The easiest of the Nordic languages for native English speakers is Norwegian. Its grammar and spelling is the most simple and regular. But more info about all of them under the cut.( More under the cutCollapse )
well i started learning greenlandic for real, so i can write a textbook and dictionary for it. (actually it's the other way around - in order to write a textbook, i started learning). turns out greenlandic is RIDICULOUSLY easy. extremely regular language, EXTREMELY few unique words (even a word like "town" is actually "house-having place" - so with 2,000 words you'll basically have the keys to literally the entire language), and the written matches the spoken extremely well.
the problem is, you guessed it, a lack of actual lessons and the horrific dictionaries. i've been searching desperately for even simple info like the entire picture for pronouns (not just "i, you eat" but also "my dog", "i eat you"), and i can't find half the affixes or suffixes in a word in the dictionary. for example, a ton of words might end in "-neq", it obviously means something different from "-toq", but there's no pages telling me the meaning and you can't look up simply -neq in the dictionary. collecting ALL the danish resources, including some youtube videos, gives me a lot of material to work with but the best lessons are actually in german, which i can't read!
anyway. i'm actually making fast progress on writing the textbook, i'm almost done with the grammar section and am slowly filling in the dictionary. i already have people who want to buy the book when i'm done so i'm pretty fired up about it, i just wish i knew some greenlanders or fluent speakers to help me out! i've been trying to contact people better than me and they're just like "lol good work keep trying lol".
by random chance, found this article on "gøtudansk" - the special danish in the faroe islands!
it's listed on this comm under dialects but i had never found anything about it before, and at the time the wikipedia page for it had nothing. i'll see if i can find more info about it later and then translate stuff about it!
they're calling it its own language and then saying it's like spanglish in the USA.
it's mostly danish, with faroese pronunciation and word order, and random faroese words inserted (code-switching). if there's a danish word that's like the faroese one, they'll use that regardless if it's the commonly-used danish one. the "gøtu" part in the name looks like it comes from gata (street; street danish) but possibly comes a town called the same thing, instead.
they have slightly different grammar than in standard danish; skimming the article, it seems like they've changed the past-tense a little and use faroese genders with danish words. they're also mixing words, one example here is "north-islands", with north being in faroese and islands being in danish.
Gotta make this comm more active!!
på means "location". temporal or physical, it doesn't matter:
on the table = physical
on monday; on second thought = temporal
in the box = physical
in an hour = temporal
in other words = non-physical
at the seashore; ashore = physical
at 4 o'clock; asleep = non-physical
walk to the store = physical
talk to him = non-physical
by the seashore = physical
by 6 o'clock = temporal
it was made by him = non-physical
på (á in icelandic and faroese) is the same, it shows a more general location, which usually translates to "on, at" (as we have other, separate ones for more specific locations, such as "in, by, under").
jag gick på toan = i walked location the toilet
= i walked to the toilet.
jag skrattar på honom = i laugh location him
= i laugh at him
det står på bordet = it stands location the table
= it's sitting on the table
when it comes to faroese and icelandic, the dative case shows this base location and the preposition merely clarifies which type of location it is. we say "location dog", and then we add in "at / in / on / under / beside" as clarification when necessary.
textbooks always say that prepositions "steer" or "govern" cases, but that's not true. the meaning of the sentence controls which case is used; the preposition is just further clarifying what's already there. at times they will skip the prepositions entirely, because again, it's not the preposition that's actually controlling everything.
A while ago I posted about how I was writing a textbook for Faroese, I think...? Well, I ended up losing those files or something but I'm rewriting it all now and the book is about halfway done. After I finish it'll be really easy to convert it into a book about Icelandic too, and then I might work on a compilation one for how to learn both at once.
As it stands now, it's going to be a "series" of 2 or 3 books to get you from beginner to advanced (to the point where you can definitely read anything you want, especially with a dictionary). This is what's planned:
Book 1's end goal is to make it so you can read recipes and possibly knitting instructions. It'd include:
— The four noun cases
— The easiest verbforms + present and past tense
— The basic prepositions, adverbs, prefixes and suffixes; hints on how to tell what an unknown word means based on suffixes
— All the useful vocabulary for recipes + possibly knitting, + a few more words
As of right now, this first book is about halfway complete. The focus is on "understand and be understood", not on "be perfect".
Book 2's goal would be "can read simple short stories + blog posts", and would include:
— Adjectives, the other verbforms, a focus on sound-changes, vowel-changes and more of the irregular stuff
Book 3's goal would be to make you able to read basically everything, and would focus on even more of the tricky stuff, lesser-used phrases, perfecting yourself etc. It would also include really basic instructions for how to figure out how to read Icelandic since you'd be that advanced anyway.
and, important to know, FAROESE WORDS NOW INCLUDE AUDIO!! or at least i didn’t notice that being a feature before, anyway.
dictionary is now at just over 900 words and i've begun to write grammar lessons, but i've realized that the "grammar" you need to know is simply just individual small words that only come in the middle of other words, meaning i can't find them in the dictionary by alphabetizing things. for example, the word "no, not" is one of these. i apparently can't find a list of all of them (there's said to be like 500...?) and when i do find someone writing about them their definitions can be too vague, ex. "big" - what kind of big? are we talking big in size (cat, fat cat) or degree (puddle, lake)?
unfortunately the most detailed book i've found so far on all the languages related to it is from one of the most unrelated ones (coming from somewhere in Alaska). while most of the same concepts exist in greenlandic, the vocabulary is mostly different... it seems like the few people writing about these languages are linguists who already know how to speak the language, so they don't make things clear for the average person. sigh.
i've been trying to find someone fluent in greenlandic to talk to about it, but they're proving hard to find! in the meantime i'm bookmarking all the resources i find so i can update the comm with them later.
i started creating a dictionary and writing grammar lessons last night, the aim is to have it be at around 900 words and right now i'm at around 300. if i'm really lucky i can find someone to help me make a pop-up dictionary for it. but, seems like the grammar is so simple that a description of it can fit on just a few pages.