Sometimes when learning about the Norwegian culture you are suddenly reminded how bizarre your own is. I’ve been reminded how Australians tend to over exaggerate. Everything is always bigger and better in Australia when an Australian talks about it. The football match wasn’t good, it was awesome! The the burger wasn’t big, it was mega! A mosquito doesn’t bite, it chews off your arm. And the hail doesn’t just fall, it pelts down. This is all pretty normal to me as I’m used to everything coming out of an Aussie’s mouth is subjective. It’s all about how we story-tell. Just like Steve Erwin – everything is awesome, mate!
However, last week my Aussie character made a misunderstanding. Moose had been doing the washing up and a knife cut his finger deeply. I had to take him to the doctors to get stitched up but the appointment wasn’t for another hour. So we stopped off at uni on the way so I could pick up my essay paper from class. I needed it to continue a presentation for next week. I said to my lecturer ‘Sorry, I can’t come to class today, my hubbie cut his finger off and I have to take him to the docs’. She was flabbergasted. It was such a big deal to her. And then it struck me. She actually thought Moose cut his finger off, right off. Ooops! Even though my lecturer teaches about English language history, she still didn’t catch on that I was speaking with my Australian semantics. How confusing Australians must make it for Norwegians. I questioned myself as to why Australians do this and all I can come up with is that we like our stories to be ‘funny’. I thought maybe I should speak plain English from now on so Norwegians can understand but that would take away a part of my identity. A penny dropped. Now I know why it is so important for Norwegians to keep their Norwegian.