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Lesson Transcript

Filip: Hello! Hi, I am Filip.
Becky: And I’m Becky. Welcome back to NorwegianClass101.com. This is Lower Beginner, Season 1, Lesson 14 - How Many Norwegian Mountains Did You Climb This Morning? In this lesson, you’ll start to learn about the past tense.
Filip: Conjugating verbs in Norwegian can sometimes be quite confusing. This is because there are so many irregular verbs and semi-regular verbs.
Becky: So in this lesson, we’ll cover some of the conjugation itself, and some common structures in the past tense.
Filip: In the conversation, Kjersti and Espen are visiting Kjersti’s parents, and her mother is asking about their recent trip to Galdhøpiggen.
Becky: Let’s listen to the conversation.
Becky: When I was in Norway, I noticed that it’s not common for families to live together as extended families... I mean, living with your grandparents or parents.
Filip: True, when children have grown up, they usually move out a bit further away from their parents. It’s common for the parents to live in the same place until they grow old, and eventually move into a nursing home.
Becky: I see, so it’s not too different from British culture or American culture, although I noticed that this is very common in Norway. And sometimes they live pretty far away from each other too.
Filip: Yeah, now that people are urbanising more and more, I think it’s going to become more common to live closer together but, this generation has had parents and grandparents who lived in the countryside to begin with, or who moved there in later years to find more peace.
Becky: Right, for example Kjersti’s parents, who seem to live in some remote area.
Filip: Yeah, they live in Lom, a small town north of Galdhøpiggen.
Becky: I see. And it’s common for people to visit their relatives now and then, say during holidays or family reunions, just to catch up and to see some familiar faces again, right?
Filip: Yeah, it’s common to visit your relatives at least once or twice a year.
Becky: Ok, now let’s move on to the vocab.
Becky: Let's have a closer look at the usuage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Filip: We’ll be looking at 2 words and a phrase in this lesson. The first word is ‘hvordan’. Now, ‘hvordan’ means “how”. The important thing here is to avoid confusing it with ‘hvor’. That means “where”, but it’s used in conjunction with modifiers like ‘mye’ meaning “much” or ‘langt’ meaning “long”.
Becky: In English, they would combine to create “How much” or “how long”.
Filip: In Norwegian, these are ‘hvor mye’ and ‘hvor langt’. However, you can’t use ‘hvordan’ in these scenarios. You can’t combine ‘hvordan’ and ‘mye’, for example. It just wouldn’t make sense. Instead, you use ‘hvordan’ to ask “how, are you doing that?”. So you’re asking “how” something is like this, or like that.
Becky: Ok B, give us an example.
Filip: Hvordan gjør du det?
Becky: “How are you doing that?” Next we have the English phrase “very nice” or “incredibly nice”.
Filip: In Norwegian, you join certain words together to avoid confusion that would occur if they were written separately in a sentence. This is also known as compounding. ‘kjempefint’ is one of these linked words. Separately, it’s ‘kjempe’ and ‘fint’.
Becky: Which are“giant” and “nice” respectively. And written separately in a sentence, they would mean exactly that -“Giant” and “nice”.
Filip: Let’s see some examples in sentences. It’s ‘Kjempefint vær i dag’ if written together, but written separately, it would be ‘kjempe[leave a pause] fint vær i dag.’
Becky: While they sound similar, the meanings are “Really nice weather today” and “Giant nice weather today” respectively. It is easiest to remember these compounds as a new word. Here’s another example.
Filip: Turen var kjempefin.
Becky: “The trip was really nice.
Filip: Finally, the phrase we want to explain is ‘fikk sett’. In the infinitive, it’s ‘å få se’.
Becky: “got to see” and “to get to see” there. This phrase works pretty much the same in English as in Norwegian, and is often used in scenarios like the one in our dialogue. Although the translation was a bit different in our dialogue, it could just as well have been...
Filip: ...vi kom opp på morgenen og fikk sett soloppgangen
Becky: “...We reached the top during morning and got to see the sunrise”. Alright, let’s look at an example of that one too.
Filip: Vi fikk sett sognefjorden
Becky: “We got to see the Sogne fjord”
Filip: Alright. Now let’s move on to the grammar.

Lesson focus

Becky: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to use the past tense.
Filip: Firstly, let’s break down the sentence ‘hvordan hadde dere det?’ The first word is the question word ‘hvordan’ meaning “how”. This is followed by ‘hadde’ meaning “had”. And then the pronoun ‘dere’, “you”. And finally det meaning “it”, which is also a pronoun. ‘hvordan hadde dere det?’
Becky: Directly translated it is “how had you it?”
Filip: Now, if we conjugate this sentence into present tense it looks like this ‘Hvordan har dere det?’
Becky: “How are you having it?”
Filip: In present tense it’s ‘hvordan har dere det?’ In the past tense, it’s ‘Hvordan hadde dere det?’
Filip: Learning how to use the past tense in Norwegian can be a bit daunting, because there are so many irregular and semi-regular forms.
Becky: So in this lesson, we’ll look at the regular past tense. That is, the past participle. There’s another past tense called present perfect tense, but we’ll save that one for later.
Filip: The regular past tense is used to talk about events and situations that happened in the past.
Becky: Firstly, in Norwegian the only part of a sentence that is conjugated into past tense is the verbs. When you conjugate a verb it will either change shape, which is “irregular”, or add a tail, which is a “regular” verb.
Filip: There are also some semi-regular verbs, which only change slightly when they’re conjugated. For example, they have one of the regular endings, but some letters also change to slightly alter the sound.
Becky: This might sound a lot more difficult than it actually is. The key here is to learn every verb’s conjugated form as well. Secondly, when you start to grasp the sound and flow of the language, you’ll easily hear it when a verb is conjugated incorrectly. Let’s look at some of the common verb endings.
Filip: Å klatre - klatret
Becky: “To climb - climbed”
Filip: Å kjøre - kjørte
Becky: “to drive - drove”
Filip: Å så - sådde
Becky: “to sow - sowed”
Filip: Å få - fikk
Becky: “to get - got”
Becky: So these were some fairly common verb endings, or tails.
Filip: We’re changing the end part of the verb to one of these - ‘-t’, ‘-te’, ‘-de’, and ‘-ikk’
Becky: Out of these, by far the one you’ll hear the most is the ‘-te’ ending.
Filip: Yes, and you might notice this as you learn different verbs. And as A said, it’s easiest to learn the conjugated form of each verb as well, from the beginning.
Becky: So let’s look at some structures you can put these verbs in. Or some more sample sentences that include these verbs.
Filip: Hun klatret Mt. Fuji i fjor
Becky: “She climbed Mt. Fuji last year”
Filip: Jeg kjørte bil til Oslo.
Becky: “I drove in a car to Oslo”
Filip: De sådde jordbærplanter i hagen
Becky: “They sowed strawberry plants in the backyard”
Filip: Fikk du tatt med deg tingene dine?
Becky: “Did you manage (to get) to bring your stuff?”


Filip: Alright, that’s all for this lesson.
Filip: We’ll have more about the past tense in the next lesson.
Becky: Until then, please make sure you check the lesson notes.
Filip: Takk for at dere hørte på, hade!
Becky: Thanks for listening, and see you next time!