Thursday, 16 October 2008

Having fun with the language! Norwegian - English - Beckywegian

One of the best things about being in a new place and learning the language is to be able to laugh about it! It really helps to try and get past feeling so self concious about trying to say things (which I always do - especially when I don't know people very well!) I think to have the ability to look at the mistakes you make/have made/will make/ or possibly could make and just be able to laugh at the whole business will get you through andmake you more relaxed in future!

As an example, I was at the doctors here and it was obviously came as a bit of a surprise when I asked him to speak English (because 'jeg forstå ikke så god Norsk') It was no problem though of course, and absolutely fine for him to explain things to me and ask questions - and then it came to the dreaded question that doctors always ask; you know the one about 'is everything ok with your bowel movements?' Anyway, the conversation went almost exactly along the lines of;

"have you been to the toilet today?"
"yes I have"
"and...."

(the Doctor stopped for a minute and his forehead creased while he searched for the right words)
"and when you went to the toilet, did you take a crap?"

Despite being in pain I just couldn't stop from laughing, and then so did he! It was a definite ice breaker anyway - and so funny! I can't imagine a Doctor in England ever asking me that!

I told my friend Maria about this later on and she said that it probably translated right in Norwegian - but the words just have slightly different meanings in the 2 languages - or different situations in which they are suitable...

That conversation led on to Maria, Anita and myself discussing some of the words in Norwegian that I probably shouldn't use so often - it actually got quite silly but it was hilarious and I don't think I have laughed so much since I have been here! I told them about when I first started learning Norwegian and Hans (being Hans) told me that the Norwegian word for 'please' was 'rævskjegg' - which translates roughly to 'anal beard' (Thanks Hans!) I am SO glad he corrected me before I met his mum for the first time, things could have gone very badly! Anyway - this obviously made them laugh and started us on a silly task of listing the some similar words and suitable situations I could use them in, and who it would be appropriate to say them to!

Anyway, the list has been put up by the side of my desk at the school so we can add to it as and when a new word emerges! I took a picture of it but it's not very good quality as I took it on my phone.




I won't go into the words and what they mean - it wouldn't be very polite of me! but we came to the conclusion that most of them were unsuitable to say to your bestemor (grandmother) and none of them at all would be acceptable to say to Kongen / Dronning (the King and Queen) It was so funny anyway, really made me giggle :D

One last thing I remember language wise, was the last time I was invited to Marias' for the evening (I know they wont mind me saying) her partner, Jan Ove, turned to me with a bottle in his hand and I think he asked me if it was pronounced;

"wush-shu-shu-shoor....sh"

(it was a bottle of Worcestershire Sauce) We laughed alot about that one too! I can't really hold that against anyone though, it is a weird word with strange pronuciation at the best of times!
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