Spanish – Norwegian Style

I never would have figured on the Norwegian language being part of my daily life in Mexico, but recently it has. Under the best of circumstances, remembering Spanish verb conjugations is a challenge.  Since I much prefer couches to hard classroom seats, one of the least painful Spanish refreshers for me is watching American TV shows with subtitles. However, it doesn’t take long before Law and Order dialog begins to sound the same from show to show.  Happily we found all of the episodes of Medium available on Netflix with Spanish subtitles.  Although the story line is totally unreal, the family life is absolutely real and the sentences far more complex.  After one season, I was getting pretty good at recognizing those past and imperative forms.

The next challenge was Lilihammer, a series staring Steve Van Zandt, one of Tony Soprano’s capos. Van Zandt plays a New York mafioso who testifies against his bosses in exchange for witness protection in Lilihammer, Norway. He figures nobody who wants him dead will be looking in lily white Lilihammer. When the story shifts to Norway, Van Zandt continues to speak in English, with an occasional word of Norwegian, but 90% of the Norwegian actors speak Norwegian and they have alot to say. Unfortuately neither of us understands a word of Norwegian.  Finally, duh, it occurred to us to turn on subtitles, but on Mexican Netflix there are no English subtitles, only Spanish or Brazilian Portuguese.  So night school sessions now involve listening to Norwegian, reading Spanish, and watching this Mafioso guy build a new cosa nostra in Lillyhammer.  A global education…..