In many years in Norway I learnt what a few friends call my personal Norwegian: far from being good, I do understand and people i general understand me when I speak Norwegian. I had a one month immersion course before starting the first semester as student at NTNU in Trondheim. From that course I learned almost nothing! Met nice people, had a very nice teacher, but besides the basics like “How are you?, What’s your name?, Where do you come from?” I leaned very little! And especially very little useful in a technical University!
So when the semester started I had to make a choice: follow the steps of a few fellow exchange student and enroll myself to some serious language courses (3 hours in the evening, 2-3 times per week) or use the same time for something else, more inspiring and interesting for my international experience.
I chose the second road, also thinking that since almost all subjects had books in English (some even classes, even if I never asked for that myself!), I could cope one way or another. And technical Norwegian is not that different from technical Italian-English-Spanish-French, so with my linguistics basics or language similarities (Italian-Spanish-French) I would have been able to understand the most.
I was not wrong!
But the extra teaching, especially in everyday life, started when I started practicing Aikido.. where all the sessions were taught in Norwegian! That became also my main Norwegian environment! True enough, every Norwegian person can understand and speak a very good English, so my interaction with them was never a problem, even at the beginning. But then I liked so much Aikido from the very beginning that I took part to all the possible sessions, receiving a very good full immersion in Norwegian language!
In fact, this winter, when I was in Italy and I have been asked to teach one Aikido session in my hometown, I was extremely nervous especially for.. the language!!! First time teaching Aikido in Italian!!!
Now in China, Read the rest of this entry »