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Lesson Transcript

Filip: Hi everyone, I am Filip.
Becky: And I’m Becky. Welcome back to NorwegianClass101.com. This is Lower Beginner, Season 1, Lesson 3 - Talking About Yourself in Norwegian, Part 2.
Filip: In this lesson you’ll learn how to ask “Where are you from?”, and how to answer that question The conversation is between Kjersti and Ole, and they’re using informal Norwegian.
Becky: Let’s listen to the conversation.
Filip: Did you know that Norwegian education is entirely free?
Becky: Entirely free? Hmm, I know that most of the education is free, but saying entirely free is stretching it a bit far!
Filip: Well it can be entirely free, for the student. Public universities only charge a semester fee and have you buy all your research books, but these fees are covered by the national scholarship, if you choose to apply for it.
Becky: I can see your point, but there are also private universities like the one Ole mentioned, BI. That school charges tuition and other fees every semester, doesn’t it?
Filip: True, but those fees can also be covered by your student loan.
Becky: That’s right. Norway aims to make education free for anyone who wants to study, and I think they’ve accomplished that pretty well. Even if private universities haven’t been subsidised yet.
Filip: I think that’s why there aren’t many private universities in Norway to begin with either. The choice is quite good among the public ones. Then again, there aren’t that many public universities either. But still, the choice of majors at each school can be quite broad.
Becky: So those are some things to consider if you want to study in Norway. Ok, now let’s move on to the vocab.
Becky: Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Filip: The vocabulary in this lesson doesn’t really contain anything that can’t be translated directly to English.
Becky: True, it was quite simple this time. But I think there are two words we can pick out from the dialogue that could be explained a bit more.
Filip: Ok, let’s start with the easiest one.
Becky: I don’t know if it’s the easiest, but ‘åja’ is at least short!
Filip: Yes, and ‘åja’ is another of those conversation fillers that fills gaps in conversation. Norwegians love conversation fillers, and that’s why we want to introduce a few of them in this series.
Becky: It’s is used to express recognition or small enlightenment from a statement, like the English “Ooh!”
Filip: In that case, it would sound like ‘åjaa’! It can also be a pondering nod, more like the English “Ooh... I see”. Finally, it can be used in a question-like form by raising the intonation on the final vowel. Like ‘Åja’?
Becky: In that case it would reflect the English “Okay?” or “Really?”.
Filip: Alright, next we have ‘å utdanne’.
Becky While this word directly translates as “to educate”, it’s often used as the Norwegian equivalent of “to study”.
Filip: Even though Norwegian also has a word similar to “to study”. It is ‘å studere’. The difference between the way English and Norwegian use these two words, is that in Norwegian ‘å utdanne’ would be talking about education in general. ‘å studere’ is more about the activity of studying. It can also mean “to research” in English.
Becky: But enough about them, let’s look at some examples to clear this up a bit. We will also throw in an ‘åja’ here.
Filip: Åja, så du studerer politikk?
Becky: “Oh okay, so you are studying politics?”
Filip: Jeg utdanner meg som sykepleier
Becky: “I am studying to become a nurse”
Filip: Hun har studert til doktorgrad
Becky: “She has studied to get a PhD.” Ok, now let’s move on to the grammar.

Lesson focus

Becky: In this lesson, you’ll learn to ask “where are you from?” and answer with “I am from...”.
Becky: We will also look at some of the questions posed in the dialogue.
Filip: First things first. When meeting someone new, especially if they look like they are a visitor, we usually tend to ask them where they are from.
Becky: There are two common ways to ask, one of which you saw in the dialogue, the other of which you will probably be able to guess easily.
Filip The first one is - ‘Hvor kommer du fra?’
Becky: “Where do you come from?”
Filip: And the second one is ‘Hvor er du fra?’
Becky: “Where are you from?”
Filip: We alternate between these two phrases all the time as Norwegians, so it doesn’t matter which one you ask. Although, ‘hvor kommer du fra?’ could be used in a literal sense if you saw your friend come running, and you wanted to ask “Where did you come from?”
Becky: Good to know. Now let’s go over to the answers for “where are you from?” They are just as simple.
Filip: The first is ‘Jeg er fra’ and then your country or city.
Becky: This translates as “I am from” and then the city, country or wherever.
Filip: The second one is ‘jeg kommer fra’ and then the name of the city, country, or place.
Becky: Both the question and the answer are relatively easy, and as you might remember from our previous lesson, the phrase uses the ‘jeg’-plus-verb format. Now as a bonus, if you want to be more specific with your answer, like telling the city and the country, you might want to try adding a small preposition between the two.
Filip: It’s not hard at all, the answer is a little longer, and looks like ‘jeg kommer fra [city] i [country]’. Of course, you could substitute ‘kommer’ with ‘er’ and it would be the same. This is best explained with some examples, so let’s look at some.
Filip: Hvor kommer han fra?
Becky: Where does he come from?
Filip: Han er fra Moskva i Russland
Becky: “He is from Moscow in Russia”
Filip: Jeg kommer fra USA
Becky: “I come from the U.S.” Ok, let’s move on to the other questions we saw in the dialogue.
Filip: Ok, but first let me explain something quickly. In Norwegian, if you change the pronoun in any of the phrases you have learned so far and will learn from now on, no other part of the sentence will change because of it. In other words, you can safely change between ‘jeg’, ‘du’, ‘han’, ‘hun’, ‘de vi’, without worrying about the rest of the sentence.
Becky: Great tips! Now let’s look at the first question, and it’s a very simple and practical one. ‘Og du?’ ‘Og du?’
Filip: Indeed. This literally means “and you?” And can be used instead of asking the question over again to the person you’re talking to.
Becky: The second one is a bit more tricky, but if you know the structure, you can form just about any question. It’s a yes/no question and the structure is a bit different from an English yes/no question, so let’s look at it.
Filip: The question goes like this - verb plus pronoun or noun plus noun, preposition and noun, or adjective. Once again, a verb followed by a pronoun or noun, followed by a noun, preposition and noun or adjective.
Becky: Right, that might have been a bit hard to catch so let’s go through some examples. Let’s look at the one we had in the dialogue.
Filip: The sentence is ‘åja, utdannet du deg ved UiO?’
Becky: “Oh, did you graduate from UiO?” The first word in this sentence is an interjection and can be disregarded.
Filip: The second word is ‘utdannet’, a verb meaning “Educated” or in this case “graduated”. This is followed by ‘du’
Becky: A pronoun which means “you”. Then we have
Filip: ‘deg’, the passive pronoun “yourself”. And finally ‘ved UiO’
Becky: Which means “at UiO”, or the university of Oslo. Let’s see a couple more.
Filip: ‘Skal dere på kino?’ A verb, then a pronoun, then preposition plus noun. ‘Skal dere på kino?’
Becky: And this means “Are you (guys) going to the cinema?”
Filip: ‘Liker du rosa?’ This is a verb, then a pronoun, then an adjective. ‘Liker du rosa?’
Becky: And it means “Do you like pink?”
Filip: Here’s one last one. ‘Har vi melk?’ Now this is a verb, then a pronoun, then a noun. ‘Har vi melk?’
Becky: And it means “Do we have milk?” As you can see, all these questions follow the exact same structure, and do not change in any way even if we mix adjectives, nouns, pronouns and verbs.


Filip: Ok, that’s all for this lesson.
Becky: Also take a look at the lesson notes to reinforce what you’ve learned in this lesson. See you next time! Bye!
Filip: Bye!