My understanding of languages was very minimal before I moved to Norway. This has made it incredibly hard for me to learn Norwegian. I had no idea where languages came from or how they developed. As I started to learn Norwegian I found it harder than most to comprehend. I couldn’t just take things ‘how they are’ I needed to know why they are to understand. You can easily learn your times tables off-by-heart but to use them you need to know how they work. For me to learn Norwegian I needed to know about Norwegian and also my own language, English.
This semester, to learn about Norwegian, I am taking the course Language Change and the History of English at the University of Tromsø. A frightful journey as it is primarily a linguistics course focusing on grammar and phonetics (something that Australians don’t generally learn or care about) but it also ‘looks into ways of explaining why and how languages change’. I must say, learning about the English language has never been better for my Norwegian! I think there is no better way to learn about Norwegian than in an English history class at a Norwegian university full of German students…lol.
As I was sitting in class an idea struck me and I became all warm and fuzzy. Since I know that our readers like learning about Viking language (I know you do because I’ve been watching you on our stats page ;D), I thought to help me learn I would post about my findings on the influence the Norwegian language has had on English. I’m sure this will make many ‘ah-ha’ moments which will clarify what we’ve always suspected but are never game to say out loud.
Some of the topics that will be covered are loanwords, spelling, phonetics, grammar, origins and historical events. Hope you enjoy the journey as I know I will!