Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Hyggelig å hilse på deg - and other mouthfuls

Hvordan har du det?

Who would have thought that learning this phrase will be so difficult? I'm pretty sure that no matter how much Pimsleur insists, I will not be asking anybody how they are in Norwegian any time soon.

Here's an even better one: hyggelig å hilse på deg! Until I can fathom the existence of this phrase, I won't be saying that it's nice to meet anyone.

The time it takes me to remember that to express my opinion I should start the sentences with "Jeg synes" will probably ensure that I'm much less opinionated - at least in Norwegian.

However, I really enjoy some things about the language already. For example that Germany is Tyskland. Isn't that lovely and completely nonthreatening? I like the regularity of Norwegian negation, the simplicity of what happens to a verb depending on the subject of the sentence (nothing! Isn't that just the greatest?); I like how I can already use a lot of what I remember from German - I mean, Tysk - to make my learning easier.

Pronunciation kills me still. Nothing sounds like it's supposed to, and no word looks like it should based on how it's pronounced. This may be my frustration barrier, which (as I'm reading in an amazing book called The First 20 Hours. How to Learn Anything Fast, by Josh Kaufman) will pass soon, as I'm moving if not towards mastery, then at least towards linguistic self-satisfaction.

I've been at it for two days. Probably about 4 hours of not very focused practice. I will build some structure around this experiment soon.

Today I bravely resisted buying learning materials for Norwegian. I was very proud of myself. I shall persevere and use only what's available for free. My husband would be so proud if he knew. Alas, my Norwegian experiment must for the time being remain a secret. At least for 2 weeks.