I have been in Norway for a little over two and half years. It seems like only yesterday we moved here, and I started to learn Norwegian. It has been a whirlwind. Today I’m going to be talking about my progress with Learning Norwegian. Note: this is just the start of a brand new series I am working on for Expats or those who wish to live in a Foreign Country.
Norwegian is not a simple language to learn. It is also not as simple as learning one language. Also learning any new language is difficult.
I understand a good bit of what people write and say, but I have to focus and concentrate. When it comes to speaking, I am very limited in what I can say plus it is so much easier to revert to English.
Let’s look at my plans over the years to Learn Norwegian
My Plan for 2015-2016
When we first moved here and got my residency, I went to the Voksenopplæring ( Adult Learning Center). I started in Norwegian classes daily, but for all the time I spent in the classroom, I didn’t learn much. After Christmas 2015 they moved me to a slightly more advanced class then once again in March 2015. Finally, in the third level, I was learning something. Come June though classes let out for the summer. For the first year I was here, I barely learned anything. I learned a few more vocabulary words but nothing for me to be released into society and be able to understand.
My Plan for 2016-2017
I wanted to try a different approach to learn Norwegian, so I started taking classes online. This was much better for me, and I was learning more. In November I applied for the intensive program Norwegian for Foreign Students at the local University since I had heard terrific things about it. I kept up with y online studies until Mid-February when the Cruise Ships started coming in. In late May I found out I had been accepted to UIT’s Norwegian Programs, so I never picked up learning after the cruise season was done! Oops! 🙁
My Plan for 2017-2018
My plan for this year was to attend UIT’s Norwegian For Foreign Student’s Program. It is a full-time intensive program. Since moving to Alta, I have heard great things about this program, so I was excited to start it.
I have to say my experience with this program has been a little hit and miss and, to be honest disappointing. First, we didn’t get any information about our classes or a letter until the week before classes. We didn’t find out our class schedule before the first day of our program. We don’t have a set class schedule it changes every week and sometimes on the day. Overall I feel like the program is super unorganized. I don’t feel like the un-organization has helped. Don’t get me wrong I am learning new things I just feel like the stress of things continually changing each week has hindered my learning capabilities. For now, I am continuing to stick with the program, and I’m hoping after Christmas it gets better. I have picked up a few additional resources to help me grasp the Norwegian Language better.
What I have Learned
I should have had a plan to learn Norwegian, in place the entire time. I think if I had kept up my studies in all the gaps it would have made an enormous difference. I also feel like I quit too easily and switch to English, translate emails and facebook messages. It is easy to do here in Norway as just about everyone speaks English. These are horrible habits that I’m trying to break now.
What I am Doing Going Forward
- I’m going to tell all my friends, family (except for Mr. Viking and the kids) and coworkers to speak Norwegian to me. Which is hard as they all way to practice their English. It must be done though!
- I need to watch barnetv and cartoons in Norwegian. You think this wouldn’t be too hard seeing as I have two young kids at home but it is. We only really allow the kids to “tv” in English to help them learn English more.
- I’m using free online resources such as Memrise and Duolingo. These two resources help to learn and memorize vocabulary words.
- I need to read more Norwegian books. I need to start trying to read more novels in Norwegian. This will boost my comprehension and vocabulary. My goal is to continue to reread a page until I understand all the words and grammar.
I want to focus on and make an effort to increase my Norwegian skills over the next few months leading up the Bergenstest in the Summer of 2018. I think between the classes and my additional plans I can hit the level of Norwegian I want to but it will take a lot of time and effort.
Have you successfully learned another language? If so which one? Do you have any valuable tips to share?