Lost in Translation

If you know me, you’ve probably noticed my accent. My hubby tells me it gets stronger if I’m upset or angry. But the weird thing is…. I am starting to forget Norwegian! I can speak it just fine, but writing…. The thing you need to know, is that my language has two official variety of written forms. The way I speak is nowhere near either of them. When I write letters and e-mail to family and friends, I write in dialect. To be clear; writing in dialect is not grammatically correct in any way, but it’s how I feel I best express myself. Now, whenever I have to write formally, that’s when I get into trouble. I can’t remember!!

Since 2003, I have written nothing but English, English, English…. I’d like to say my written English is pretty darn awesome, but somehow… SPEAKING it can be troublesome.
Let me give you an example of how explaining to a friend that “no, there aren’t any polar bears in Norway” became totally lost in translation.

In Norway, a “polar bear” is called ” isbjørn”. The name is derived from “ice” – “is” – which makes sense, because the bears live in a cold environment. So I said “ice bear”, and everybody started laughing. To my defense, I was under the influence of alcohol during the incident, but somehow… my friends now call me “Ice Bear”. Fun.


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