The great thing about moving in Norway is that everyone is fluent in English.
And when I say everyone, it’s everyone!
We spoke English with little grannies in the depths of Norway on an island off Tromsø 350 km north of the Arctic Circle !! So it’s great to do all the paperwork.
Even though I had started to learn a bit of Norwegian before I left I didn’t feel comfortable enough to open my bank account in norwegian, so english is a must at first and Norwegians love to speak english… so we spoke english with everyone and also with our friends… ..yes yes we made a lot of friends very quickly in Norway.
I will come back to this later in the article, except that …
When it comes to looking for work, that is where the problem arises.
Once again, I am telling you about my experience and I am not saying that it is the same situation everywhere in Norway and for everybody.
When I arrived in Norway, I had a lot of things to do to launch my 2 activities, I had to start the process, do all the communication, the procedures … it took me 100% of my time and I’ve never taken norwegian course but after 3 years here, I wasn’t speaking very well so I said to myself… what can I do to improve?
My problem as a Freelancer is that I don’t have a colleague to talk to, I can’t hear norwegian on a daily basis because I work from home and my boyfriend is French.
We speak norwegian among us to improve but nobody corrects us so we don’t improve.
So I was like, well we’re lucky to have a lot of friends so we will norwegian with them now !
We have digital TV and we watch norwegian or english programs with norwegian subtitles.
I read a lot too, I borrow books from the library.
I started with children’s books 3-5 years old !! basically just pictures with the names but it’s great for learning vocabulary.
And I was increasing the level as I went, now I can read normal novels.
I also listen to the radio, you don’t necessarily think about it, but radio presenters don’t talk like people on TV or in real life.
They articulate more and have a clearer and understandable voice.
Also, I offered to some friends to give them singing lessons for free but in Norwegian if they helped me develop my vocabulary, I ask them questions in english, and we continue in Norwegian.
I also improved a lot when I met Ingjerd. A friend in Tønsberg.
She is Norwegian and a French teacher but was looking for someone to practice her French to improve.
So we met to do « exchanges language » we spoke a little french, I corrected her and taught her words and expressions and we did the same in norwegian afterwards.
We became really friends afterwards and we see each other a lot so that really made me progress.
Thank you Ingjerd !!!
In Oslo there are « language exchange » , « språkkaffe »groups and it’s really great, I recommend it to practice. Unfortunately, in Tønsberg there were none.
So I created the group « Frankofile i Vestfold » and we meet once a month to speak Norwegian and French.