Monday, August 26, 2013

Back in Canada - back to Norsk

Aside from the phrasebook mentioned before, I returned from my European travels with another resource to learn my current language of choice. It is a little book by Stanisław Łęcki called Język norweski dla początkujących (in English that would be Norwegian for Beginners). The only issue I have with it is the title - after all I would like to believe - even if it would necessitate lying to myself - that I am no longer a beginner. However, I did have a 2.5-week break in my Norsk studies, and even though the book is theoretically meant for beginners, it will get me very nicely to the intermediate stage.

I also find the organization of the material very comforting - it is exactly what I'm most used to. First there are some dialogues, then a piece for reading comprehension, then the vocabulary, grammar and some exercises.

I know this is the most traditional way of teaching a language, and not necessarily the most effective one, but after many attempts at more modern methods I decided that the presentation of the material in the newer textbooks is quite distracting to me. I especially dislike the colorful A4 format language textbooks and workbooks, where the page is so crowded with pictures, text, exercises and cultural notes of all kinds that there's no room for the learner to make it their own. Give me a white page and I will make it colorful and meaningful - to me - in no time. It's hard to make memorable pages that are already as colorful as they can be. So I appreciate the unimaginative character of Język norweski dla początkujących and the lack of distractions in the book.

On another note, I believe that even though I stopped Norsk for some time, listening to the Klar Tale podcasts affected my ability to guess Norwegian pronunciation very nicely. When I first started learning the language, my main problem was that unless I heard a word pronounced, I would not be able to figure out how to say it. It's different now - I can extrapolate from all my experience with the language, and sometimes I can even get the tonality of the language almost right.

Although I still think with nostalgia to the times when I thought phrases like "Hyggelig å hilse på deg" were the most difficult things to say ever... I am so much better now!