October 25, 2006

listening fun and ideas

When I have no time to sit down and actually study Norwegian I listen whenever I can. Usually it provides background noise when I am getting ready in the morning, other times I sit down and do nothing but focus on listening. I borrowed the tapes from Louis, they are suprisingly easy to follow along with even without consulting the text book. I've noticed that I begin to understand the meaning of an unfamiliar word on the basis of its context. The tapes use repition, which must be essential in building a good language base. The people on the tape speak slowly, almost a little over enthusiasitc when it comes to that sing song rhythm, but I love it (When listening to my Norwegian friends speaking in real lifetonation was much less emphasized than it is in the tapes.)
At least at this stage I am most concerned with converstational Norwegian. My main goal is to be able to travel to Norway be able to carry on conversations.
I still have not developed a set lesson plan or anything for myself. I immerse myself in Norwegian when I need a break from school work. I like that I can practice how much, or how little I want... When I do Norwegian, I usually end up spending more time then I intended. It is something I enjoy, yet it can be very frusturating when I try to apply what I learn to something like writing a letter... it humbles me to know how much I have to learn to compose the simplest sentences.
It is also frusturating when I have good ideas that I put off and then I eventually find myself forgetting about.
The purpose of this blog is to write down these ideas, but even writing in a blog is something that can be easily neglected when so much else is going on.

A couple ongoing goals of mine are:
-I want to see if I can get my hands on other audio materials like Norwegian stories, poetry, or even radio shows.
-I need to start memorizing rather than just familiarizing... how to do this? flashcards, pictures, writing...
-I want to get in touch with ordinary everyday language sources, like a newspaper
-I've heard of a church that does its services in Norwegian somewhere in Minneapolis, I want to find out where it is and posibly check it out one weekend.

October 12, 2006

a little bit each day

My goal is to do a little bit each day. At times I may feel it impossible with my busy schedule, but I think that it will be very important if I am going to improve my Norwegian. Even if 5 minutes is all I can spare, at least its something... I've decided, also, that anything Norwegian counts. Even if it means listening to tapes while I get ready in the morning, or looking at a Norwegian website...

I've been looking over the Michal Ryszard Wojcik's "Norsk Experiment" at
Wojcik learned Norwegian without the help of any Norwegian-English dictionaries or grammar books. He just seemed to completely "emmerse" himself in the language without any formal teaching. However prior to his intensive, self-taught Norwegian training he learned English and German over a period of 11 years. I will be looking more at his methods more for inspiration than any attempt to emulate. I don't think it would do me much good to just pick up a Norwegian book and start reading it, or would it? How would it be possible to make language discoveries unless I try?
We'll see... for now I will stick to KlikNorsk and making flashcards.

Tonight I took a few minues to learn some phrases on Dinner (Middag) such as "Jeg drikker vann til meddeg" and so on. I also reviewed a few verbs.

October 1, 2006

the first entry

I went through phrase a day with KlikkNorsk. I found that I often got ahead of myself and continued on after the present week and into the next. I liked that the phrases were grouped together under generic topics. Perhaps it would be best to do the phrase one day at a time, we’ll see tomorrow how much I actually remember...

The most important thing is to be honest with myself. I haven’t had time to do much Norwegian since the beginning of the school year. Realizing this caused me to rethink my priorities. What do I have time for, what do I not? What are my reasons again for wanting to learn a language that is only being preserved by the people of Norway, most of which speak at least one other language?
Currently I am trying to maintain my priorities. Learning Norwegian is among them, and I must remember how important it is to me. I’m doing this not only for my own pleasure, but also to preserve a part of my heritage that is disappearing. My grandfather is really the only connection I have to the feeling of being Norwegian, even though he himself is American. He has told me stories about his Norwegian granparents and the odd language he picked up bits and pieces of over the years from when it was spoken at home. I have been told that his mother encouraged her children to speak English and only spoke Norwegian to the elders. There was also a sort of mix between Norwegian and English that he remembers and I’d be interested in finding out more about. How many Norwegian speakers are there in Minnesota? And where are they? What parts of MN have preserved their Norwegian influences? The Lindstrom Tea Kettle Water Tower that reads “Velkommen? sticks in my mind among them. I think in order to facilitate my learning Norwegian I’d like to also focus in on the very history of Norway itself, and more specifically Norwegian Americans. I saw a book at Barns and Nobel lastweek titled “Norwegians on the Prairie? or something like that. It was a little pricey but perhaps I could find a cheaper copy online.
I would like to do a little everyday. I would have liked to established a routine by now, but seeing that a single routine doesn’t exactly fit in to my fluctuating schedule I might as well go with the flow… and continue to flow. One night of laziness seems to plug up a whole lot of learning. I don’t want to get behind on my studies, but I don’t want to forget about Norwegian either.


This morning I found that I had a site in my bookmarks På vei Interaktive Oppgaver. I’m not sure when I ever found this site or put it on my bookmarks. Did Louis refer me to it? Or had I found it at one point on my own?
I went through Kapittel 1, 14 mini lessons that didn’t take very long but kept me interested. I liked “Setninger,? having to arrange the Norwegian words in proper order, it helped me think more about sentence formation, rather than just reading sentences and copying a certain form over and over, it gave mixed up words which I had to put in order. I also liked “Hva hører du?? the listening component. I didn’t have much difficulty with the lessons, but liked that everything was in Norwegian because it forced me to look up verbs I didn’t know when I would have to fill in the blank for vokabular. There was always the option to have the correct answer shown to me, I didn’t find any explanations for grammar.