I have two native languages. And I reckon that the fact that I come from a bilingual home is what has made me so interested in languages; currently I speak four more or less fluently. I also feel like my first first language, Norwegian, lacks words. There are some things that can’t be expressed within the boundary of the vocabulary and grammar. That is for example why I chose to write this blog in English. The most natural thing to do it choose your first language, yet I chose my third language because the nature of it gives me more freedom to express what I mean. I feel constrained when using Norwegian.
I’ve had some exhausting days here in Denmark, not only because I biked more than 30 kilometers to see more or less all of Copenhagen yesterday, but also because of listening to and speaking a different language. Although Danish literally is my mother tongue (and my second first language), I have actually stopped speaking it when I learnt Norwegian as a three-year old. My mum speaks Danish to me, and I reply in Norwegian. So technically I do know it, and I can hear in my head how it’s supposed to sound, but actually speaking it myself for the first time in 17 years required a whole lot of thinking. Danish is one of the most fascinating languages I know, so I really regret speaking Norwegian to my mum and my the Danish part of the family. Luckily it can be learnt, and I’m on it! It’s feels like I’m getting somewhere with it when the local people that don’t know me think I am and get surprised when I tell them I’m not.
Some of the most amazing people I have met are Danish, amongst others my family, my best friend and the two in the park on the first picture of my last post. They are the most easygoing and realistic people I’ve met; they understand more that the concept of happiness cannot be found in a well-paid job but rather in friends and family, but at the same time that gives them no reason to just withdraw from society and not care. They have a realistic and conscious relationship to what is going on around them. That is the main thing I don’t see in Norway, and also why I left that country and plan on ending up here instead. I see some of those good qualities portrayed in the Danish language, so I guess that is part of why I like it so much. I wish I could get to know the people I’ve met here lately better, but the language barrier combined with my social anxiety makes it a bit hard for me. So I’m gonna keep practicing!