Archive for the ‘languages and culture’ Category

Few days ago, I was sure I heard the sound. It was at night, I woke up to the sound, and it filled my heart with joy, and I fell asleep again, dreaming pleasant dreams.

Today, on March 12, it’s for sure, because now I even saw them – and heard that special sound again: The sound of the Oystercatchers (in Faroese, Tjaldur) arriving.

The Oystercatcher is the national bird of the Faroe Islands, and March 12. is celebrated, it’s called the “Grækarismessa”, which is the day where this little, beautiful bird returns to the islands.

It is called: “The first day of spring”, and the roaring rivers and melting ice from the mountain tops tells me it certainly IS spring. I have even had all windows open most of the day, without having the house cooled down.

It is definetly a strange day to actually leave the Faroe Islands for a month – because now is the time where its wonderful to live up here.

But for sure: I am looking forward to say hello to the spring in Denmark as well.

But for now, happy 12. of March! And welcome, dear friend 😀

Read Full Post »

First, let me tell you a joke – I heard it a few weeks ago, and I came to think of it last Monday.

– Two men were sitting on a bench, when a German tourist approached them, and asked them about something – none of the two men understood German, and the tourist then tried asking the same question in French. None of them understood French either. So the tourist tried in Spanish – but the two men just shook their heads, and the tourist gave up and walked away.

“Well” one of them said. “maybe one should learn some languages”.
“Why?” the other replies – “that man spoke three languages, and what did he get out of that??”

I had exactly the same feeling, when I sailed back to the Faroe Islands. There were many tourists on the ship, among them a guy from Switzerland, and two Hungarians who were my “neighbours” during the trip.

The guy from Switzerland sat next to me on the sun deck, and asked me – in German – where I came from, and where I was going. I replied in English that I live in the Faroe Islands, and that I was on my way home. He didn’t speak much English, so I had to use those few words I know in German. Not only that – he was very, very hard to understand. Well, I must have been hard to understand too. “Ich wohne in..err..die Färöer…err..ich bin on my way nach hause…”
“Ah, die Färöer Inseln? Ja ja, ich verstehe” And then we agreed that “wetter ist schön” (weather is good).

Then I met those very kind Hungarian people. They asked me if I spoke German, and I could only reply “not much”, but he spoke a little English. I never found out if I spoke more German than he spoke English – and his wife basically only spoke Hungarian, but understood a bit English. So again, communicating was a bit hard, but again – we managed to communicate somehow. At some point, I was sure we had made up a brand new language, mixing German, English, Hungarian and Danish. But the matter was, we understood one another with this nonsense-language 😆

The funny thing was, that when I arrived in the Faroes, I went for a looong walk in the wonderful weather – and then I met those Hungarians again. They had 6 hours in the Faroe Islands before the ship continued to Iceland. They asked for suggestions for what to see. What is “I recommend you a walk along the coastline for good pictures, or the museums for learning about the islands” called in German/Hungarian? They had a map with them, and I tried to point at the spots that I could recommend them, but I never found out if they understood it. But I met them in the most boring part of Thorshavn, and I just tried to show them a way to a more beautiful spot.

I wasn’t the only one that day, who were challenged in languages – my boyfriend told me that he had met an Italian tourist (also from the ship), who only spoke Italian. My boyfriend speaks a tiny little bit of Italian, and with a few words he tried to tell the Italian fellow the way to a museum. “Capisco! capisco” he said (I understand I understand), and walked in the wrong direction.

So that was why I came to think of that joke. I speak and understand Danish, English, Norweigan, Swedish, Faroese and that tiny bit of German. That is 5½ languages, but what did it help me?

So, I have to do something about it very soon – learn German and maybe some Spanish, Italian and French. Then I would be the perfect tourist guide 😆

Read Full Post »

Commercials. I hate commercials! Just as you’re watching a movie or a TV show, they pop up and you (at least I do) forget what I was watching.

But some of those commercials are worth blogging about – because they’re fun! I remember a TV show, that showed funny commercials from all over the world….that show, of course was also interrupted by commercials *duh* – but apart from that, it used to be my favourite show! 

Now I watched some of them again (thanks again, youtube!), and I wondered why the Danish ones always have to do with either beer or sex? Are Danes really this naughty (or simple) that the most hilarious stuff has to do with those things? I don’t know, but I admit – I laugh everytime I watch these 🙄

The first clip I’m going to show you, hasn’t anything to do with beer or sex though, but it’s still my all time favourite – I still remember those days, where people tried to learn English by using a walkman and a tape.. hilarious! 😀

So – enjoy!

And..good ol’ Internet addiction..:

Read Full Post »

Yesterday, I had a good time with some of my good friends in Denmark, and they started asking questions about the Faroe Islands. One asked me why anyone would settle there, as she said “don’t you start suffering from island madness?” (said with a glimpse in her eyes of course).

I answered that yes, sometimes you realise, that you are located in the middle of nowhere, with hundreds of miles to the neighbouring countries.. and everywhere you look, you see the wide ocean. But you’re among 47.000 faroese people, so you’re not alone 😉

But Faroese people are somewhat special, and a good place to examine that is at festivals in the summer. I mean, when you find yourself on someone’s shoulders to get a better view to the stage, when being rain soaked just makes it more fun, when you’re mosh pitting to Give a little bit, or just can’t wait for the Smokie gig in summer 2008.. then you wonder if you’re suffering from island madness.. or simply just becoming Faroese.

There are many Faroese musicians, and some of them are even famous outside the Faroe Islands, and are getting big careers abroad. I heard a new name last summer – Budam – also getting more attention around the world. I’ll never forget it.. this guy was yelling/singing “Clap hands clap hands, it’s time to dance”, “move your hands in the air” and so we did.. of course.

And that song, I think, is a good example of island craziness, lol! But being crazy just makes everything more fun – so come on everybody, let’s strengthen our community by singing out loud together and clap hands 😆

Read Full Post »

For some reason, it’s almost 5am right now, and I wonder why I’m not in my bed.. or, no, actually I know why I’m not. I suddenly, out of nowhere, got inspiration to poetry and composing music. But where that inspiration came from, I don’t know.

Anyway, that reminds me of an idea I have had for awhile – creating a new blog in Danish (and Norweigan, Swedish, Faroese or whatever languages I speak). The thing is – I have written many poems over the years that I feel like sharing, but all of them is in those Scandinavian languages, and I want to keep my blog English.

So if some of my Scandinavian/North Atlantic readers feel like it, they can now visit www.aninaht.wordpress.com and read some poems in their languages 🙂

I’ve sticked to the same layout/design, but maybe I’ll change that later (when the two almost identic blogs confuses me and I start posting stuff the wrong places 😆 ).

I hope you enjoy it

Read Full Post »

Sometimes I ask myself a deep question: where is home? Home used to be Denmark for 24 years, until I decided to leave it behind me, looking forward to a future in the Faroe Islands. And I felt at home from the first day in my own house in my new village.

But I remember myself moving the last stuff out of my flat in Roskilde, and me listening to Roger Hodgson’s album “Open the Door” for the first time while painting the walls. I had tears in my eyes; one tear of sadness of leaving Denmark, and one tear of happiness when thinking of the future with the man I love. It was kind of ironic, to listen to “Say Goodbye” for the first time in this situation, but it kind of comforted me when listening to the lines “Say goodbye to the old way, say hello to a new day
Well if you want your freedom, oh where’s your freedom?
On the road that lies before you, that is all you need to know, let go”

Not that this song is about moving from one place to another (not literally, I mean), it’s rather about that changing ones life sometimes involves difficult decisions. In my case: leaving family, friends and home behind me to start a new life.

So where am I now? It’s easy to answer: I LOVE the Faroe Islands, it was a very good decision to live there. I have never in my life had so much peace in my mind, because I’m surrounded by all those things I love: mountains, hills, valleys, rivers, never-setting sun in the summer, cosiness with lovely faroese people in dark winter nights, fresh air… freedom. Even though I’ve been through a rough time, my ability of staying calm and focused (thanks to the beauty of mother nature, as shown on the pic on top of this page) keeps me going. So where am I? – I am home.

But still. I’ve been in Denmark for a long time now, to study and work. I’ve mostly lived at my Dad’s home, even though I get along with both my (divorced) parents. But daddy is a great friend, and to listen to him playing his good ol’ Gibson (for those interested: Gibson “The Paul”, 78) while studying reminds me of sweet childhood days and I feel.. well.. at home!

Technically, Faroe Islands is a part of Denmark (which kind of annoys me) so there’s no such thing as “Faroese citizenship” – my passport remain Danish. And since I grew up there, my roots are Danish. The Faroe Islands should be independent (a completely different topic and discussion), because they have their own language, culture, and all in all a different identity. They are Faroese indeed – not Danish. I don’t care about myself when it comes to the identity part of moving, as I see myself more or less as a “world citizen”,  but a Faroese guy told me, which I’ll never forget:

“Anina, are you sure you don’t have Faroese ancestors? You speak Faroese perfectly, you love living here, you join chain dances, sail, hike and enjoy Faroese foods.. you are Faroese!” 😀 “Nei” I said, because I grew up in Denmark. “Well” he said – “then you’re a Faroedane!”

That does sound cool!

But it doesn’t change, that when I’m in the Faroe Islands (home) I miss Denmark (home) and when I’m in Denmark, I miss the Faroe Islands. I guess that will never change. I guess I have to look on the bright side – I’m very fortunate to have people around me who cares about me, and where ever I am; home is where the heart is.

Read Full Post »

Ok, I must admit that I had a really good laugh today, when a friend of mine sent me this video – a woman who had no idea about in which European country Budapest is the capital – she thought Europe is a country!

Anyway, it isn’t that funny afterall, because I bet that most Europeans would have problems answering questions about American states. I only write that, because I once was asked in a quiz at my college “what is the capital of Kentucky!” Yaiks!! I know there’s a large city called Louisville there, but something in my mind told me that Louisville isn’t the capital there. Then suddenly I remembered… Frankfort. How did I know that? I only remembered it, because when I heard of it (in a movie I watched long time ago) I couldn’t help thinking about the European “Frankfurt” – where one of the largest Airports in Europe is located.

So only through weird associations I knew the right answer to a somewhat tricky question – otherwise, I wouldn’t have a clue!

 And talking about that, I don’t think you can find a single Dane, who expects Americans to know of Denmark. It’s a tiny little country with only 5,5 millions inhabitants (and at this point I couldn’t help but looking up Kentucky, that is inhabited by only 3.883.723 people). Hehe, actually there were two Danish students, who once went to New York, and asked random people “do you know of Denmark”, and one was pretty sure Denmark was the capital of Sweden 😀

So this poor lady – it wasn’t the easiest question in the world, but still – Europe ain’t a country 😉

Read Full Post »

Here’s one of my favourite songs – it’s sung in Faroese, written and composed by Eivör Pálsdóttir. I usually keep this blog in English, but who says music itself has a language? I loved songs in English long before I learned it, and I guess this is the same.. even though I’ve posted a brief translation below.

The reason why I post this today, is that I just love her voice and her music, and wanted to share some of it with you. Amazing that in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the North Atlantic ocean, this incredible artist pops up – and in spite of a big international career, she sticks to her roots and sing in Faroese.

His fragance is that of the sunflowers
the fields and the blue ocean
He can dream himself away, everyday
to places no one has seen
– If only I could fly away with you
but only in my most treasured dreams
do we meet

Read Full Post »

Just a note to the latest blog.. 45% + 30% + 20% .. that makes only 95%. So what happened to the last 5%? Maybe they make the Danish dialect part? Guess I’ll have to visit America someday to find out what people think 😉 Would be nice!

Read Full Post »

This was a funny test, mainly because I rarely speak English at all, as it is my second language, so what is my American English linguistic profile? – And I’m always told that I sound British when I speak – which is much better than speaking “Danglish” 😆 Anyway, 45% General American English, 30% Yankee and 20% Dixie – guess it just sounds funny when I speak!

Your Linguistic Profile:

45% General American English

30% Yankee

20% Dixie

0% Midwestern

0% Upper Midwestern

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »