Learning a new language

Norwegian as a third language


Refering to the learning of a language, everyone knows that there are different strategies and study plans. In order to accomplish such knowledge, each person has to know how to manage his or her own learning. It’s important to know how you learn. As an example, I know that I learn better by searching structural similarities, shared lexical roots… that is to say, going deeper and deeper in the language itself and its historicity.

For me, learning a new language is a very beautiful challenge. A language is a huge part of the culture, and encloses an unique way of thinking and a evolution.

A different language is a different vision of life” —Federico Fellini.

Moreover, learning a third, fourth, or fifth language (and here I stop counting) is a big leap. From my point of view, the hardest part when facing a new tongue are the first steps, when everything is new and you have to learn structures, basic grammar (because “basic” only means “easy” once you’ve reached later stages) and face a whole new input.

In my case this third language is norwegian, and I would like to talk you a little bit about it, the possitive part and the challenging part.

The possitive

Norwegian is a germanic-scandinavian language that does not represent a huge difficulty due mainly to the lack of some verbal times (for example, there is no difference between present simple and present continous).

Another good fact is that norwegian shares a lot with swedish and dannish (around a 70%), so when you’re learning one of them, you are assimilating at the same time a big part of the other ones.

The challenge

There isn’t only a norwegian tongue! The official written language is bokmål but due to a huge sort of pronunciation and accents far and wide in Norway, a norwegian philologist called Ivar Aasen (I’ll talk about him in a later post) travelled around the country trying to gather a new format of norwegian: this one is de nynorsk (new norwegian), with a more oral use. Both are officially recognised. In the west side, they speak nynorsk meanwhile in the east side (mainly Oslo) they prefer bokmål, and they’re not so similar!

Besides, the Lapp people (saami), in the north of Norway, have their own language.


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