The next topic of the webinar by Pia is going to be: "Vokabular og typiske feil når man lærer norsk",   or simply: "10 'nei' og 10 'ja' med Pia."   Stay tuned! Webinaret er åpent for alle, og helt gratis!

tor_greetings

The Norwegian Rituals of Meeting and Greeting – Part 1

Tor is a popular guy - he meets many people every day; family, friends, colleagues and complete strangers. And he has just the right greeting for each and every one of them.   Informal greetings Here's how you exchange greetings with the Norwegians: Hei Hallo Heisann Hei på deg Halla (dialect/slang) Halloen (dialect/slang) Formal greetings…

Tor on webinar

Webinar: Lær norsk uttale med Pia

This webinar is already done. You can watch the recording here. Watch recorded webinar I dette webinaret skal Pia Lorentzen Skjennum gå gjennom viktige strategier for å lære nye ord på norsk, og ikke minst uttale og melodi. På fagspråket heter dette prosodi. Prosodi omfatter tre ulike emner: trykk tone lengde Webinaret er åpent for…

tor_sherlock_interjections_hmm

Thinking Aloud in Norwegian

– Ever catch yourself thinking aloud?  “Hmmm…Let’s see…” Exactly, just like that! Once you begin to master a new language, you’ll find that both what you think and what you say become part of it. In today’s article we will take a look at the words and phrases that Tor and other Norwegians use as a…

Tor_sunbathing

Nice Weather! – Let’s Talk Adjectives 2

Tor is at the beach, and given the circumstances, he appreciates having the right words to describe both the weather and his opinion about it!   In my last blog post I went through the main pattern and exceptions for adjectives in indefinite form in Norwegian You know, phrases like, en fin bil (a nice…

webinars

WEBINAR: Lær mer ord og uttale med Pia

This webinar is already done. You can watch the recording here. Watch recorded webinar I dette webinaret skal Pia Lorentzen Skjennum gå gjennom viktige strategier for å lære nye ord på norsk, og ikke minst uttale og melodi. På fagspråket heter dette prosodi. Prosodi omfatter tre ulike emner: trykk tone lengde   Webinaret er åpent…

audio2

WEBINAR: Norske ord og norsk melodi

This webinar is already done. You can watch the recording here. Watch recorded webinar I dette webinaret skal Pia Lorentzen Skjennum gå gjennom viktige strategier for å lære nye ord på norsk, og ikke minst uttale og melodi.   På fagspråket heter dette prosodi. Prosodi omfatter tre ulike emner: trykk tone lengde

Tor_Sherlock

The mystery of Norwegian word classes – solved!

Tor is investigating the basic building blocks of Norwegian grammar. It’s VERY useful to know what they are! To some of you this stuff can seem a bit dry. But read on – important clues are hiding here … Think you know all the answers already? – I bet you you don’t !   The…

Tor_mirror

Let’s talk adjectives

Let’s talk adjectives!   I’ve been teaching Norwegian for several years now and I never get tired of teaching my students how to decline adjectives correctly. The reason I love sharing Norwegian adjective rules with students is because we actually do have rules and if you understand them – you will never make another adjective…

Analysing Norwegian Grammar

Analysing Norwegian Grammar – Part 1

Tor is in the wood shop this week. From there he will demonstrate some very simple principles of grammatical analysis. – Do try this at home!   Ordklasser and Setningsledd - What’s the difference?   It may be decades since you last thought about conjugating irregular verbs or memorizing the correct gender of a noun.…

Cookingup_Sentence_Norwegian

Recipes for Norwegian Sentences – Part 1

– Already mastered the basics of sentence cooking? Check back for more “complex flavors” in later blogs. Norskbloggen will take you all the way to your first Michelin star !   Cooking up a sentence in Norwegian is pretty easy if you follow these simple recipes   When I go traveling to different countries, what…

Learn Norwegian the fast way – fast track language courses

Lingu specialises in providing quick and effective Norwegian courses to expats and professionals who want or need to learn Norwegian in Oslo, Stavanger and online.

If you want to learn the Norwegian language, you have come to the right place. Our mission is to prepare expats, professionals and overseas students for working and living successfully and comfortably in Norway. To reach this objective, we use a blended learning approach that is designed to get you speaking in no time at all. The courses combine small groups and the best e-learning solutions, and our instructors will immerse you in language and encourage you to improve your language skills. Learning Norwegian has never been easier and more effective.

Here are a few things you get at Lingu:

  • Small groups with lots of cultural activities
  • Choose between morning, daytime or evening classes.
  • Convenient schedules and course locations
  • Professional teachers
  • Blended learning approach where we combine traditional classroom training with online learning.
  • Conversation courses and events

Private lessons with a tailored course plan

Would you like to have a tailored course with flexible schedules? Then book a private course for a much more personalised service. Our experienced instructors can create a course from speaking and listening to reading and writing or anything in between.

Norwegian courses for companies

Are you looking for Norwegian training for your company? We cater to businesses and provide on-site training with professional educators.

Lingu has a perfect location, the study rooms are clean and tidy and the teacher I have had is very patient, always positive & smiling. She takes the time to explain grammar or expressions and clarify texts, further we read, do listenings, exercises and talking. It’s a great combination of all you need!

– Anna (Slovakia)

I would gladly recommend Lingu to anyone wanting to learn the Norwegian language. The teachers are wonderful, material good, class size perfect, premises great.

Inge (South Africa)

The course is for those who can catch up fast and digest quite big amount of information in a short span of time. But the beauty of it is that you master the language for professional aims very quickly.

– Malika (Turkmenistan)

The teacher involved us more in conversation and she was very supportive. I really enjoyed the course and will recommend it to my friends too!

Ashok (India)

I came to the course with little knowledge of the Norwegian language and through Lingu’s classes, web lessons and instructor aid and feedback I have learnt a wealth of information in the Norwegian language. I highly recommend Lingu.

– Jason

This is the place where you gonna really learn the language. Everyone in the room wants to see progress and assimilate the knowledge you need.

– Sylwia (Poland)

other languages

Learn a new language

Join one of our language courses and expand your horizons. You can participate in a group or have a tailored one-to-one course.

View our courses

business solutions

Communication skills training

With support from Vox – the agency for lifelong learning, we offer communication training services for work force with lower education.

Read more about business solutions

Tor is a popular guy – he meets many people every day; family, friends, colleagues and complete strangers. And he has just the right greeting for each and every one of them.

 

Informal greetings

Here’s how you exchange greetings with the Norwegians:

Hei

Hallo

Heisann

Hei på deg

Halla (dialect/slang)

Halloen (dialect/slang)

Formal greetings

Depending on the time of day Tor says:

God morgen

Morn (short for God morgen)

God dag

God ettermiddag

God kveld

God aften (most people only use it jokingly – like Good evening in a posh, British voice)

 

So you’re feeling pretty confident with these basic initial greetings.

 

But do you know what to say when someone greets you? Can you always follow the flow of the common Norwegian greeting “rituals”?

 

It’s a bit like dancing; know the steps and you’ll survive on the dance floor!

 

Let Tor help you get past the common mistakes. Read on and become an expert meeter and greeter in less than 5 minutes!

Use har or går

When Norwegians greet each other, certain phrases always go together. When I say X, you’re supposed to answer Y. And some phrases really don’t match up, so beware.

 

HAR
Let’s say you meet Tor in the street. He says (with literal translations):

Hei! Hvordan har du det? Hi! How do you have it?

 

You then answer with one of these phrases:

Jeg har det bra, takk! I have it good, thank you!

You must use the same verb “har”.

 

Bare bra, takk! Just fine, thanks!

Jeg har det fint! I have it great!

 

 

GÅR
Or Tor might say:

Hvordan går det (med deg)? How goes it (with you)?

 

You would then answer:

Det går bra. It goes good.

Again, you must use the same verb as Tor did.

 

Bare bra. Just great.

Bare bra, takk. Just great, thank you.

 

IMPORTANT
DON’T mix up har and går if you choose one of the the full sentence options!
You must use the same verb as Tor picked, he sets the stage and you have to follow.

Upping the stakes

I’m bored with just “bra” or “fint”. What if I want to be a little more adventurous? Could I use one of these?

Ganske bra

Veldig bra

Kjempebra

 

Sure, that might work great, but you should know that “ganske bra” translates to so-so, quite good, somewhat good or even pretty good.

 

There is a chance this phrase could sound too tepid or too specific. It depends on your level of honesty that day.

 

Veldig bra

Translates to really good or amazing. It’s pretty emphatic, so you may not want to be using it all the time.

As you know, Norwegians tend to be more moderate or neutral.

 

Kjempebra

Does not mean “giant good” – but “kjempe” does mean giant. It is used more often as a compliment to someone who has done really well. Like “Fantastic! Well done!”. It might sound a little over-enthusiastic, cheeky or even childish in response to “How are you?”

 

If you just want to translate the uncomplicated, slightly superficial English phrase “very well”, I’d say use “bare bra” in Norwegian.

Avoid these traps

Many Norwegian learners try to translate directly from English. That rarely works. Here are some terrible examples:

DON’T say:

Hvordan er du?

“How are you?” does NOT translate directly into Norwegian. This is the kind of in-depth question you could get in a job interview, not in everyday greetings.

DON’T say:

Jeg er fin!

“I am fine” does NOT translate well from English into Norwegian. You might be good looking and know it, but it is not generally accepted to say it out loud.

 

For the next few days, work on cementing your basic Norwegian greetings. Next week we’ll take our greetings to the next level.

 

Now go out and meet some people – you know exactly what to say to them!

 

Check out the other articles and webinars here before you go. And don’t forget to leave me your comment below!

This webinar is already done.

You can watch the recording here.

I dette webinaret skal Pia Lorentzen Skjennum gå gjennom viktige strategier for å lære nye ord på norsk, og ikke minst uttale og melodi.

På fagspråket heter dette prosodi. Prosodi omfatter tre ulike emner:

  • trykk
  • tone
  • lengde

Webinaret er åpent for alle, og helt gratis!

– Ever catch yourself thinking aloud?  “Hmmm…Let’s see…”

Exactly, just like that! Once you begin to master a new language, you’ll find that both what you think and what you say become part of it.

In today’s article we will take a look at the words and phrases that Tor and other Norwegians use as a “soundtrack” for their thinking.

In a moment you will learn how to think better aloud in Norwegian! – What do you say when you are having a reaction to something or somebody, working something out in your head, or simply greeting someone?

 

Meet the Interjections!

Hei!       This is an interjection. Did you know?

Ja!         Yes? You did know ? That’s great!  And “Yes” is also an interjection, of course….

Å!           If that was a surprise to you, then you could simply use “Å” – the shortest word in the world –

to express that-

 

Here’s a new strange thing in your life as a Norwegian speaker:

It matters how you say å because that funny little Norwegian vowel sound can have so many different meanings:
Å =  Really? I didn’t know that

Å =  Oh no, that’s too bad

Å =  What? I’m totally confused

Å =  I’m soooo disappointed

Å =   He’s so cute!

Å =   You shouldn’t have…

…and many more.
We divide Interjections into 4 types:

(Interjections, of course, are one of the ten word classes in Norwegian, in case you forgot.)

 

1. Exclamations

Å !                    = see above …

Æsj !                =   yuck

Fy !                  =   you’ve been BAD !

Hurra !             =   Hooray!

Pytt !                =  no big deal; that’s nothing !

Huttetu !           =  that’s terrible, that sounds terrible, I’m not looking forward to it

Pøh !                =  absolutely not! (scornfully )

Au !                  =  ouch !

Prosit !             = bless you (when someone sneezes)

Gudskjelov !     = thank God !

 

Bad language

I’m pretty sure that you’ve already been introduced to some juicy curses by a friend in a bar. Of course, all swear words are interjections. Some mild swear words:

Fy fader

Fy flate

Fy søren

Søren å’

Filler’n

Nei, dra meg nå baklengs inn i fulgekassa!

– and you can take it from here – you already know the really spicy hot ones…

 

2. Greetings

Hei

Heisann

Hallo

Morn

Goddag

 

And so on …

 

3. Responses

 

Ja

Nei

Tja…

Hmmmm  

Kanskje

 

– and then there’s the sharp inhale:

Hh!

Have you ever heard a Norwegian do this? –  inhale sharply, as if they’re terrified or can’t breathe?

Well, they’re neither afraid nor asthmatic. They’re simply agreeing with you!                                                        

I do this Hh-thing quite a lot myself, and it gets my foreign friends every time. Sometimes they look over their shoulder to see if we’re being attacked!

(LOL)

 

Other thinking phrases

The phrases below are not strictly speaking interjections, but they do function as such:

Skal vi se …    Let us try this…

La meg se …  Let me see, I’m looking for it , I’m trying to remember it…

Jeg lurer på… I’m wondering

Vet du hva …  You know what –

 

4. Onomatopoeia

(Look it up if you forgot what it means..)

Knirk           squeak

Pang           bang

Pling           same in English, I guess…

Plopp          pop

Svisj            swish

Tut-tut!        toot-toot

Vov             woof

Mjau           miaow

Nøff            oink, or whatever it is the pig says

 

And, by the way – What does the fox say?       

 

If you promise to come back to this blog every week, we will introduce you to each of the 10 word classes one by one.

 

And now it’s time to interject a Goodbye:

 

Ha det!

Farvel!

Adjø!

Morn’a!

 

What is your favorite interjection in Norwegian? Leave a comment below and tell me!

 

Tor is at the beach, and given the circumstances, he appreciates having the right words to describe both the weather and his opinion about it!

 

In my last blog post I went through the main pattern and exceptions for adjectives in indefinite form in Norwegian

You know, phrases like, en fin bil (a nice car) et fint eple (a nice apple). This time we will look at adjectives in definite form.

 

How do you say: “the great summer weather in Oslo” ?

You may not think the weather was that great, but at least you will, after reading this post, learn to say it correctly.

 

The main pattern

So let’s start with the main pattern – it is quite simple and it goes like this:

  • In definite form, adjectives standing in front of a noun get an “e”.
  • If the adjective is “fin” it becomes “fine”, regardless of what gender the noun is.

Masculin:

fine bilen (the nice car)

Feminine:

fine boka/boken (the nice book)

Neautral:

fine eplet (the nice apple)

Even if the noun is in plural (flertall) the adjective stays the same in the definite:

fine bilene

fine bøkene

fine eplene

 

Easy? Sure, but don’t forget the definite article

If the noun following the adjective is masculin or feminine, you add the article “den” in front of the adjective. If you are dealing with a neutral noun, you must add the article “det”. If your noun is in definite plural, add the article “de” in front of the adjective.

Your adjective phrases should look like this:

Masculine/feminine definiteNeutral definitePlural definite
Den fine bilenDet fine epletDe fine bilene
Den fine stolen (chair)Det fine bordet (table)De bordene (tables)
Den fine stuen/stua(living room)Det fine soverommet (bedroom)De fine soverommene (bedrooms)

 

Exceptions

Yes, there are exceptions, there always are. But keep calm – there are not too many, and

are easy to remember:

  • Some adjectives do not get an “e” in the definite.

blå

grå

rosa

 

As you can see, they all end in a vowel.

Masculine/feminine definiteNeutral definitePlural definite
Den blå bilen (The blue car)Det blå huset (The blue house)De blå bilene (The blue cars)
Den rosa stolen (The pink chair)Det rosa bordet (The pink table)De rosa bordene (The pink tables)
Den grå stuen/stua (The grey living room)Det grå soverommet (The grey bedroom)De grå soverommene (The grey bedrooms)
  • Some adjectives always stay the same no matter the form of the noun

Here are some of the most common ones:

bra (good)

sky (shy)

annerledes (different)

direkte (direct)

ekstra (extra)

gratis (free)

moderne (modern)

spennende (exiting)

stille (quiet)

 

  • Adjectives ending in “er”, “el” and “en”:

 

The last letter and the plural “e” ending trade places

Sliten (tired)

voksen (adult)

vakker (beautiful)

gammel (old)

spinkel (thin)

Masculine/feminine definiteNeutral definitePlural definite
Den slitne mannen (The tired man)Det slitne barnet (The tired child)De slitne mennene (The tired men)
Den voksne damen/dama (The grownup woman)Det voksne mennesket (The grownup human)De voksne meneskene (The grownups (humans))
Den vakre hagen (The beautiful garden)Det vakre huset (The beautiful house)De vakre husene(The beautiful houses)
Den gamle kommoden (The old dresser)Det gamle skapet (The old closet)De gamle skapene (The old closets)
Den spinkle gutten (The thin/gangly boy)Det spinkle barnet(The thin/gangly child)De spinkle guttene(The thin/gangly boys)

 

Notice that the adjectives ending with “er,”en or “el” with a double consonant before the “e” loses one when the “e” and the last letter switch places. This is because we in Norwegian try to avoid three consonants in a row.

 

So how do you say

«The great summer weather in Oslo»?

 

A few clues:

  • the noun summer weather is a neutral noun.
  • summer weather is written and pronounced as one word in Norwegian

Still not sure?

 

(Hvor ble det av…)

*det fine sommerværet i Oslo*

This webinar is already done.

You can watch the recording here.

I dette webinaret skal Pia Lorentzen Skjennum gå gjennom viktige strategier for å lære nye ord på norsk, og ikke minst uttale og melodi.

På fagspråket heter dette prosodi. Prosodi omfatter tre ulike emner:

  • trykk
  • tone
  • lengde

 

Webinaret er åpent for alle, og helt gratis!

This webinar is already done.

You can watch the recording here.

I dette webinaret skal Pia Lorentzen Skjennum gå gjennom viktige strategier for å lære nye ord på norsk, og ikke minst uttale og melodi.

 

På fagspråket heter dette prosodi. Prosodi omfatter tre ulike emner:

  • trykk
  • tone
  • lengde

Tor is investigating the basic building blocks of Norwegian grammar. It’s VERY useful to know what they are! To some of you this stuff can seem a bit dry. But read on – important clues are hiding here … Think you know all the answers already? – I bet you you don’t !

 

The official rules!

Språkrådet (The Norwegian Language Council) keeps an eye on the development of the Norwegian language, reporting to the government and recommending new rules and changes – all the time, it seems…

 

Språkrådet’s Official List of Word Classes

 

INTERJEKSJONER (interjections)

I mention interjections first, because they’re the most fun!

Greetings, exclamations, short answers and sometimes just sounds belong here, for example:

Hei

Hurra

Å

Jammen

Huff

Hmmmmm…

 

Now for the other nine:

 

SUBSTANTIVER (nouns)

These are names of persons, things, concepts and phenomena, for example:

Tor

mann

bok

speilbilde

Bergen

 

PRONOMENER (pronouns)

These are word we can use instead of a noun (like “shorthand”, almost).

“Personlige pronomen” include

jeg

du

han

hun

det

den

vi

dere

de

man

“Spørrepronomen” include

hvem

hva

hvor

hvorfor

hvilken

 

ADJEKTIVER (adjectives)

They describe other words, like nouns and pronouns; with colour, quality and also numbers:

himmelblå

vakker

interessant

plagsom

første, annen(andre), tredje

 

DETERMINATIVER (determinatives)

These somehow point to, define or decide other words:

“Demonstrativer” (demonstratives)

denne, dette, disse, det, den, de

“Possessiver “ (possessives)

mitt og ditt”, “hans og hennes”, sin, deres

“Kvantorer” (quantors) have two subcategories:

1. Artikler (articles)  

en, ei, et

Just like Pluto is no longer a planet because some scientists decided so, Språkrådet recently demoted the articles from being a word class of their own! Hmmmm… (that was an interjection, by the way…)

2. Grunntall (cardinal numbers)

en, to, tre

femhundreogsekstitrillionersyvhundreogåttifemmilliarderfirehundreogattenmillionernihundreogsekstentusenåttehundreogto

“Mengdeord” (quantifiers)

mange

mye

begge

hver

samtlige

 

“Forsterkere” (amplifiers)

They make a point ring through a little stronger (but not louder!).

For example:

Dine egne penger

selv et barn kan da forstå at

 

PREPOSISJONER (prepositions)

Prepositions describe a relationship between one word and another. Simply place a preposition in front of a noun or pronoun, and Voila! -you have created a prepositional phrase!

Do you know these?

kontoret

i kjelleren

til bestemor

fra Afrika

som oss

enn dem

Because so many prepositional phrases are unique to Norwegian, you’ll want to be constantly learning new ones.

 

VERB (verbs)

Verbs define actions:

å elske

jeg sprang

Tor speiler seg

Yngvil har sagt

Without time there can be no action. All verbs appear in a lot of different “time zones”, like past, present and future. More on that topic in another post.

 

ADVERB (adverbs)

These give us more clues about the action (i.e. the verb), in the same way as adjectives describe nouns and pronouns.

da

når

ofte

sjelden

ned

langsomt

fortsatt

aldri

 

KONJUNKSJONER (conjunctions)

These are kinda like zip ties; they link two words, phrases or sentences together.

The most common ones:

og

men

for

eller

 

SUBJUNKSJONER (subjunctions)

Also zip ties, but come between clauses with different “status” within a sentence:

mens

fordi

hvis

da

når

These words precede subordinate clauses. Språkrådet decided that the infinitive marker Å should also be called a subjunction! That’s a pretty long word to explain a pretty short word if you ask me…

 

Now you’re either totally exhausted and confused or dying to know more…

 

Don’t worry, Lingu will keep posting new articles like this on grammar, pronounciation and more. Read Norskbloggen every week, and Norwegian grammar will become less of a mystery  – one week at a time….

See you back here soon !

Let’s talk adjectives!

 

I’ve been teaching Norwegian for several years now and I never get tired of teaching my students how to decline adjectives correctly. The reason I love sharing Norwegian adjective rules with students is because we actually do have rules and if you understand them – you will never make another adjective mistake!

 

In this post I’m going to go through the main patterns and exceptions for adjectives positioned in front of an indefinite noun

 

Continue reading and step up your game

 

It’s a known fact that native speakers use more adjectives than non-native speakers. So if you want to speak like a native and be able to express precisely what you mean, continue reading.

 

The first thing you should know is that Norwegian adjectives do not have a gender of their own. They follow the gender of the noun or the nominal clause they are describing as the function of adjectives is to describe nouns or nominal clauses.

 

The Norwegian nouns on the other hand, have a grammatical gender. They are masculine, feminine or neutral. The masculine nouns have the article “en” in singular indefinite; the feminine nouns have “ei” and the neutral have “et”.

 

Here are three nominal clauses (indefinite article + noun):

 

  • En bil (car);
  • Ei/en lampe (lamp);
  • Et eple (apple).

 

In plural indefinite, they all often end with “er” regardless of gender (NB. there are a lot of exceptions which we wont go further into in this post).

 

So let’s start with the main pattern for adjectives that describe nouns in indefinite forms. For this example I will use the adjective “fin” is “fine” or “nice” in English.

 

If want to say a nice car, a nice girl or a nice apple, we have to add the adjective “fin”.

En fin bil

Ei/en fin lampe

Et fint eple

 

For a masculine and feminine nouns the adjective stays the same, but in neutral you have to add a “t”.

 

And if you want to say nice cars or nice apples you must add an “e” to the basic form of the adjective.

 

To fine biler;

To fine epler.

 

So the main rules are:

 

  • In masculine and feminine the adjective stays the same;
  • In neutral you add an “t”;
  • In plural you add an “e”.

 

Masculine singularFeminine singularNeutral singularMasculine pluralFeminine singularNeutral plural
En fin bilEi/en fin lampeEt fint epleFine bilerFine lamperFine epler
En rød bilEi/en rød lampeEt rødt epleRøde bilerRøde lamperRøde epler
En stor bilEi/en stor lampeEt stort epleStore bilerStore lamperStore epler

 

Easy, right?

 

But wait… there are some exceptions.

 

Keep calm though, the main exceptions are also quite easy to understand and to learn

 

 

  • Norwegian adjectives that end with a double consonant lose one of them when you add a  “t” in neutral.

 

For example we say en tykk person (a fat person) but et tykt blad (a thick magazine). En grønn plante (a green plant), but et grønt hus (a green house).

 

 

  • Words ending with “-ig”, consonant + t and nationality words does not get a “t” in neutral.

 

 

For example we say et hyggelig hus, et koselig lys – never hyggeligt or koseligt

(But they do in several Norwegian dialects, and in our neighboring countries, Sweden or Denmark as some of you may have noticed.)

 

Other exceptions

 

  • The following Norwegian adjectives get double t for neutral nouns.

 

Fri, ny, grå, blå

 

Et fritt land (a free country)

Et nytt kjøkken (a new kitchen)

Et grått hus (a gray house)

Et blått bord (a blue table)

 

  • These Norwegian adjectives do not change with any form of the noun.

 

Bra

Moderne

Gratis

Felles

 

  • Adjectives ending with –er, -el or –en

 

In adjectives ending with –er, -el or –en the “e” and the “r”, “l”, “n” swap places in plural

For example: We say en vakker, gammel, sliten, sikker or voksen person, but voksne, gamle, slitne, sikre or voksne personer.

 

That’s that.  I hope it was helpful.

 

One last tip – start using adjectives much more than you do. Your listeners will appreciate it. Actually, you should start right away! Go and stand in front of a mirror and tell you reflection how good it looks by using adjectives, just as Tor in the illustration above.

 

Please do comment this blog post in the comment field below or use the field to ask questions. I promise you that I will reply.

Tor is in the wood shop this week. From there he will demonstrate some very simple principles of grammatical analysis. – Do try this at home!

 

Ordklasser and Setningsledd – What’s the difference?

 

It may be decades since you last thought about conjugating irregular verbs or memorizing the correct gender of a noun. But here you are, back in school, learning Norwegian… Remember your last classroom grammar lesson? Was it tons of fun? Did you sleep through it? Did you run screaming out the door? In either case, here is a reminder of how EASY grammar can be:

 

With a little help from Tor you will soon be able to look at any piece of language and immediately have a sense of what’s going on.

 

The key lies within these TWO simple concepts:

 

på norsk:

ordklasser & setningsledd

 

in English:

word classes & clauses

 

in wood worker terms:

raw materials & the parts of our fancy upholstered chair

 

Tor is a keen “word worker” and he wants to build some “Norsk Språk” – in the same way a woodworker constructs a classy piece of furniture.

 

For now, let us imagine YOU’re that skilled woodworker, and that today you’re putting together a very nice, upholstered chair from scratch. Clever you!

 

Somewhere in your wood shop you’ll have collected all kinds of materials over the years – maybe you have a bunch of planks and wood scraps in the corner, or perhaps they are stored nicely on rafters under the ceiling… You have lots of different kinds of wood: pine, spruce, birch, some hardwood such as oak, some exotic balsa (super soft), mahogany and bamboo… Each type of wood i.e. the material has unique properties.

 

When it comes to making and joining together the chair, each part of it will have a clear structural function and you already know from your vast experience exactly what type of wood will work best for the legs, for the armrest, the seat and those fancy inlays on the back. Sometimes several pieces of wood are needed for one structural part, to strengthen, to decorate etc.

 

 

Tor’s grammatical construction is coming together much in the same way:

 

The minute your nice piece of oak wood goes from being just a piece of wood to, say, the armrest of your new chair, it is like when one of Tor’s nouns leaves the word class shelf and becomes the subject or part of the subject clause.

 

Word classes have properties

Clauses have functions

 

Simply put “Grammatical Analysis” is like taking a quick look at the finished chair and figuring out how it was put together. We analyse the chair on two levels:

  1. It’s main parts (setningsledd)
  2. What kind of materials have been used for each part (ordklasser)
  1. The main parts would be : four legs, two arm rests, the seat, the back…
  2. Possible materials : Birch,oak, pine, plus foam, fabric and nails if you go with upholstery.

Pretty simple, really.

 

Check out the next article in this series soon: Grammatical analysis – Part 2. Then Tor will share the secrets of exactly which word classes can be used for which clauses. You’ll be an seasoned word worker at the end of it!

– Already mastered the basics of sentence cooking? Check back for more “complex flavors” in later blogs. Norskbloggen will take you all the way to your first Michelin star !

 

Cooking up a sentence in Norwegian is pretty easy if you follow these simple recipes

 

When I go traveling to different countries, what I love most  is tasting different foods and hearing different languages spoken. It strikes me how basic ingredients like meat, fish, vegetables, grains and dairy are prepared to produce vastly different flavors from country to country.

 

And it is the same with language –  the special “flavor” and texture of a language develops when generations of people follow traditional “recipes” for speaking and writing. Each language’s “cooking practices” change slowly over time, inspired by the cuisines of other countries and cultures.

 

Basic Ingredients

The basic language ingredients are pretty similar all over the world, like oil, garlic and tomatoes. To cook up a decent sentence in Norwegian you will need all or some of these:

 

Subject (S)  – a doer

Verbal (V)    – an action

Object  (O)  – the thing or person acted upon (optional)

 

This looks fairly sparse and bland. Don’t worry, we will spice up this basic recipe in future articles. For now let us just also mention that the object can be direct or indirect and that in next week’s blog you can read more about clauses (setningsdeler) and word classes (ordklasser).

 

A word on word order

When you started learning Norwegian, many of you noticed that the order of words – even in basic sentenceswas a little different from what you were used to. This is precisely why it can take some time to get comfortable “cooking” sentences in an unfamiliar kitchen. I’ve noticed that some baking recipes ask you to “ha det våte i det tørre”, in other words “pour the wet (ingredients) into the dry”. Others order the exact opposite.

 

Linguists categorize Norwegian as an SVO – language meaning quite simply that we “stir in” our three main sentence ingredients in this order : Subject – Verb – Object.

 

For example:

S       V          O

Jeg elsker kjøttkaker

 

S-V-O is the most common indo-european “mixing” order. World languages like English, Chinese, Spanish, Russian, French and Portuguese are all SVO languages.

 

Other languages favor other combinations:

S-O-V is the typical sentence structure for neutral sentences in Arabic, Hindu, Urdu, Turkish and Japanese and in German (subordinate clauses)

 

So in these languages our example would read:

 

S        O           V

Jeg kjøttkaker elsker

 

And V-S-O is the normal word order for languages like Tagalog, Arabic and Classic Hebrew.

 

V      S         O

Elsker jeg kjøttkaker.

 


 
V2 – The Golden rule

 

In Norwegian, you can begin your sentence with almost any ingredient, but we are very picky about the second ingredient: It has to be the verb! – with very few exceptions – more about this in Part 2.  Our friends the linguists coined the phrase “V2” for this rule which remains strong in every Germanic language except English.

 

Some examples:

Jeg elsker kjøttkaker                ( elsker )

 

Jeg har aldri likt kjøttkaker      ( har … likt )

 

Vi skal lage kjøttkaker             ( skal lage )

 

Når blir det mat, egentlig?        ( blir )

 

If you remember this simple rule – the verbal clause in second place – your sentences will always have that authentic Norwegian flavor!

 

Next we’ll start cooking up some sentences:

 

Helsetninger

Leddsetninger

Spørsmål

Det – setninger
And much more –