Tuesday, March 23, 2010

3rd Anniversary :)

Today marks the 3rd anniversary of my living in Oslo :) I am quite happy - but life has its ways of showing me that there is always more to achieve.

I'd really like to learn Norwegian.

There. I have said it. Learning this language has been pretty tough for me because I am a technical writer. I spend a good 8 hours a day reading and writing and trying to convince engineers to read my work and provide me with some feedback. It's a job that is definitely a lot easier than Medicine, Law, Firefighting, and so on. But it has its challenges - like how it gets difficult to read normal novels because you always start analyzing sentences. What's also tough for me is to learn Norwegian. The Norwegian language is actually quite cute. If I learned it, I could be so much more comfortable living in Scandinavia.

But two things stop me from learning it:

1. The cost - the courses are not cheap. They are approximately 2000+ Ringgit each course and you need a good 5 courses to be able to sit for the govt test. I could skip the test, of course, and just focus on reading, writing, and being able to converse.

2. Irrational fear - I am afraid that if I learn another language, I will lose command on one existing language. I am a firm believer in balance. I'm afraid I will lose my command of Malay (or what little there is left after not using it for the past 5 years). Even worse, I could lose my command of Tamil. God forbid, I hope that never happens. Already my Tamil is so rough and choppy. I can barely understand pure Tamil anymore (Aayirathil Oruvan proved that :()

I am really hoping that I will just throw #2 and save up (for #1) and just... get it done. Take at least 1 course this year and start speaking Norwegian.

Actually I did take the introductory course in 2007 and it was not useless at all. Instead, it is what helps me understand my tax papers, banking, and of course all the shop signs ;) I can order food and stuff in Norsk, but its not enough to converse. I usually know the gist of other people's conversation but I blink blankly when they try to speak to me in Norsk.

See I never thought that I would turn out to be so stubborn about learning a new language. In some ways I am disappointed in myself for not putting in enough effort to learn Norsk. I always thought that I wanted to learn a new language - I really did believe that - until I realised how difficult it was (in 2007) to go to work and read + write technical papers, then go for classes after work and attempt to concentrate for a good 2 hours. Gosh, it was not easy.

I shall find a way to fix that this year.

I have to...


At 3/24/2010 03:27:00 AM , Blogger shivanixx said...

aww hon i only speak hindi and english and think in both too. I tried learning french, but I couldn't continue. But I'm sure if you practice your tamil, you won't lose it. find a buddy to practice it with.

At 3/24/2010 04:40:00 AM , Blogger Kimberly Low said...

happy 3rd year anniversary of being an expat!!! hope i could actually come visit you next year :D

At 3/24/2010 09:33:00 AM , Blogger NickTay said...

Has it been 3 years already? wow!! I remember when you were struggling to or not to go :)

At 3/24/2010 08:59:00 PM , Anonymous Cas said...

I finally know what you do for a living. You should just give it a shot, you have nothing to lose except that RM2k which can be earned back. You won't know till you try right? I"m contemplating Thai, we'll see. 3 years in a foreign country is long so happy anniversary :)

At 3/27/2010 06:08:00 AM , OpenID whimsicaljottings said...

Oh dear, I guess I can attest to that. However, I find that learning another language doesn't cause you to lose proficiency in another. Its the lack of practice that does.

I could speak BM like a Malay in Msia, spoke some Mandarin, am still speaking English and now learning Italian. I find that my command of BM and Mandarin has totally gone down the drain after almost two years of not practising it.

Been wanting to improve my spoken Italian but for reasons I wont go into, I had to stop my Italian lessons. Am now gonna start searching for a "practice partner"; she teaches/speaks to me in Italian and I teach her English. Language lessons cost a bomb here too :/

At 3/31/2010 11:49:00 PM , Blogger Siany said...

If you already speak two or more language, it should be easier to learn other new language. Is having private tutor at home will cost more than taking a full course?

At 4/24/2010 02:32:00 AM , Blogger Shamini said...

You say you speak Tamil, are you Tamil? My father is Tamil, but unfortunately he's been in Norway for such a long time now that he's forgotten most of his language. He's now working as a translator, so he had to sit down and learn the language all over again just recently. Fascinating language!


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