I’ve made it past the first marker in Duolingo! Something like 400 words I’ve learned thus far and still going. I thought I’d write a little review on Duolingo.
- Is it easy? At times it can be really easy. Now that I’ve made it past a marker it’s using a lot of words I’ve been learning so it got harder, but this is a good thing! Without a bit of challenge you won’t learn.
- How fast paced is it? It is as fast paced as a classroom would be. You decide how fast you will learn in the beginning when you set up Duolingo. I chose 2-3 sections a day and I do not have an issue.
- Are there any issues? I find that I read and write Norwegian better than pronouncing and speaking due to Duolingo. I recognize words when they are said. This may be due to being a beginner but speaking the language I think will continue to be an issue.
- Do I only need Duolingo to learn a language? I would not solely rely on this program to learn a language if you mean to learn it fluently though it is a great start.
I rate Duolingo 4 out of 5 stars. It is a wonderful, easy way to learn a language for free.
I feel that it is very necessary to learn Norwegian- not just for getting a good job, but to fully embrace my new country’s culture.
Luckily, I have had three years of Spanish in high school and one year of French in college. I know a thing or two about how to learn a language. Being very strong in the art of the English language helps as well. Things I used to just loathe learning and having to do in school suddenly is quite important.
I recall reading articles in Spanish and having to translate every word. Then we had to look up the words we didn’t know in a Spanish-English dictionary. We would then read the articles in Spanish during class, even if we fumbled through most of the words. It was really hard to do and time consuming. I do that now with Nemi comics in Norwegian. I fumble through the words and learn what they mean from my husband. It’s a good way to get used to the language in your mouth and pick up words.
I also use the duolingo app on my phone. It gradually increases in difficulty and helps you retain words you’ve learned. Duolingo is great to use when I have some down time and keeps me learning.
Norway does have language classes. They technically have two languages in Norway- Bokmål and Nynorsk. Wether I learn one or the other is the question. Right now I’m learning a mix of the two. The area we will be living in has both languages.
It feels so foreign when I try to speak Norwegian! I get a lot of sounds wrong right now. Some grammar rules are strange too. With the help of my family and especially hubby I will get a grasp on it.
I made a list of reasons I fear moving to Norway. Here I made a list of why I should move. It seems to be much longer than my fear-list was.
- Beauty– Norway is gorgeous.
- By the Sea– We will be living near the coast or on an island. It’s very serene.
- Socialist– Yes, I actually like that they are Socialist. It works well for Norway and their people.
- Healthcare system– Healthcare in Norway costs about $400 a year vs my $10,000 per year. Big big big big reason to leave the States.
- Kim’s Family lives in Norway
- Less Stressful life- Lifestyle of Norway differs from the United States. ?Mental illness is more taken care of?
- Personalities of Norwegian Peoples– It’s not go-go-go all the time like it is in the States. They are far more relaxed overall, but they are “cold” or in my experiences reserved and shy with strangers. The notion they aren’t social is a myth however. They know how to party hard.
- Safe– You can walk around at night without the fear of being shot or raped. Your children are safe left alone. The mentality of Norwegians are just different in how they treat one another.
- “Allemannsrett” or All Man’s Right Law– You have the freedom to explore uncultivated land.
- Forests– Norwegians love their forests. Hiking is HUGE in Norway! They have trails everywhere.
- History– They have a rich history and culture that I am already a fan of. Like, I’m a nerd.
- Right to Vacations and Time off– Ever feel pressured to never request off or feel guilty for requesting time off in the States? I do. That all is unheard of in Norway. They want you to take vacations.
- Work to Live not Live to Work mentality
- System for Retirement– Social Security won’t exist for my generation.
- Food– Some preservatives and additives to food are not allowed. Food is fresher and healthier. Their food culture overall is a healthier one. Being a type 1 diabetic, this should help me a lot.
My husband and I have been talking literally everyday about moving to Norway. He wants to talk out my fears and understand that I have a support system there. That support system is made of his family, our friends and himself. I will not be completely alone- although I may feel like it.
Here are some of my fears about moving out of the United States:
- I will not speak the language fluently: I’m not sure about the reaction of Norwegians when they find out an immigrant doesn’t speak their language. I will feel embarrassed and fumble for words. I have a plan to use Duolingo, a workbook and Nemi comics from Norway to learn to read, write and speak Norwegian.
- My side of the family lives in the United States.
- Can I still cook Italian Food?!: This is a huge deal to me. I can’t leave all of my own culture behind. I don’t know how to cook Norwegian.
- Land of the Midnight Sun: The daylight in Norway is different. Summer has long hours of light. Winter has short hours of light. Will this affect me physically and/or mentally?
- Racisim: I am not entirely white. As part Sicilian, I’m part Jewish, Arab and part even part black. My skin golden olive. Will I encounter racisim?
- Terrorism: I really wish I didn’t have to worry about terrorism in Norway but if you have paid attention- I do have to worry. “Keep Norway Norwegian” is a slogan my husband said exists. Some few may seriously hate foreigners.Others may hate Roman influence such as the “Christianization” of the Norwegian people and my people are the ones that did this.
- Problems Shopping: Stores will be different and therefore no Sephora and no Ulta will be around. Can I even order offline? What about shopping for food? What if I can’t read labels? I’m diabetic and reading measurements of carbs is a big deal. I already know the way their labels are read are different than the United States.
- Friends: Of course I will miss my friends in the US. I don’t know how hard it will be to make friends once I am in Norway. I have a couple already, however.
- Medical Personal: I have a team of doctors in the States. I’m not exactly healthy. I’ve got type 1 diabetes and a possible other disease. Can I trust Norwegian healthcare to suit my needs?
***I want to add this post is in no way meant to slander the Norwegian people.***