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Majestic Mountains; Norway 06.2005
My first day on the Viking Vision“Helicopter Ride to Viking Vision; the Quest for Sperm Whales” I had a bit of a culture shock! As I was eating lunch in the galley, I scanned around the room and discovered a huge crew of diversity that I was never subjected to growing up in a small town in Pennsylvania. The galley staff ranged from Filipinos and Norwegians, while all the bridge crew were Norwegians. On the other hand, the seismic department comprised of British, Europeans, Canadians, and a solo American. The other biologists with me onboard were Americans; between me and the other Americans presently onboard the total that we accumulated was 5 bodies. You can see the Americans we a bit our numbered! I needed this to help me learn more about countries and various cultures. Unlike the Boston project – “Thanks for the Memories; My Recollections of the Boston, Massachusetts Project,” majority of the crew were Americans. This did not stop me from welcoming the opportunity to interact with an assortment of backgrounds in one common setting. Ever since I was a little girl I loved learning about civilizations other than my own. It is very refreshing to know that everyone you meet has an interesting story to tell – none of us are the same. 
I met several unique and fun individuals that I still remain in good touch with. One of the coolest Norwegian chief officers that I worked with, Jan, took me aside on my second day onboard  – he asked me to inform him when marine mammals were in the prospect area. I joked with him and told him that he would able to perceive this due to my ecstatic round of jumping exercises on the helideck. That was the moment when I appreciated that Jan was a really nice guy and cared about the environment and its surroundings. He took a liking to me with my witty sarcasm and offered that night in the galley if I wanted to learn Norwegian? Of course, I said “YES;” – mainly for the reasons because of my excitement to learn a new language, but also because the secondary language onboard was Norwegian. So began my next 6 weeks of learning how to make basic and complex conversations with the bridge crew. 
Welcome Sign; Ølevsvåg, Norway 06.2005

Important Key in Pronunciation:
A as in father         E as in bed        I as in beat       U as in food                 Æ as in mad      Ø as in hurt                     Å as in ball

The Norwegian Alphabet:

Pronunciation Peculiarities:
*The final “d” in “god” is not pronounced.
*The final “t” in “det” is not pronounced.
*”Gjør” is pronounced kind of like “your” in English.
*”Er” is pronounced like “are” in English.
*”Jeg” is pronounced “yahy.”
*The “h” in “hvordan,” “hvor,” and “hva” is not pronounced.


These were compliments of the Captain. He stressed these pronunciation peculiarities on the first day that I started speaking his language – very helpful when learning to correctly emphasize these words.

Special Norwegian Pronunciations:
Most consonants are pronounced similar to English, with these exceptions:
J is pronounced like the “y” in yes; R is a little more “rolled” than the English R
KJ, KI and KY make a soft k-sound without actually blocking the throat – the air makes a sound as it squeezes out
SJ, SKY, SKJ and SKI as in shop
First Week’s Lesson of Norwegian:
How to Introduce Yourself:
My Norwegian is bad.
              Norsken min er dårlig.
I need to practice my Norwegian
              Jeg trenger å øve på norsken min/Jeg må øve på norsken min.
Don’t worry!
              Du trenger ikke bekymre deg
Solving a Misunderstanding:
I’m Sorry! (if you don’t hear something)
Sorry (for a mistake)
Unnskyld / Beklager
No Problem!
Ikke noe problem
Can You Say It Again?
Kan du si det igjen?
Can You Speak Slowly?
Kan du snakke sakte?
Write It Down Please!
Skriv det ned er du grei.
I Don’t Understand!
Jeg forstår ikke
I Don’t Know!
Jeg vet ikke
I Have No Idea.
Jeg har ingen anelse.
What’s That Called In Norwegian?
Hvordan sier man det på norsk?
How Do You Say “Please” In Norwegian?
Hvordan sier man “please” på norsk?
What Is This?
Hva er dette?

Norwegian Chief Officer Jan; Gulf of Mexico: Viking Vision 01.2008
Jan told me that I would get used to the language eventually! Apparently he assumed that I would need to learn the second section “Solving a Misunderstanding” really well – due to the lack of Norwegian language in my household. He felt this was essential to learn the fourth day of our session. I also thought his humor displayed well in the basic skills he taught me in my very first session “How to Introduce Yourself.”
Eagerly Awaiting the Language Session to Begin; Gulf of Mexico: Viking Vision 01.2008
Second Week’s Lesson of Norwegian:
Good morning!
God morgen!
Good evening!
God kveld!
Welcome! (to greet someone)
How are you?
Hvordan har du det?/Hvordan går det?
I’m fine, thanks!
Jeg har det bra takk/Det går bra takk
And you?
Enn med deg?
Good/ So-So.
Bra/Passe bra
Thank you (very much)!
(Tusen) Takk!
You’re welcome! (for “thank you”)
Vær så god!
Hey! Friend!
Hei! Venn!
What’s new?
Hva skjer?
Nothing much
Ikke mye
Good night!
God natt!
See you later!
Ser deg senere!/Sees senere!
Good bye!
Hadet bra!
Endless Valleys; Norway 06.2005

Third Week’s Lesson of Norwegian:
Norwegian Common Expressions:
Good/ Bad/ So-So
Bra / Dårlig / Så-så
Big/ Small
Stor / Liten
Today/ Now
I dag / Nå
Tomorrow/ Yesterday
I morgen / I går
Yes/ No
Ja / Nei
Here you go! (when giving something)
Do you like it?
Liker du det?
I really like it!
Jeg liker det veldig godt!
I’m hungry/ thirsty.
Jeg er sulten / tørst
In The Morning/ Evening/ At Night.
Om morgenen / kvelden / natta
This/ That. Here/There
Dette / Det. Her / Der
Me/ You/ Him/ Her
Meg / Deg/ Han / Henne
Virkelig? (Means real)
Hurry up!
Kjapp deg!
What? Where?
Hva? Hvor?
What time is it?
Hva er klokken?

Give me this!
Gi meg denne!

Number System:
One, Two, Three
En, To, Tre
Four, Five, Six
Fire, Fem, Seks
Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten
Syv, Åtte, Ni, Ti

Beautiful Mountains Overlooking Water; Norway 06.2005

Fourth Week’s Lesson of Norwegian:
Do you speak (English/ Norwegian)?
Snakker du engelsk/ norsk?
Just a little.
Bare litt
What’s your name?
Hva er navnet ditt?
My name is …
Mitt navn er …
Mr…/ Mrs.…/ Miss…
Herr … / Fru …
Nice to meet you!
Hyggelig å møte deg
You’re very kind!
Du er veldig snill
Where are you from?
Hvor er du fra?
I’m from (the U.S/ Norway)
Jeg er fra …
I’m (American)
Jeg er amerikansk
Where do you live?
Hvor bor du?
I live in (the U.S/ Norway)
Jeg bor i …
Did you like it here?
Liker du deg her?
Norway is a wonderful country
… er et fint land
What do you do for a living?
Hva er det du jobber med? (What do you work with?)

I’ve been learning Norwegian for 1 month
Jeg har lært (Norsk) i en måned.
Sky Landscape; Norway 06.2005

Fifth Week’s Lesson of Norwegian:
Asking for Help and Directions

I’m lost
Jeg har gått meg bort
Can I help you?
Kan jeg hjelpe deg?
Can you help me?
Kan du hjelpe meg?
Where is the (bathroom/ pharmacy)?
Hvor er (toalettet/apoteket)?
Go straight! then turn left/ right!
Gå rett fram! Snu så til venstre/høyre!

One moment please!
Et øyeblikk!
Hold on please! (phone)
Vent litt, er du snill!
How much is this?
Hva koster denne?
Excuse me …! (to ask for something)
Unnskyld meg …!
Excuse me! ( to pass by)
Unnskyld meg …!
Come with me!
Bli med meg!

Green Earth; Norway 06.2005
The second to last week before my departure the Captain kept telling me that week that he had something special to show me. I had no clue what he was referring to, but when I first came into the TV lounge I noticed a big group of Norwegians that he gathered for the event. The Captain told me that if I wanted to learn Norwegian, the best idea would be to visit his beautiful country. I asked him what his country looked like and all of a sudden someone turned off the lights and a movie started playing. A green mixture of pine forests and endless valleys filled the screen – the video was shot from a helicopter and we were looking down below at its majestic existence. The video itself was really cool; you felt like you were in this helicopter portrayed in the video – where you would soar over large lakes, ocean, and cities. At the end of the film, the Captain leaned over and said now that you saw the country; go back to learning the basic phrases on what one would say if they were to visit the country. 

Close-up of Valleys; Norway 06.2005

Sixth Week’s Lesson of Norwegian:

I like Norwegian
Jeg liker (Norsk)
Oh! That’s good!
Oh! Det er bra!
How old are you?
Hvor gammel er du?
I’m (twenty, thirty…) years old.
Jeg er (tyve, tretti..) år gammel.
I have to go
Jeg må gå.
I will be right back!
Kommer straks tilbake.
Wish Someone Something

Good luck!
Lykke til!
Happy birthday!
Gratulerer med dagen!
Happy new year!
Godt nytt år
Merry Christmas!
God jul


I’d like to visit Norway one day
Jeg har lyst til å besøke Norge en dag
Say hi to Silje for me
Si hei til Silje for meg
Bless you (when sneezing)
Good night and sweet dreams!
Godt natt og drøm søtt!

Reflection; Norway 06.2005


Every night when I would finish work, Jan would always tell me “God natt min kjære skatt.” I was uncertain what this meant until the second week of the trip when I asked my good friend Silje. The phrase means “Good night my sweet treasure.” 

Further Phrases I Taught Myself:
I love you!
Jeg elsker deg
I missed you so much!
Jeg savnet deg så mye!
Monday                        Mandag
Tuesday                        Tirsdag
Wednesday                   Onsdag
Thursday                       Torsdag
Friday                            Fredag
Saturday                        Lørdag
Sunday                          Søndag
Day                                Dag
Week                             Uke
Month                           Måned
Year                               År
Yesterday                     I går
Tomorrow                      I morgen

Mountain Mixed with Clouds; Norway 06.2005

A Prankster Onboard:

During the second day of learning Norwegian, I was very happy with my progress. I asked Jan to teach me a longer phrase – one that I could say to the Captain that would allow me to thank him for having me onboard his ship. Jan taught me, “Vil du komme hjem med meg – I assumed (first mistake) that this phrase was an appropriate expression to tell the Captain later that evening. Right before I was headed downstairs to find the Captain and express my new found phrase that I learned, I repeated the phase one more time to Jan. He reassured me that this phrase meant, “Thank you for having me onboard Captain;” in reality the phrase meant something completely different! I ran downstairs and told the Captain “Vil du komme hjem med meg” in my enthusiastic voice. He looked me with a crooked smile and glanced at his wedding ring. The Chief Engineer who was in his late twenties was coming around the corner and he stopped him for a moment. The Captain asked me to repeat what I had just said again. At this time, I obviously knew that I was saying something wrong or maybe I just messed up the pronunciation a little bit? Regardless, I knew something was not right. The Chief Engineer replied, “Well when we get off the ship at crew change, then maybe.” Shocked, I did not know how to respond or what I even inquired about. They both started laughing and I decided to join in on the “Make fun of Jessica session!” The Captain smiled at me and revealed that I had asked him, “Will you come home with me?” I was mortified at that instant; he chuckled again and said next time Jan teaches you something; I would definitely Google it first! From that moment on, I Googled everything I was taught!
Lesson to be learned – Always make sure you are properly pronouncing the words, also do research what you are articulating! You never know how many pranksters are waiting for you to learn their language, so that they can teach you the wrong expressions at times. Those cheeky individuals! 
Who says languages cannot be fun to learn? I had a blast not only speaking another language, but learning about the history behind this complex language.

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