Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Norwegian Speaking Week
One of the things we've decided that we really want to do when we have kids (No, this is not an announcement) is to raise them bilingually. However, this would most likely require actually speaking Norwegian both to them and to each other, which is something we don't do as much as you might think. Sure, we probably say something in Norwegian to each other more or less every day, we listen to Norwegian music, and occasionally watch Norwegian movies (we don't have very many), but mostly Norwegian has become a sort of secret language for us. Anyone who speaks another (preferably obscure) language knows what I'm talking about.
Then Annika (a good friend from at home in Norway) came to stay with us, our household language switched completely. Annika and I mostly spoke Norwegian to each other, and then we would both turn around and speak Norwegian to Nick, and the cycle continued. It was great.
I was actually surprised at how good it felt to speak my own language so much. I was raised bilingually, and so I've spoken English since I was about seven months old (No, really. Ask my mum), so I've never really considered one as being "more me" than the other. It might be because English is the norm for me now, and Norwegian is just some party trick I pull out every once in a while. In all honesty, being able to speak that much Norwegian for so long really felt like I was able to unlock a part of myself that doesn't get out much. Just using words and expressions that few people here understand, and that I haven't spoken in a long time felt so good. Befriende, om du vil :)
I honestly don't know what I would have done had I married someone who didn't understand that part of me, who didn't talk to me about what Bergen smells like after the rain, someone who doesn't know about buying strawberries at the town square and eating them på Skibladnerbrygga, or the sound the train makes across the bridge on the way in to Oslo. Someone who knows the parts of me that make me who I am. Oh, whatever would I do without my Nick? :)