Norwegian: Oslo Dialect

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Brolik

Member
English, German
Hi, I'm doing a project for my 12th year in school. We spend the year learning something outside of school, I chose Norwegian. I have Norwegians here that can help me with written Norwegian, I'm learning Bokmål. They can't help me with the spoken language because they are from Western Norway(Bergen and Kristiansand) and I want to learn the dialect spoken in Oslo. I want to know how certain things are pronounced. I know that there a big differences from dialects in the West and those in the East.

Can anyone help me with pronouncing certain letter combinations. I heard someone say "hjelpe" and it sounded like "jarpe". Are there any other unique way to pronounce things in the Olso dialect?

I hope I'm not being to vague, all help is greatly appreciated.
 
  • Marit

    New Member
    Norwegian
    I think you should make the person from Bergen teach you the spoken language. The Bergen dialect is not THAT different from the Oslo dialect, if you exclude the Rs and the melody of the dialect. In any way, both the person from Kristiansand and the one from Bergen will know what the words and sentences are pronounced like in Oslo, and they can help you a lot more than you can find out on your own.

    By the way, there are big geographical and social varieties in the spoken language in the Oslo area. Your example hjelpe can thus be pronounced very differently, depending on who you ask.

    Good luck! ;)
     

    Sirit

    New Member
    Norway
    I agree, your friends from western Norway will know how to pronounce bokmål if they try!
     

    Brolik

    Member
    English, German
    I agree, your friends from western Norway will know how to pronounce bokmål if they try!
    Thank you but I still have a problem, my Project Mentor, the one from Bergen who is helping me is leaving for Mexico until April and my presentation is in May. Which means I really won't have anyone here who can help me with the spoken language. I really wish I could have his help but it seems I may have to try something else. He and his wife, the one from Kristiansand, will not be able to help me anymore. Thank you again for you help.

    I have another question, do "sk","kj","skj" all sound the same or does "sk" sound different from the other two?

    One more question, how do the Rs differ, what makes the Rs in the Oslo dialect differernt?

    Takk
     

    Lemminkäinen

    Senior Member
    Norwegian (bokmål)
    Hi,

    I'll recommend you to try and listen to the Norwegian Broadcasting's radio and tv shows (the news should be the best, I think). Especially Østlandssendingen, which broadcasts over Østlandet, i.e. the Oslo area and general eastern part of Norway.

    I have another question, do "sk","kj","skj" all sound the same or does "sk" sound different from the other two?
    It all depends on the context, but I assume you mean the 'sh' sound (sko for instance, does not have it).
    "Sk", "skj" and "sj" can all signify a 'sh' sound; the spelling depends on the word's etymology, but the pronunciation is similar.

    The 'kj' sound can be represented by "kj", "ky", "ki" and "tj" (there might be more) - the spelling varies due to etymology here too.

    The 'kj' and 'sh' sounds are not similar - 'kj' is a palatal fricative; 'sh' is a postalveolar - the former is a difficult sound to learn, I guess.
    It's actually an interesting debate that's been going on the last few years regarding this; kids (in particular) and young people often say 'sh' instead of 'kj'.

    One more question, how do the Rs differ, what makes the Rs in the Oslo dialect differernt?
    There are two r's in Norwegian. One is known as skarre-r, and is similar to the French one. It's the least used; found in Western and Southern Norway.

    The other is the rulle-r (rolling r, used by the rest), which is an alveolar tap; like in Spanish (I think). The difference between them is quite significant, as people who roll the r use a number of various assimilations when it occurs before some consonants.
    I wouldn't worry too much about that aspect though, as it's quite advanced, and you'll have no trouble being understood pronouncing it distinctly.
     

    Brolik

    Member
    English, German
    Takk!

    Thanks for the tip about the radio and tv, but will I be able to listen to it on the internet, I live in the US?

    As for the "kj","skj", and "sk" that sounds interesting, I'm glad I know the difference now. It's good to know what tj sounds like as well. I think I may struggle a bit with "kj", I can tell is sounds different than the German "sch", but if I find myself thinking too much about it I struggle when I try to say it. I guess the more I hear and speak Norwegian the easier it will become. I seems to me there is controversy everwhere about Norwegian. From the written language struggle to pronounciation. It is all so intersting to me.

    As for the Rs, I think I know what you're talking about, I'm studying French and all my neighbors speak Spanish so I think I understand the difference.
     

    Lemminkäinen

    Senior Member
    Norwegian (bokmål)
    Yes, I'm talking about internet radio and tv; should've specified that. Keep in mind though, that dialects have a strong position in the Norwegian society, so the state-funded broadcasting company does have a good deal of dialect speakers.

    I think you can somewhat compare 'kj' with the German 'ch' (as in Bach), only that it's palatal, not velar.

    Well, adults complain about how the youth ruin the language everywhere ;)

    Here are some interactive IPA charts that might help. The 'kj' sound is found by going to 'Consonants' -> Palatal fricative (the unvoiced, to the left).
    The alveolar trill is the 'r'.
     

    Brolik

    Member
    English, German
    Takk for hjelpen!

    Yeah it seems to me adults are quite concerned about the language and take it pretty seriously. My Mentor who is from Bergen said even though he grew up using Nynorsk he can't stand it. He told me he would never tell his family back in Norway that because they would think he is crazy. He says his cousin is a part of Noregs Mållag, so you can see why.

    Thanks agian for the links, I think those IPA charts will help me out a lot.
     

    cyanista

    законодательница мод
    NRW
    Belarusian/Russian
    I think you can somewhat compare 'kj' with the German 'ch' (as in Bach), only that it's palatal, not velar.
    The German "ch" can stand for two sounds: the velar fricative that you mentioned - after the vowels a, o, u (Bach, Sucht); and the palatal fricative - after e, i, ä, ö, ü (ich, Pech, rächt). The latter is, as far as I know, the same sound as in Norwegian.

    Voiceless palatal fricative
     

    Lemminkäinen

    Senior Member
    Norwegian (bokmål)
    Does "kj" sound like the "ch" in a word like "Mädchen" or "Licht"?
    The German "ch" can stand for two sounds: the velar fricative that you mentioned - after the vowels a, o, u (Bach, Sucht); and the palatal fricative - after e, i, ä, ö, ü (ich, Pech, rächt). The latter is, as far as I know, the same sound as in Norwegian.
    The 'ch' in "Mädchen" is more of a 'sh' sound, is it not? Anyway, it's similar to the one in "Licht".

    Is the tj- sound not the same as the kj-sound? At least I always thought so.
    Do you pronounce the tj- in "tjue" the same as the k- in "kyr"?
    Yes, it's the same sound :) The difference in writing comes from Norse, where they were tjogu and kýr, and pronounced differently, but there's no difference between them in Norwegian.
     

    Brolik

    Member
    English, German
    The 'ch' in "Mädchen" is more of a 'sh' sound, is it not? Anyway, it's similar to the one in "Licht".
    Yes the "ch" in Mädchen is more like "sch", you're correct. That is what I was asking, if it was the "ch" in Licht or the "ch" in Mädchen. My mistake for not asking that correctly.

    Okay so I understand that, so that must mean "tj" sounds like the "ch" in "buch" or "bach".

    Takk!
     

    Brolik

    Member
    English, German
    Thanks for clearing that up, but I have a question that is not about pronounciation.

    Is there a difference between "jeg skjønner" and "jeg forstår"?

    In my dictionary it says they both mean "verstehen", so is there a difference?
     

    Lemminkäinen

    Senior Member
    Norwegian (bokmål)
    If you have multiple questions, please make a new thread ;)

    There might be some slight semantical differences, but I'm having a hard time coming up with a sentence where one is used and the other cannot. I'd say they're very close synonyms :)
     

    Lugubert

    Senior Member
    Hyvä on, Lemminkäinen!
    Hi,
    "Sk", "skj" and "sj" can all signify a 'sh' sound; the spelling depends on the word's etymology, but the pronunciation is similar.

    The 'kj' sound can be represented by "kj", "ky", "ki" and "tj" (there might be more) - the spelling varies due to etymology here too.

    The 'kj' and 'sh' sounds are not similar - 'kj' is a palatal fricative; 'sh' is a postalveolar - the former is a difficult sound to learn, I guess.
    To at least us Swedes, an English sh sometimes may sound like our sk, sometimes like our tj. Perhaps you could use the sh of 'she' for an acceptable variety of the Scandinavian sj, but try drawing your tongue backwards (or even curl it: retroflex). Then take the affricate in 'cheat' and try eliminitating the initial 't'-ish thing. Then you'll be rather close to the kj.

    (A very common, almost standard, Swedish realization of sj-, skj-, stj- and several other spellings (you wouldn't ever guess -xky-) is so unique that I now of no other languages featuring it. Google 'hooktop heng', but be ware that not all 'net descriptions will match my understanding.)
     

    maree

    Member
    Norway/Norwegian
    After reading the posts I feel the need to make things 100% clear:

    The kj/tj sound (as in ich, schlecht, mädchen) sounds like the "soft" ch that follows the vowels i, e, ä, ö and ü

    the more "brutal" ch that follows a, o and u (as in Bach, sucht, noch) does not exist in the Norwegian language.
     
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