are strict, unlike English.


Not very different than English. However, the nouns have gender. But the good thing is, it’s optional! You can use the masculine form all you like, though there are some exceptions where the feminine form is used. Verb conjugation is incredibly easy. There’s no variation in the verb at all. For example, “be”/”is”/”are” is always “er” in Norwegian. The indefinite article, “en” becomes definite when added to the nouns as a suffix. So, “en mann (a man)” becomes “mannen (the man)” and so on. There are exceptions, though.

Overall Impression

I was a bit worried looking at the words. I didn’t really recognise many. I wasn’t sure how different it was from English. However, after doing six lessons, I’ve found it relatively easy to learn. I retained the words pretty well, understood the grammar easily, and made few mistakes. The only difficulty is the listening. I wasn’t used to the pronunciation. That’s where my mistakes were. So, I’m definitely looking forward to learning Norwegian. Looks fun!

Are you interested in Norwegian? Let me know in the comments below.

Learning Languages: Duolingo

Does anyone use Duolingo? I’ve decided to seriously start using it. I started about a year ago to brush up on French, but I’d like to try several languages.

Currently, I’m at level 4 for French (about to reach level 5). At Duolingo, there are 25 levels, and 4 is still pretty basic. Here are the languages I’m learning or going to learn there:

  • French (level 4)
  • Spanish (level 1)
  • German (haven’t started)
  • Italian (haven’t started)
  • Irish (haven’t started)
  • Norwegian (haven’t started)

There are quite a few other languages, including Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Turkish, Esperanto, and Ukrainian. There are other languages under development at the moment, including Russian, Hungarian, Polish, Hindi, Vietnamese, Hebrew, Romanian, and believe it or not, Klingon.

So, that’s a lot of languages you can study at Duolingo. At least, that’s for English speakers. You can also study languages from your own native language, if available.

Have you tried Duolingo? What are you studying? You can find my profile here, and if you’re studying there, send me a friend request.

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.