Hvordan Går Det? Part I

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Mexicans in Norway

I am a Mexican living in Norway for less than three years. Though I have not yet taken any *real* course in the language, I find myself getting closer and closer to speaking fluently something so different from my mother tongue now.

So this is how it goes: before coming to live here for (initially) two years, I had the privilege of making a one-month research leave while a grad student. By then, I was already familiar with the Pimsleur method for language learning, having become more or less (emphasis on the “less”) proficient in French with it. It is an audio-mostly course which stresses repetition, anticipation, and natural context learning.

Well, before visiting, I got ahold of the first few lessons in Pimsleur's Norwegian, but it was hardly useful at all!!! While I think the courses are great (just did 25 minutes of Italian lesson 88 this morning), there was just too little Norwegian in the first ten half-hours to get me by. I did learn something about pronunciation, and the typical greetings, thank yous and so on.

So I wasn't completely disarmed when I first arrived right after May 17th, but it was an odd experience. After the quickly learnt expressions for “[do you want a] bag?” and “[do you need a] receipt?”, before my visit was over, my head had begun to hurt with all those Norwegian words coming out of the TV and being spoken in the streets. I decided Norwegian was just not worth the bother.

Boy, was I wrong.

Hardly a year passed when I found myself agreeing to my first job after graduating, a two-year postdoc contract with my then-host-now-boss at NTNU.

Well, two years isn't much. Would you make the effort to learn a language spoken so little instead of focusing in all the other activities Norway has to offer? I didn't. I decided, given my lack of faith on language courses (less than 10% of my knowledge of English, Italian and French, however small, was obtained outside of a classroom), I skipped the formal education and decided I would be satisfied with the words I could catch here and there, and maybe one or two textbooks of the ones you can get in libraries here.

How did it go? Well, it turns out I have been in Norway for more than two years now; a formal course would have been a more sensible decision had I known I was gonna stay this long. But the thing is, I didn't enrolled in anything for the last three years. I have some working knowledge of Norwegian now, thanks to my experiences with many resources.

I don't want to bore you, so I will stop here and relate my accidents with my host country's language for a second post.


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2 thoughts on “Hvordan Går Det? Part I”

  1. Whats the link to the blog where you explain why you moved in the first place? Cool article about the tacos. As an Austinite from a border town, I can relate to an extent.


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