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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 ... 21 22 Next >>
daegga
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Austria
lang-8.com/553301
Joined 2706 days ago

1076 posts - 1789 votes 
Speaks: German*, EnglishC2, Swedish, Norwegian
Studies: Danish, French, Finnish, Icelandic

 
 Message 161 of 169
05 March 2014 at 11:01pm | IP Logged 
What you can infer from that study is that it's best to choose Norwegian if you only
want to study one Scandinavian language but want to somehow communicate with people
from the 2 other countries. You need additional input from those 2 other languages to
understand those sufficiently though, Norwegians also get this input (via TV and
immigrants), more so than Danes and Swedes (which would explain some of the data).

My preferred approach would be to learn both Danish and Swedish actively (pick one for
your first language) and get some exposure to Norwegian later on.
What I actually did was to learn Norwegian first, then Danish, now Swedish. But I never
planned to learn all 3, it just happened.
Speaking Danish with Swedish pronunciation will get you a long way towards speaking
Norwegian. Norwegian+Swedish doesn't help you with Danish pronunciation,
Norwegian+Danish doesn't help you with Swedish vocabulary.
3 persons have voted this message useful



Lizzern
Diglot
Senior Member
Norway
Joined 4094 days ago

791 posts - 1053 votes 
Speaks: Norwegian*, English
Studies: Japanese

 
 Message 162 of 169
06 March 2014 at 10:33am | IP Logged 
Qaanaaq wrote:
If I want to study all three (Danish, Swedish, Norwegian) at some point in my life, would Norwegian be the best one
to start with?

According to Wiki, via this article:

studies have shown that speakers of Norwegian generally understand both Danish and Swedish far better than
Swedes or Danes understand each other. Both Swedes and Danes also understand Norwegian better than they
understand each other's languages.


Can any native Scandinavians comment on this?


If you want to start with ONE before moving on to the others then I would say Norwegian is a good place to start - it'll give you a sort of middle ground where Swedish and Danish make quite a bit of sense too. From that point onwards, understanding the other two is mainly an exposure issue. Any Norwegian speaker with a normal amount of language exposure should be able to function in the other countries without special practice. It certainly isn't a wrong choice for your first language of the three.

I do get the impression that Swedes and Danes understand each other less than either group understands us. I'm the wrong person to ask though, maybe people from those countries can chime in and give their opinion... But I would advise against mixing languages when you're speaking. That would sound quite awkward (or, possibly, like nails on a chalkboard) to a lot of people, and they probably won't tell you anything, but I would wonder why on earth you would do that instead of sticking to just one when other people can mostly understand you anyways :-)

Liz
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Ogrim
Heptaglot
Senior Member
France
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991 posts - 1893 votes 
Speaks: Norwegian*, English, Spanish, French, Romansh, German, Italian
Studies: Russian, Catalan, Latin, Greek, Romanian

 
 Message 163 of 169
06 March 2014 at 10:36am | IP Logged 
Qaanaaq wrote:
If I want to study all three (Danish, Swedish, Norwegian) at some point in my life, would Norwegian be the best one
to start with?

According to Wiki, via this article:

studies have shown that speakers of Norwegian generally understand both Danish and Swedish far better than
Swedes or Danes understand each other. Both Swedes and Danes also understand Norwegian better than they
understand each other's languages.


Can any native Scandinavians comment on this?


As a native Norwegian I can say that I am aware of these studies, but I believe a lot of it is due to exposure to the other languages. It might be anecdotal, but as regards my generation (growing up in the 1970s) we were exposed to a lot of Swedish in particular. Swedish TV series for children were hugely popular in Norway, and at the time there were also various "Pan-Scandinavian" TV shows, made jointly by the public broadcasters of the three countries to foster cultural understanding between the three countries. Add to that that in Norway we only had one TV channel at the time, so many Norwegians would also watch Swedish TV (and to some lesser extent Danish).

Some recent studies seem to indicate that Scandinvians understood each other better some years ago than they do today. It was discussed in this thread (in Scandinavian languages).

As to the question of whether Norwegian is a better choice in order to understand the other Scandinavian languages, it is difficult for me as a native to give advice. Personally I think your choice should be based on other criteria. To put it a bit simple: If you are interested in Ibsen, go for Norwegian, if you prefer Strindberg, pick Swedish, and if H.C. Andersen is your favourite, learn Danish.

Edit: Lizzern beat me to it, but I guess our answers complement each other.

Edited by Ogrim on 06 March 2014 at 10:50am

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Iversen
Super Polyglot
Moderator
Denmark
berejst.dk
Joined 4888 days ago

9078 posts - 16470 votes 
Speaks: Danish*, French, English, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Esperanto, Romanian, Catalan
Studies: Afrikaans, Greek, Norwegian, Russian, Serbian, Icelandic, Latin, Irish, Lowland Scots, Indonesian, Polish, Croatian
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 164 of 169
06 March 2014 at 11:49am | IP Logged 
I haven't seen many 'Pan-Scandinavian' TV programs recently, and if there are several languages represented in a program then you can bet that speech in other Nordic languages is subtitled.

I can see one problem with the recommandation of Norwegian, namely the strong position of the dialects AND the occasional use of New Norwegian in written and on TV. Personally I rejoice in some truly uncompromising 'Dovregubbe' New Norwegian, but for beginners the somewhat heterogeneous language situation in Norway could be a problem.

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Lizzern
Diglot
Senior Member
Norway
Joined 4094 days ago

791 posts - 1053 votes 
Speaks: Norwegian*, English
Studies: Japanese

 
 Message 165 of 169
06 March 2014 at 4:39pm | IP Logged 
Iversen wrote:
I can see one problem with the recommandation of Norwegian, namely the strong position of the dialects AND the occasional use of New Norwegian in written and on TV. Personally I rejoice in some truly uncompromising 'Dovregubbe' New Norwegian, but for beginners the somewhat heterogeneous language situation in Norway could be a problem.


Very good point. A friend of mine who's been learning Norwegian noted that Norwegians kinda seem to have a filter that almost ignores the exact form a word takes when we're listening to another person speaking, or even the exact word used as long as we can understand it, so that we notice the meaning of they said but not necessarily how they said it. I think that's probably part of how we deal with so many different dialects. It's an advantage for us, but hard to say how that would work for a Norwegian learner, it would probably only be useful for input. I would have to reverse engineer things if I had to (try to) speak Swedish or Danish or another dialect, so output isn't easy, even if I can understand all the words when I hear them. But if someone is keen on being able to speak all of them then I don't see why it should be impossible... I think the bottom line is do what you want, if you want to be able to understand all of them then that's entirely doable :-)

Liz
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cords05
Diglot
Newbie
United Kingdom
Joined 1525 days ago

15 posts - 20 votes
Speaks: English, Swedish*
Studies: Russian

 
 Message 166 of 169
07 October 2015 at 12:07am | IP Logged 
Iversen wrote:
I haven't seen many 'Pan-Scandinavian' TV programs recently, and if there are several languages represented in a program then you can bet that speech in other Nordic languages is subtitled.

I can see one problem with the recommandation of Norwegian, namely the strong position of the dialects AND the occasional use of New Norwegian in written and on TV. Personally I rejoice in some truly uncompromising 'Dovregubbe' New Norwegian, but for beginners the somewhat heterogeneous language situation in Norway could be a problem.


The recent big immigration debate on DR/SVT (Topic: Asylum seekers - Swedish vs Danish approach) where representatives debate eachother in both Swedish and Danish. (Heja Danmark....!)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=553vDc_jQ9E

This example is particularly interesting because it requires everybody to immediately understand everything that the opponents are saying, in order to be able to respond. The debaters seem to have no problem, but I struggled a bit to be honest.


The TV series "Bron" (The Bridge) is bilingual Swedish-Danish as far as I know, I think there are two or three seasons to this criminal soap series.

The debating program "Skavlan"
regularly has mixed Swedish-Norwegian conversation. Skavlan himself is Norwegian but his show runs on Swedish state TV. In this clip, Skavlan and a Swedish actor/guest are talking to somebody from Denmark. Each in his own language. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-SCNGsUZIM

Found this awesome impression where one guy speaks all the Nordic languages
- reading some news. Spot on as far as I can tell. Extra bonus because he appears to be fluent in Finnish. And Icelandic?!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOjv1nMXCmw

Edited by cords05 on 07 October 2015 at 12:16am

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Medulin
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Croatia
Joined 2853 days ago

1199 posts - 2192 votes 
Speaks: Croatian*, English, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Norwegian, Hindi, Nepali

 
 Message 167 of 169
07 October 2015 at 7:51pm | IP Logged 
cords05 wrote:


The TV series "Bron" (The Bridge) is bilingual Swedish-Danish as far as I know, I think there are two or three seasons to this


Brua/Broen was completely subtitled on NRK
(some episodes were in Nynorsk, but the majority of them was in Bokmaal).

The beginning of Per Petterson's most famous novel for you to compare:



Edited by Medulin on 07 October 2015 at 8:07pm

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cords05
Diglot
Newbie
United Kingdom
Joined 1525 days ago

15 posts - 20 votes
Speaks: English, Swedish*
Studies: Russian

 
 Message 168 of 169
07 October 2015 at 9:19pm | IP Logged 
I haven't actually watched "Bron".... So are you saying they use subtitles for the non-native languages? That's almost a shame!

Subtitles are really annoying when you already understand what's being said!
My guess is that I understand about 85% of Danish - so I'd rather be without the subtitles and guess on the bits that I didn't get.

Besides, I'd like to practice. My dad for example, says he understands all Danish and that it's not hard at all. Clearly it's just a matter of practice and exposure. I simply haven't had a lot of exposure.

Men jag skulle gärna bo i Norge eller Finland - hellre än Sverige. Bor just nu i England men någon gång så bär det hemåt....





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