Thursday, July 4, 2013

I am not Norwegian but I understand Norwegian and I speak a little. But I don't speak so well.

I have noticed that Norwegian in the evening is much more difficult than Norwegian in the morning.  Yesterday on my way home from work I desperately tried to learn by listening to unit 4 of Pimsleur Norwegian I, and it seemed nothing could be more difficult. On the other hand, the same unit today in the morning had a completely different effect on me. What was impossible on a tired mind, was quite achievable with a rested one, however unfed (no time for breakfast when one has serious studying plans).

Turns out I already know how to say in Norwegian, however slowly, some sentences and phrases of various usefulness and complexity. Here are some:

How are you?
Just fine, thanks.
I'm fine, thank you.
I'm quite well.
Not so bad.
Not well.
Are you well?
I'm very well.
I don't understand Norwegian.
I don't understand so much.
I think...
Are you American?
Yes, I'm American. And you?
Do you understand English?
No, not so much.
Yes, you understand very well!
I think you understand English very well.
You speak well.
You speak quite well.
I think you speak Norwegian quite well.
I speak a little but I don't speak well.
Yes, I think you speak very well!
Don't you understand English?
Yes, I understand a little and I speak a little but I don't speak very well.
Do you speak Norwegian?
Don't you speak Norwegian?
I am not Norwegian but I understand Norwegian and I speak a little. 
But I don't speak so well.

Considering my current preoccupation with Norwegian, it's nice that I can talk about it constantly while learning it, even if it's just muttering under my breath. The problem is of course that even though I can say these things, I probably couldn't write them - at least not all. The difficulty of learning by listening mostly (the easiest to accomplish while in commute and while keeping the language study a secret to some extent) that one doesn't have anything to latch on when the auditory memory just doesn't want to cooperate. And sometimes it doesn't - especially in the evening.

On day 3 I think I completed only about 40 minutes of Norwegian study/practice. I'm still stuck on some pronunciation but I feel that if I give it enough time to overcome this particular hurdle, I will have more solid foundation for any more advanced knowledge I go on to acquire.