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Thread: 'Swedes Are Stupid': Norwegian Professor

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    Thumbs Down 'Swedes Are Stupid': Norwegian Professor

    A retired Norwegian linguistics professor has described Swedes as "stupid" for not being able to understand Norwegian. Norwegians have no problem with Swedish, the professor points out.

    Finn-Erik Vinje has caused an escalation in what is promising to become an all out language war, by publishing a post on his blog last week asking, "Why are Swedes so stupid?".

    The citation, Vinje writes, is taken from a publication written 60 years ago but, he claims, remains a relevant question today.

    The basis of Vinje's assertion is that Swedish viewers of Himmelbå, a Norwegian television series based on the British production "Two Thousand Acres of Sky", have complained that the language is too difficult to understand and would prefer to see a series in Swedish, with Swedish actors, in a Swedish setting.

    Vinje reacts to a review of the series in the Expressen newspaper in which Norwegian is described as an "incomprehensible and ugly language".

    "Line Verndal in the female lead can look as much like (the Swedish actress) Lena Endre as she likes. But she is still speaking that strange double Dutch," Expressen's Nils Schwarts writes.

    The retired linguistics professor argues in response that Norwegians have no trouble understanding spoken Swedish.

    "Swedish is child's play for us - in its spoken form anyway. When we have contact with Swedes and realize that they don't understand we simply shift to using the equivalent Swedish word."

    Vinje goes on to claim that it is thus unnecessary for Swedish to be subtitled on Norwegian television although adds that perhaps it may be useful to do so for some of the Norwegian dialects.
    http://www.thelocal.se/21208/20090810/


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    He is a racist

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    That is strange. I was told that, if I learned Danish, I could understand Swedish and Norwegian without big problems. Hence these languages must be very similar to each other.

    Now either this professor or the person who wanted me to learn Danish lies.

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    Norwegian shouldn't be a problem for Swedes to understand. But some have more problems than others. It might depend on what dialect the Norwegian is spoken in. But it is my understanding too that Norwegians more easily understand Swedish than the other way around, however they do watch a lot more Swedish television than we watch Norwegian, and thus they are used to the other language.

    Danish is really hard to understand in spoken form because of the indistinct nature of it. But if you know Danish you probably understand both Swedish and especially Norwegian fairly well. However it is not as likely that you will, if you learn it as a second (or third etc) language, as when you have it as your mothertongue. In written form, mutual understanding is easier regardless of whether it's your mothertongue or a language learned later in life.

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    I have read an aritcle on this subject, suggesting that the norwegians has an advantage in understanding scandinavian languages.
    This because of the norwegians are forced to learn both "nynorsk" and "bokmål", while swedes learn "only" swedish.

    I personally believe the understanding between us both depends very much on where in Sweden/Norway you're from. For me, the norwegian they speak in Trøndelag is easier to understand than the swedish they speak in Scania.

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    I believe the more separation you have between the words when you pronounceiate the easier it is to understand and the biggest problem for my self with Norwegian and Danish is that the words flow in to each other when they speak, just like in skåne.

    But then its also about differences in words and meaning of words off course, like accents on Gotland or in Jämtland is like a different language and completely incomprehensible, but the accent on Åland (witch belongs to Finland) is really easy to understand.

    But I agree that Norwegians seem to have a lot easier to understand Swedish than the other way around, now if that’s due to higher intelligence or just being nosy I don’t know.
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    To be honest he is right. A swede should understand Norweigan. Not being able to do so shows a lack of common knowledge. In the past every Swede could. In the past decades there has been less focus on Scandinavia in school and in media. Swedes no longer learn about their fellow scandinavians.

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    I've heard/read that in interviews with scandinavian musicians quite often and always thought that it's odd somehow. But the more I learn to understand all three languages, the more I see and understand the problems Swedes have with the other two languages.
    Swedish is much more clear pronounced, while the other two require quite a bit of getting used to to distinguish the words, also so melodie is different a bit.
    So, indeed, in a way for a Norwegian Swedish is easy, as well as for Danes, while it is harder vice-versa.
    I dont think that it is a matter of lack of intelligence or people being stupid, they are just not used to flowing-into-each-other of words.


    Stimme, if you manage to understand spoken Danish, you can understand both other languages easily, the Danes are quite brutal to their language and kill a lot of wordendings while speaking, much more than the Norwegians do
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    It's quite simple if you ask me.
    Swedes are exposed to far less spoken Norwegian than Norwegians are exposed to Swedish.

    One reason for this is that Swedish transmissions reach a lot more Norwegian households than the other way around. Another that Norwegian television now and then send Swedish programs while Swedish television hardly ever air any Norwegian shows.

    I can only remember ever seeing five Norwegian TV-shows on Swedish television (Fleksnes fataliteter, Brødrene Dal, Fredrikssons fabrik, Nissene på låven and some police thriller). Beside Orions belte and Flåklypa Grand Prix I don't think I've seen any Norwegian movies on Swedish television.



    In the early 80s there was a Scandinavian communications satellite project called Tele-X.
    Originally it was designed to transmit all Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish TV-channels. But then, one by one, the involved agencies pulled out and at the end Tele-X only transmitted three Swedish and one Norwegian channel. It could have been a great way to broaden the horizon for millions of Scandinavians but, as so many times before, the Nordic countries failed to collaborate when a new era begun.

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    Is it bokmål or nynorsk he mean? I understand spoken bokmål better than written bokmål. I have never heard spoken nynorsk but I have some problems to understand written nynorsk.

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