|Image courtesy of Kurious via a CC0 Public Domain license|
I had an interesting conversation a couple of weekends with a group of friends about languages, two of the people there (both non-British) were talking in depth about different languages and their particular idiosyncrasies, and I noted that I am just rubbish at any languages apart from English (and even English isn't my strongest subject!)
This isn't an unusual thing about people from the UK, we're apparently one of the countries in the EU most likely not to speak a foreign language - 61% of us don't speak a second language at all (and if you had said it was 70% or even 80% I would have believed you) and only 14% of UK residents speak a second language well enough to hold a conversation in it.
I suspect that this is down to the prevalence of English - it's one of the most common second languages learned in other countries, and I just don't think that we have the urge to learn other languages because there are good odds that when we do speak to people from another country that they'll be able to understand us. (For the avoidance of doubt - I don't necessarily think that this is a good thing)
Anyway, ahead of my honeymoon next month when we're cruising around the Norwegian Fjords (not long to go - I can't wait!), I'm attempting to learn a small amount of Norwegian - I do feel that it's important to try to learn at least a few words, at the very least I'd like to be able to say hello and ask people if they can speak English before launching into, what is for them, a foreign language.
To this end, I've been immersing myself in a variety of YouTube videos and channels, and I've been having a great time learning the basics. I've got a few weeks before I go away and I hope to be able to at least politely introduce myself, buy stuff, thank people and say goodbye by the time I go away (or failing that at least ask them if they speak English in their own language!)
The YouTube channels I've been watching are below, I do particularly recommend "Learn Norwegian with NorwegianClass101", their videos are very good, but they're all well worth a watch.
Learn Norwegian with NorwegianClass101 - https://www.youtube.com/user/NorwegianClass101
MazzaazzK - https://www.youtube.com/user/MazzazzK
Michelle Alexandra - https://www.youtube.com/user/MichelleAlexandra1
Ha det bra!