Boat sinks in north Norway, dialect is heard

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Fire broke out in a boat today in north Norway and it sank, and when an NRK reporter that went out to interview one of the crew it turned out that his Norwegian was more or less impossible to understand for your average Norwegian from the south. You can hear him in the video here in the article.

They then joke about what he could be saying - was Obama behind the fire perhaps?

This has something to do with a pet peeve of mine, comments that claim that Norwegian or any other language is hard to learn because it has a lot of dialects. Well yes, if you're expected to learn each and every dialect. But if Norwegians themselves can't understand each and every one, then to claim that Norwegian is hard for a speaker of English or any other language to learn because of this is a silly claim to make. Either it is hard to learn because it has a ton of dialects (that every native speaker knows), or it has a ton of dialects but the average person doesn't know them all, and neither is a person studying Norwegian as a foreign language expected to know them all either.

One might as well say that in order to be a fluent English speaker you have to be able to understand 100% of what Boomhauer says. Have fun:

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