Category Archives: Language

NWotD: ingenting

(adverb) Nothing.

Used in a sentence
Jeg har ingenting å gjøre.
(I have nothing to do.)

Related to popular culture
Here is part of a children’s song that uses inventing:
Vår Gud er så stor       (Our God is so big)
Så sterk og så mektig  (So strong and so mighty)
Finns ingenting Han ikke kan (There’s nothing He cannot do)

Related to us/to language learning:
Ingenting is one of the words that we include in the “False Friend” category.

Wikipedia defines False Friend as “pairs of words or phrases in two languages that look or sound similar, but differ significantly in meaning.” You can read the full Wikipedia entry about False Friends HERE.

NWotD: barn

(noun) Child.Used in a sentence
Vi har to flotte barn.
(We have two great children.)

Related words
Barnehage: kindergarten/nursery/preschool
Barndom: childhood
Barnebarn: grandchild
Barnemat: child’s play / piece of cake
Barneregle: nursery rhyme

NWotD: koselig

(adjective) Cozy, comfortable, pleasant, nice. But not just one of these English words can define it – koselig is really a combination of all of them together.
(Can also be used as a greeting)Used in a sentence
Det var en veldig koselig kveld med vennene våre.

(It was a very cozy/comfy/nice/pleasant/warm evening with our friends.)

Så koselig å møtte deg!

(loose translation: So nice to meet you!)

Related to us
This is one of our favorite Norwegian words. Translation is a bit difficult. You really can’t define it with one single English word.

NWotD: tannklinikk

(noun) Dental clinic.Used in a sentence
Han skal til tannklinikken i morgen.
(He is going to the dental clinic tomorrow.)

Related words
Tann: tooth
Tannbørste: toothbrush
Tannlege: dentist (literally, tooth doctor)

Related to popular culture
Karius og Baktus – a Norwegian children’s book written by Thorbjørn Egner in 1949. It tells the story of two little trolls who live in teeth, making holes for their homes and thriving on sweets. It was also made into a short puppet film and is very popular among children (of all ages!). You can see a portion of it in English HERE.

Related to us
William and Daniel had their first visit to the Norwegian tannklinikk this week. Children under 18 receive free dental care in Norway. The boys received x-rays and a thorough check of their teeth. Both had healthy teeth and good reports!


Norwegian Word of the Day / Dagens norske ord

As ex-pats, language acquisition is a major part of our lives.

  • I have a new respect for immigrants and their struggles to complete simple, everyday tasks.
  • I now totally get it: you CAN understand a lot of a language, while at the same time struggling to speak it.
  • You can be highly educated, and yet feel incredibly dumb when you can’t even understand what a little child is saying to you.
  • It is a huge blessing to live in a country where most people are fluent in English. It also makes language learning difficult.
  • I find myself rehearsing phrases over and over when preparing to complete what was once a simple task (like making a deposit at the bank, or asking where something is located in a shop).
  • Norwegians are incredibly kind and encouraging when they are enduring listening to our terrible grammar.

So in the spirit of language learning, I am starting another blog series. While I doubt I will be able to pull it off every single day, I thought it might be fun to share some Norwegian words from time to time. Sometimes it will simply be a word and its meaning. Other times I will share something that is related to a new experience or a regular part of life here.

So stayed tuned – be on the lookout for “NWotD” (Norwegian Word of the Day).

School time for everyone!

It’s not just the kiddos that are back in school. Zack and I are getting back into our learning regiment as well. Last week we took the placement test for language class. And yesterday we began classes again.

This week is a bit more informal, filling time while they review the placement tests an get everyone into the right classes. They did an initial subdivision into groups Monday and somehow we ended up in a class with people who’ve been in language school (& Norway) much longer than we have. While the first two days have been exhausting, we are trying to remember that this more challenging scenario is good because it will make us study more.
But we are sad that we won’t get to learn alongside out friends from our first class!
Here’s goes round two…


We sat at a table as we ate lunch today. The first time we’ve sat as a family at home around the table for a meal since we left Oslo in mid-February. We are thankful for a great deal we found on Norway’s version of Craigslist. We are now the proud owners of a lovely table and 6 chairs! Can’t wait to see who might end up around this table over time 🙂

And while we’re talking dining tables, I’ll share a bit of humor with you…

A dining table is called spisebord [SPEEH-seh-bord] in Norwegian. It is a combination of the words for eat (spise) and table (bord). You see, in Norwegian, when you describe something it becomes one word. So you put SPISE and BORD together: spisebord. Take a look at the funny picture one of our Norwegian friends posted on Facebook. It shows you how we can really mess up the language with just the incorrect use of a space. Dining table? Or eating a table? 😉