Learn Norwegian Part 5

I already started with the Bergenstest preparation course online today. To be honest, I really missed studying and learning something new in the Norwegian language. In fact, I have learned one Norwegian expression today:
Å ta seg vann over hodet


Source: huffingtonpost.com

when broken down literally means:

å ta seg - to take oneself
vann- water
over - over
hodet - the head

Do I see a bulb just lit up there? No, sorry guys. This does not mean Ice bucket challenge. Nice try...

Seriously, this simply means, biting off more than you can chew. Taking a task that is so big for you, that you get overwhelmed and eventually, failing to accomplish it.

I am a member of Facebook group, Ja, Jeg snakker lift Norsk. It is intended for foreigners who want to learn Norwegian. Members are both Norwegians and non-Norwegians. Such group is very helpful if you have questions relating to the language. When writing a post or comment here, I am really mindful of the grammar, the choice of words and the tone of my voice. It is a good practice really. Plus people here are so quick to correct you, which is another positive thing.

Speaking of corrections, when someone corrects you or points out a mistake you did, how do you react/feel? Do you go all full metal gear into defensive mode or maybe just laugh it out? I asked this because I want to let you guys know that it is impossible to learn a language without committing grammar errors, incorrect use of words or pronunciation, not understanding the sentence or the context, not being able to communicate your thoughts or feelings properly, etc. It is really frustrating. REALLY. I did not learn Norwegian overnight, neither was it just a walk in a part. I was laughed at, been quite humiliated, discriminated and backstabbed because of my then poor Norwegian, etc. All this because I was learning a new language. No, I am not asking for a pity party here. The reason why I am sharing this is because as much as I enjoyed learning Norwegian, it is not easy and for you to understand that, if you want to embrace a new language, you really have to be humble and learn where you´re at in the learning curve. I have come into terms that I will never be able to speak 100%, perfect Norwegian, but I aim to at least speak 90%. Just that, and I am OK. I remember back then when I met a new colleague at work, I would always tell them that I don´t speak well yet and ask them to be patient with me. I even encourage them to stop and correct me. I do not take offense when they do.Nope, not at all. It was really humbling experience for me.



I have watched a lot of foreigners learn the language, from nothing/ scratch. All the time, the advice I tell them is this: Do not, I repeat, DO NOT say "Yes, I understand" even if you really don´t. This is a fatal mistake almost all foreigners do while learning Norsk, or I maybe, any language. I have to admit that I committed this mistake early years here in the country. I was afraid to lose face to my colleagues - that I could not understand what they were saying equates to incompetence or inadequacy on my part. It must be human nature: Kapag hindi mo gets, slow ka (If you don´t get it, you are slow to pick up) and you are branded stupid, dumbass, imbecile, pea-brain, birdbrain, /insert more words synonymous to idiot here/. Period. No one can´t blame you though, we are living in a harsh, judgemental world. It only took one certain mistake for me to realise that it was really a stupid thing to do and a waste of time.

I think it requires a lot of honesty, not only to the other person, but to yourself. As the Norwegians would say, it is better to ask a lot, than to ask too little. They don´t bite. They are even more appreciative whenever you tell them you did not understand or get what they are trying to say and they would gladly explain it. I have not yet met a Norwegian who did not take time explaining something to me when I asked them to.

Yikes, I may have strayed from the topic I originally intended to write, i.e. the Norwegian expression. haha Anyway, yeah, Ice bucket challenge anyone?


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