AlOlaf's Log (Danish/German/Norwegian)

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AlOlaf
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Re: AlOlaf's Log (Danish/German/Norwegian)

Postby AlOlaf » Tue Apr 16, 2019 12:13 am

Philipp wrote:I’ve also seen the documentary about the Orderud case. It’s an intriguing story. For me, the people convicted seem too nice to be capable of committing such a horrible crime. But, I guess, you never know. NRK also has a podcast about the case it’s called Familiene på Orderud. You might also be interested in the mystery of the Isdalkvinne. It’s about a woman who was found dead near Bergen (Isdalen) in 1970 under suspicious circumstances. Until this day nobody knows who she was, but one theory is that she was a spy for a foreign power. There’s a podcast from NRK about the case called Gåten i Isdalen.

I’m inclined to agree with you about Per and Veronica seeming too nice to commit such a heinous crime themselves, but I can see them hiring somebody else to do it. This is, of course, pure conjecture, but if that’s in fact what they did, it would make sense that they kept silent even though it meant spending years in prison. Ratting out a professional killer (or killers) is seldom a good idea if you want to live long, especially in a country with a 21-year maximum prison sentence.

I watched “Gåten i Isdalen”, too. A team of experts strive to ascertain the identity of an international woman of mystery poisoned and set afire in the woods nearly half a century ago, with nothing to go on but her mandible. Now if that’s not entertainment, I don’t know what is.
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Philipp
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Re: AlOlaf's Log (Danish/German/Norwegian)

Postby Philipp » Tue Apr 16, 2019 11:08 am

AlOlaf wrote:I watched “Gåten i Isdalen”, too. A team of experts strive to ascertain the identity of an international woman of mystery poisoned and set afire in the woods nearly half a century ago, with nothing to go on but her mandible. Now if that’s not entertainment, I don’t know what is.


I guess we have the same taste in TV :) . Please let me know if find another interesting documentary on NRK.
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AlOlaf
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Re: AlOlaf's Log (Danish/German/Norwegian)

Postby AlOlaf » Tue Apr 16, 2019 11:59 pm

Philipp wrote:
AlOlaf wrote:I watched “Gåten i Isdalen”, too. A team of experts strive to ascertain the identity of an international woman of mystery poisoned and set afire in the woods nearly half a century ago, with nothing to go on but her mandible. Now if that’s not entertainment, I don’t know what is.


I guess we have the same taste in TV :) . Please let me know if find another interesting documentary on NRK.

Absolutely, and I hope you’ll do the same for me. By the way, I think I need to take a page out of your book and put “Corrections are welcome!” at the bottom of all my posts. How do you do that? I just noticed a glaring grammatical error in the last paragraph I wrote: “A team of experts” is singular, so it should have been “strives” instead of “strive”. Jeez. You’d think I’d be able to write in my native language by now.
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Philipp
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Re: AlOlaf's Log (Danish/German/Norwegian)

Postby Philipp » Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:44 am

AlOlaf wrote:Absolutely, and I hope you’ll do the same for me. By the way, I think I need to take a page out of your book and put “Corrections are welcome!” at the bottom of all my posts. How do you do that? I just noticed a glaring grammatical error in the last paragraph I wrote: “A team of experts” is singular, so it should have been “strives” instead of “strive”. Jeez. You’d think I’d be able to write in my native language by now.


In the upper right corner, you can access your User Control Panel by clicking on your name. Then in the second tab (Profile) there is a button called Edit signature, where you can enter the text you want to appear under your posts. It took me a while to do it myself, but I think it encourages people to be less hesitant about giving corrections. I think "the team is" or "the team are" is a Zweifelsfall. (Can't think of a good translation for Zweifelsfall, but in this context the word always comes to my mind. Probably because of the Duden book Zweifelsfälle der deutschen Sprache). At least after over two decades of learning English, I'm still confused about it. :D
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AlOlaf
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Re: AlOlaf's Log (Danish/German/Norwegian)

Postby AlOlaf » Wed Apr 17, 2019 5:48 pm

Hey, it worked! Thanks!
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AlOlaf
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Re: AlOlaf's Log (Danish/German/Norwegian)

Postby AlOlaf » Fri May 10, 2019 2:12 am

Conversing with my Norwegian Skype tutor is proving to be more difficult than I had imagined. I expected my knowledge of Danish to be a big help, and for comprehension it is, but for speaking it’s turning out to be something of a hindrance. That’s because I spent years getting some common Danish expressions to go automatic, and now these expressions jump out whenever I try to say their Norwegian equivalents. And even though on paper many Norwegian words look the same as or very similar to their Danish counterparts, they sound completely different, so until I learn how to pronounce them correctly, I can’t use them in conversation. Plus I need to memorize genders and verb conjugations, learn vocabulary, figure out which pitch accent goes where, etc., etc.

The idea is for me to speak Norwegian instead of Danish the next time I’m in Norway and in this way demonstrate to the Norwegians how much I value their language and culture. Unfortunately, it’s looking less and less likely that I’ll be going to Norway this year, so my heavy-duty study spree directed at learning and internalizing the idiosyncrasies of Norwegian grammar and pronunciation is losing its momentum.

That got me thinking about my motives for learning languages. I always thought the reason I wanted so desperately to speak German lay solely in the intrinsically splendid nature of the language, but the fact is I never had the determination to really learn it until I went to Germany. There, enamored by the place, I tried to talk to people and failed miserably, which filled me with a burning resolve to someday return with better skills. I’ve come to the conclusion that if I have no prospects for using a language in the country where it’s spoken, there’s no way I can generate the insane enthusiasm necessary for mounting a truly intensive and focused long-term study assault. But if I know with certainty I’ll be milling around and hobnobbing with native speakers on their home turf, I’m ready to run with the bulls if I think that’ll help me prepare. At the core of this is the real impetus or engine, if you will, of my language learning activities: a fervent desire not to look stupid in front of foreigners.

I guess you could say I’m something of a Jekyll and Hyde paradox weirdo, painfully introverted in my mother tongue, but suddenly adventurous and extroverted whenever a foreign language is involved. It doesn’t make sense and I don’t understand it, but it works out ok when I’m on the loose in some foreign country. It’s not so advantageous at home, however, where I’m likely to flee or take time-consuming detours to avoid awkward situations like getting on the same elevator with somebody I don’t know.

Now, with no travel plans, I can’t decide whether to try to push on with Norwegian or to go back to Danish. Or German. My German exchange partner seems to think I could be a German teacher. Somehow, I doubt I’d be any good at it. All I know is what I did to teach myself, and I have a feeling nobody would be interested in my endless repetition approach. Besides, I make mistakes all the time and there’s a whole lot about the language I don’t know. I sure wouldn’t want to run the risk of impairing the development of any budding German learners.
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PeterMollenburg
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Re: AlOlaf's Log (Danish/German/Norwegian)

Postby PeterMollenburg » Fri May 10, 2019 4:19 am

AlOlaf wrote:I always thought the reason I wanted so desperately to speak German lay solely in the intrinsically splendid nature of the language, but the fact is I never had the determination to really learn it until I went to Germany. There, enamored by the place, I tried to talk to people and failed miserably, which filled me with a burning resolve to someday return with better skills. I’ve come to the conclusion that if I have no prospects for using a language in the country where it’s spoken, there’s no way I can generate the insane enthusiasm necessary for mounting a truly intensive and focused long-term study assault. But if I know with certainty I’ll be milling around and hobnobbing with native speakers on their home turf, I’m ready to run with the bulls if I think that’ll help me prepare. At the core of this is the real impetus or engine, if you will, of my language learning activities: a fervent desire not to look stupid in front of foreigners.


I have to say I'm similar, sort of. While attempting to learn languages a number of years ago now, it dawned on me as I progressed (yet still got nowhere near the level I am today in French), that wow, this language learning is a massive task. Although I had said in my teenage years because I was learning some German at the time, that I wanted to move to Germany one day, I now came to a new realisation - that since the task was soooo big of learning a language, I need to go and live there (i.e. France for French). I thought, I'm not going to invest this massive amount of time day in day out without some kind of end objective in which the language is imperative. Well, okay, that suits me, as I was always interested in living in Europe anyway, so if I'm to continue, it must be done (living there).

So, I'm like you in that my motivation for learning languages is usually connected with the idea of spending a considerable amount of time in the country/countries in which it is spoken. I do think though, that it's not the country that comes first with me, then the idea of learning the language, but the language perhaps first, then I imagine being able to live there or spend a lot of time there.

Unfortunately I've still not made that goal (of living there), but you know life has a way of not turning out how you necessarily want it to, and that's okay, but i'm still driven to get there in some capacity, which may be regular or prolonged visits, or living short term (as opposed to the rest of my life, which I still dream of, but know is not realistic given where my family are, and that my children need connection to family etc.). Sorry for the ramblings, i'll blame it on you AlOlaf for triggering this drawn out explanation.


AlOlaf wrote:Now, with no travel plans, I can’t decide whether to try to push on with Norwegian or to go back to Danish.


If you're not suffering from burn-out, my vote is for Danish IF you haven't reached the level you have desired to reach yet, but I know it's more complex than that and you've many other factors to consider I don't know of... and I'm not you, of course. Good luck!
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Philipp
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Re: AlOlaf's Log (Danish/German/Norwegian)

Postby Philipp » Fri May 10, 2019 2:20 pm

AlOlaf wrote:Now, with no travel plans, I can’t decide whether to try to push on with Norwegian or to go back to Danish. Or German. My German exchange partner seems to think I could be a German teacher. Somehow, I doubt I’d be any good at it. All I know is what I did to teach myself, and I have a feeling nobody would be interested in my endless repetition approach. Besides, I make mistakes all the time and there’s a whole lot about the language I don’t know. I sure wouldn’t want to run the risk of impairing the development of any budding German learners.


Your written German is excellent. You mentioned before that you want to work on your German and I asked myself what does he want to improve on. I know you're a perfectionist, but c'mon you're setting the bar incredibly high here. Trust your exchange partner.
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Re: AlOlaf's Log (Danish/German/Norwegian)

Postby Ogrim » Fri May 10, 2019 3:12 pm

Philipp wrote:
AlOlaf wrote:[....]I just noticed a glaring grammatical error in the last paragraph I wrote: “A team of experts” is singular, so it should have been “strives” instead of “strive”. Jeez. You’d think I’d be able to write in my native language by now.


[...]I think "the team is" or "the team are" is a Zweifelsfall. (Can't think of a good translation for Zweifelsfall, but in this context the word always comes to my mind. Probably because of the Duden book Zweifelsfälle der deutschen Sprache). At least after over two decades of learning English, I'm still confused about it. :D


I was taught that in American English, the singular verb form is more common with collective nouns like "team", while British English would use plural more frequently. It may also depend on context, as pointed out in this article. So it may be natural to say that "the team of experts has decided", but "the team of experts do not agree amongst themselves". I must admit though that I also hesitate sometimes about whether to use plural or singular.

AlOlaf wrote:Conversing with my Norwegian Skype tutor is proving to be more difficult than I had imagined. I expected my knowledge of Danish to be a big help, and for comprehension it is, but for speaking it’s turning out to be something of a hindrance. That’s because I spent years getting some common Danish expressions to go automatic, and now these expressions jump out whenever I try to say their Norwegian equivalents. And even though on paper many Norwegian words look the same as or very similar to their Danish counterparts, they sound completely different, so until I learn how to pronounce them correctly, I can’t use them in conversation. Plus I need to memorize genders and verb conjugations, learn vocabulary, figure out which pitch accent goes where, etc., etc.

The idea is for me to speak Norwegian instead of Danish the next time I’m in Norway and in this way demonstrate to the Norwegians how much I value their language and culture. Unfortunately, it’s looking less and less likely that I’ll be going to Norway this year, so my heavy-duty study spree directed at learning and internalizing the idiosyncrasies of Norwegian grammar and pronunciation is losing its momentum.


I fully understand where you are coming from when you talk about Norwegian and Danish. Knowing a very similar, yet different language can be just as much an obstacle as an advantage when learning to speak another language. I have had the same experience when trying to learn to speak Portuguese, which all the time got heavily influenced by my Spanish. The differences between Danish and Norwegian are of course not identical to those between Portuguese and Spanish, but a lot is similar: Closely related languages but with very different pronunciation, a number of "false friends", a few but important differences in morphology etc.

I of course encourage you to continue with Norwegian ;) , but whatever you decide, the important thing is that it is what you want. In any case I imagine you will be able to continue to consume Norwegian media and read Norwegian.
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AlOlaf
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Re: AlOlaf's Log (Danish/German/Norwegian)

Postby AlOlaf » Fri May 10, 2019 11:59 pm

PeterMollenburg wrote:If you're not suffering from burn-out, my vote is for Danish IF you haven't reached the level you have desired to reach yet, but I know it's more complex than that and you've many other factors to consider I don't know of... and I'm not you, of course. Good luck!

Thanks, PeterMollenburg! Danish is definitely calling to me.


Philipp wrote:Your written German is excellent. You mentioned before that you want to work on your German and I asked myself what does he want to improve on. I know you're a perfectionist, but c'mon you're setting the bar incredibly high here. Trust your exchange partner.

Maybe you’re right. I guess I always thought you had to be a native speaker to be a good teacher, but now that I think of it, I once had a German professor from Scotland who was excellent. Thanks for the kind words and encouragement!


Ogrim wrote:I of course encourage you to continue with Norwegian ;) , but whatever you decide, the important thing is that it is what you want. In any case I imagine you will be able to continue to consume Norwegian media and read Norwegian.

I guess my problem is that I want everything. To me, Norwegian, Danish and German are like three devastatingly attractive women. My brain tells me I can’t hope to have a deep and meaningful relationship with all three at the same time, but my heart doesn’t want to hear that, so I end up bouncing from one to the other like some kind of lovesick ninny.

Even if I decide to stop trying to speak Norwegian, I won’t quit trying to understand it. NRK is way too much fun for that, and I’ve become addicted to surfing Aftenposten.
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