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Which Scandinavian language to study?

 Language Learning Forum : Skandinavisk & Nordisk Post Reply
169 messages over 22 pages: << Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 10 ... 21 22 Next >>
ruskivyetr
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 Message 73 of 169
24 July 2010 at 11:55pm | IP Logged 
A quick question about Scandinavian languages:
If I were to learn a Scandinavian language, I would choose Swedish (sorry Danes and Norwegians). However, my
question concerns the parts of Denmark (Greenland and the Faroe Islands), where Danish is spoken as a second
language by many many people. If I were to learn Swedish and visit those places, would there be any difficulties in
communication? Same with someone learning Danish or Norwegian and visiting Finland, where Swedish is widely
spoken as a second language (or so I've heard).

Also, if you know one Scandinavian language, and you work or are a student in another Scandi country, would it be
weird to write and speak in the one you know?
For example, let's say I learn Swedish, and go to Denmark for a job. Would it be strange to write in Swedish and
communicate with clientele in Swedish, or would it be better to switch over to Danish?

Edited by ruskivyetr on 24 July 2010 at 11:56pm

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mrhenrik
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 Message 74 of 169
25 July 2010 at 12:06am | IP Logged 
I don't know a lot about the first part of your post, but I might be able to offer my
two cents on the second part:

When you begin studying/working in the other Scandinavian country it would be normal to
keep your spoken language, simply for the fact that it's sort of difficult to change
(try changing dialect entirely, nearly the same). I assume you'd have to attempt
writing in the "new" language though, especially if you're doing it profesionally. This
shouldn't be that difficult as you can take your time - it's worse when speaking
quickly.

With regards to speaking you'd be expected to move your speaking closer to the spoken
language of the country you're in, partially out of courtesy but mostly because it
might be difficult to keep a comfortable conversation long-term across the languages.
Danish immigrants in Norway, for instance, are often extremely difficult to understand,
a few times to the point where I wish it wouldn't be rude to ask them to speak English.
I believe these are from the southern parts of Denmark, with a heavier accent.
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ruskivyetr
Diglot
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 Message 75 of 169
25 July 2010 at 12:21am | IP Logged 
mrhenrik wrote:
I don't know a lot about the first part of your post, but I might be able to offer my
two cents on the second part:

When you begin studying/working in the other Scandinavian country it would be normal to
keep your spoken language, simply for the fact that it's sort of difficult to change
(try changing dialect entirely, nearly the same). I assume you'd have to attempt
writing in the "new" language though, especially if you're doing it profesionally. This
shouldn't be that difficult as you can take your time - it's worse when speaking
quickly.

With regards to speaking you'd be expected to move your speaking closer to the spoken
language of the country you're in, partially out of courtesy but mostly because it
might be difficult to keep a comfortable conversation long-term across the languages.
Danish immigrants in Norway, for instance, are often extremely difficult to understand,
a few times to the point where I wish it wouldn't be rude to ask them to speak English.
I believe these are from the southern parts of Denmark, with a heavier accent.


What about lexical differences? Of course I would write things like hjælpa instead of hjälpa, but I doubt it's the
right word (and perhaps e instead of a).
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mrhenrik
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 Message 76 of 169
25 July 2010 at 12:50am | IP Logged 
hjelpe* ;)

You would probably pick up on words from the other language and begin using them, some
are quite big and will have to be used correctly (Danish "grine" = laugh, Norwegian
"grine" = cry/weep) whereas others are fine if they aren't used 100% correctly. The most
important part is that you put a tiny amount of effort in to adapting to the country
you're in. Most people will be able to tell that you're from the other Scandinavian
country anyhow, so it's more about just being able to communicate well.
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Piotr1981
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 Message 77 of 169
02 August 2010 at 7:33pm | IP Logged 
Some time ago I became interested in Iceland (mostly because of culture and nature) and I even started to toy with a thought of learning some basic Icelandic. Right now I'm busy expanding my Spanish and Italian so I don't want to start something completely different and unknown but the though won't go away :) I've read the whole thread and I could see that a vast majority of it was dedicated to Swedish, Norwegian and Danish with Icelandic only being mentioned as some sort of a "weird cousin". Still, I would like to know your opinion about this language. From what I've noticed its grammar seems a bit similar to that of Old English and German. Am I right?

Edited by Piotr1981 on 02 August 2010 at 7:38pm

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tractor
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 Message 78 of 169
02 August 2010 at 8:34pm | IP Logged 
Piotr1981 wrote:
From what I've noticed its grammar seems a bit similar to that of Old English and German. Am I
right?

Yes. It's probably more similar to Old English than to Modern German, but I'm only guessing …
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Iversen
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 Message 79 of 169
03 August 2010 at 11:34am | IP Logged 
Icelandic (and Faroese) is too far from Danish-Norwegian-Swedish to be relevant in this discussion - even other Scandinavians have to learn it from scratch like they learn German. And German is a good comparison because Icelandic has just as much morphology, much more than the three 'continental' Nordic languages. However there are many words in Icelandic that are found in the other Nordic languages, so knowing one of these is a good background for learning Icelandic. Knowing both German and one or more Nordic languages is the ideal combination.

It is true that Old Norse was closely related to Anglosaxon, but the level of knowledge of Anglosaxon being what it is among Anglophones, this observation will be of limited value to the average language learner.

Edited by Iversen on 03 August 2010 at 11:38am

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egill
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 Message 80 of 169
11 August 2010 at 9:18am | IP Logged 
Iversen you say that knowing one of the continental Scandinavian languages is a good background for
learning Icelandic. I wonder what your opinion is on the other way around, i.e. going from Icelandic to
Skandinavisk. Were I to go from Icelandic to, say Danish, roughly what percent of the lexicon can I expect
to be cognate?

Also, for Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish; is there a difference in their predilection for loanword
adoption? That is, does one have a higher amount of West-Germanic loanwords than the others?


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