In Northern Norway a lot of signs have two languages – Norwegian and Sami. It is not that Sami people can’t understand Norwegian but it is about appreciating and drawing attention to Sami culture. As with English and Norwegian, Sami and Norwegian have their little giggles. We were at the medical centre and the doctor’s room we went into had OPPTATT/ANUS on the door. I didn’t know what the Norwegian word meant but the Sami word made me a little nervous about going in.
Moose was having a little giggle to himself when we were waiting for the doctor. When questioned about his smirk, I was relieved (pun not intended) to hear that ‘anus‘ means ‘occupied’ in Sami. I also found out that anus has the same meaning and spelling in Norwegian as in English. (Hence, his giggle and my terror.) Feeling in the moment, I then asked ‘What does opptatt mean?’ Moose was a little perplexed by my daftness but gracefully replied ‘Eh, occupied’.
An interesting day, indeed.
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