It starts innocently. They've heard "Let it go" a
And whammo! Peer pressure hits! All the cool kids on their internat forum for language dweebs are doing what they call a 6WT (this is street slang for "Six Week Challenge")! And then suddenly, your child's carefully planned dream of spending more than a month on just one language goes out the window.
I tried a 6WC and a Super Challenge once before and I realized I hated tracking my time and dropped out. So I won't be competing officially, but I will be following along unofficially with the many folks who are doing their 6WC in Norwegian.
I'm calling this a 6WC but I'll stop working on Norwegian when I meet one of two conditions:
- I finish all of my resources
- I get bored of it and switch back to Arabic full-time
That may be more or less than 6 weeks.
So why am I interested in Norwegian? There are several reasons.
I'm into Opera and one of my favorite singers is Kirsten Flagstad, who was Norwegian. She was best known for singing Wagner, but she also had a lot of great recordings of German, Norwegian, and English classical songs.
Here is a recording of Flagstad singing Solveig's Song from Edvard Grieg's Peer Gynt suite (a couple of its other movements, "In the Hall of the Mountain King" and "Morning Mood", are more famous, but this one is great too!):
Similarity to English
Although English is a West Germanic language, it has a lot of vocabulary and features that are closer to the North Germanic languages like Norwegian. Here's a cool video about it:
Reading ability in Danish
From what I understand, written Bokmål Norwegian is around 95% similar to written Danish, so everything I learn in Norwegian should translate directly into reading ability in Danish. There are several categories of Danish reading material that I would absolutely love to read:
- Learning materials for Greenlandic. Greenlandic is an Inuit language that is very closely related to Inuktitut, which I have spent some time studying. I would be interested to see how the two compare.
- Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tales
- I would also like to read Ibsen's plays. As I understand it, it was written before there was an official difference between written Danish and written Norwegian, so I guess technically you could say that his plays were written in Danish even though he was Norwegian.
Some ability to understand Swedish
Although Swedish's vocabulary is more divergent from Norwegian than Danish's vocabulary, the pronunciation is similar so hopefully I should get some free understanding of Swedish.
Some help with Icelandic
I have dabbled in Norwegian a bit in the past and I've noticed many similarities to Icelandic in grammar and vocabulary. Norwegian seems almost like Icelandic with all the grammar taken out. Icelandic is one of my favorite languages and any bonus that Norwegian gives to my Icelandic would be great!
Some help with German
If I recall correctly, the continental Scandinavian languages borrowed a lot of Low German vocabulary and therefore they share a lot of cognates with German. My meager vocabulary is the main thing holding my German back so it would be great to get some help from Norwegian.
- Pimsleur Norwegian: I've used Pimsleur a lot so I know what to expect. I did the first two lessons today, 58 to go.
- Duolingo Norwegian: I've started this course a couple of times. I'm starting over now. It's a huge course but on the other hand I speak English and German so I can probably go through more lessons per day than Arabic.
- Langenscheidt Norwegisch mit System: I started going though the first lesson last night. My German is a bit rusty but once I got going I was pleasantly surprised that I didn't have much of a problem getting through it. I had my trusty Langenscheidt English-German dictionary next to me and although I did look up several words, I was able to correctly guess the meanings of all but one of them based on a combination of context and recognizing familiar components.
- Assimil Le norvégien: I just ordered a copy. There weren't any reasonably priced superpacks on my usual US online bookstores, so I ended up ordering directly from the company for the first time. I don't know exactly when it's supposed to get here but I think it should be within a week or so.
- The Mystery of Nils, Part 1: I've heard lots of good things about this book so I'm looking forward to reading it. My copy should arrive tomorrow.
- CALST - A great Norwegian resource with tons of phonology drills, offering 8 dialects
I'll start out by going through all of these at once, but I may not be able to keep that up so I'll have to decide which ones to prioritize.
I've been working on Arabic for about a month, which I've been documenting here. I was about to start Pimsleur Modern Standard Arabic but now that's delayed until after I finish Pimsleur Norwegian. The one Arabic resource I'd like to keep working on while I'm doing this Norwegian project is the Ahlan wa Sahlan Workbook and Beginner's textbook.
Duolingo Arabic diverges from Modern Standard Arabic so the further I can get in my textbook before picking Duolingo Arabic back up, the more of a grounding I'll have in real MSA, which will keep me from getting too confused by Duolingo's custom hybrid dialect. I'll finish up gilding the last few skills I'm working on and then I'll just be on maintenance mode.
The Assimil Arabic course is pretty short so I don't see a problem with dropping it now and picking it back up later. I'll get to the next review lesson and then set it aside for a while.
I would like to try to finally get fluent in French, mainly using FSI Basic French and CLE's Grammaire progressive du français. I was planning on doing that as I finished up with my beginner Arabic resources, but since I'm delaying those Arabic resources, French is pushed back too.
I got a piano and voice book for Frozen. I figured that since my daughter keeps making me sing "Let it go", I'd might as well learn the accompaniment!
The song is in A♭ and I'm not very familiar with that key. The book doesn't have any fingering markings so my first step will be to practice it using my handy Alfred's The Complete Book of Scales, Chords, Arpeggios & Cadences so I can come up with my own fingering.
: Assimil L'arabe
: Ahlan wa Sahlan Workbook
: Langenscheidt Norwegisch mit System
: Pimsleur Norwegian
: Duolingo Norwegian