Sweden vs Norway

I get a lot of questions about learning Swedish.

Mostly people want to know WHY SWEDISH?

Why would a woman of Norwegian descent opt to learn Swedish instead of Norwegian?

That is an excellent question.

The answer is pretty simple:

Because Rosetta Stone doesn’t offer a class in learning Norwegian but THEY SURE DO IN SWEDISH.

And so, I’m learning Swedish.

Close enough for government work, as they say.

I did however take a moment to consider joining the Daughters of Norway.

Ultimately, I decided that now isn’t the right time.

I’m working on embracing diversity and equality more in my life and the DoN represent a pretty slim selection of what is out there.

Though don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate that they’re an organization of women maintaining their heritage and culture in a country which doesn’t necessarily embrace diversity.

So here are some little knows facts about Norway:

  1. The cheese slicer was invented in Norway, though cheese is often bought pre-sliced (something I remember from my trip to Sweden).
  2. The longest tunnel is in Norway.  It is 15 miles long and cost $113 million to build.
  3. Unlike most Nobel Prize awards, the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in Norway, not Sweden.
  4. Some Norwegians live in Hell.  Literally.  It’s the name of a city in Norway with about a thousand inhabitants.
  5. In Norway, the last time a police officer shot and killed somebody was in 2006. [LINK]

If that isn’t enough to make you love Norway, then I’m at a loss.

 

 

Tongue tied and twisted

I’ve been practicing Swedish for a week now and I’m getting a little better every day.

I still can’t get used to the cadence however.

There’s a lilt to Swedish that I just can’t capture.

And, of course, there are SO MANY WORDS that are spelled one way but pronounced another.

I can’t help but feel like I’m practicing tongue twisters.

There are words that start with “skj”, for instance and the closest I can come to making the appropriate sound is to half-whistle-half-sneeze my way through the word.

The number 7, for being a teeny tiny little three letter word (sju) gives me such problems.

It’s phonetically pronounced ‘wqu’ I THINK.

Before I speak any Swedish, first I translate from Swedish into English and the words I don’t know I speak in French, because I remember quite a bit of my French lessons.

So I’m speaking Swench.

Or Fredish.

Someday I’d like to return to Sweden – perhaps even pop into Norway to see where my ancestors used to live.

I bought a book on Scandinavian cooking and you can be sure that when it arrives, I’ll be scoping out some healthy fish recipes for my diet.

I feel a lot like Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady.

Only there’s no handsome Rex Harrison to frustrate me and throw marbles in my mouth.

Well, to that I say not every great story involves a romance and I’m quite happy learning my Swedish for me.

Tongue tied and twisted as it may be.

 

 

From Sweden to Norway with love

With the Swede happily engaged, what’s a girl to do but move on?

I met a Norwegian.

Like an honest-to-goodness-lives-in-Norway Norwegian!

Sweet.

Kind.

Thoughtful.

Opened doors for me.

And just because it’s weighing on my mind, I asked him if I could move “back” to Norway if the outcome of the Presidential election is not to my liking.

Norway, if you can believe it, maintains universal health care and a comprehensive social security system, and its values are rooted in egalitarian ideals.

I think I would love Norway, except for all that SNOW!

The funny thing is, though my 23 and Me test can definitely tell me I had relatives in Portugal (my maternal grandmother was Portuguese) and Norway, no one in my birthfamily has ever mentioned Norway.

Switzerland, yes.

Ireland, yes.

But Norway, no.

If I thought meeting my birthfamily would clear up the “where did I come from” question, I was wrong.

Norway is still a mystery to me.

But now perhaps I can plan a trip to the motherland seeing as how I have a new Norwegian friend.

From Sweden to Norway, with love!

 

Scandinavian roots

Okay.

I went a little Swedish crazy.

Yes, I did.

While browsing the internet for Swedish activities – like a trip by the Swedish Society to the Shark Tank to watch a hockey game, I came across ALL SORTS OF GOODIES.

Like Beginning Swedish language classes through the Scandinavian School.

Woot!

I’ve been trying to learn Swedish but it’s hard since I don’t practice speaking the language.

What I really need is people to practice my Swedish with.

I know there’s always The Swede.

But we mostly text and my ability to spell Swedish words is ATROCIOUS.

There are extra vowels in the Swedish language – å, ä, and ö.

They throw me for a loop.

Then, of course I found a link to a Danish Rye Bread Making class and I GOT ALL EXCITED.

Things to do that involve learning Scandinavian arts?

Sign me up!

There’s a MeetUp for Scandinavian crafts, food, and art coming up this weekend that I really want to go to and I got a personal invitation from the organizer.

The downside to all this is that although my DNA says I’m Scandinavian, my ancestry points definitively at Norway.

In the past 200 years I had relatives living in Norway.

So although I might have some Swedish in me (no jokes, folks), we’re now certain there’s a little Norwegian in me.

Nevertheless, I will pursue my interest in all things Swedish.

Especially The Swede.

And just for shits and giggles, I’m posting a picture of Norwegian women here.

Looks like I’m in good company!