Robinson Crusoe på Norsk: Week Two

Or uke to, if you prefer. I haven’t been as dedicated to the bould Robinson’s adventures this week as my first. Consider it to be the reading equivalent of difficult second album syndrome, only its a week, and about reading.

Still, a little after time, I managed to finish the rip-roaring second chapter of this book, which in this format aimed at kids, moves a good deal faster than I ever remember the original moving – then again, we were reading that slowly in university for our course too.

After more adventures on the high seas, Robinson settles down for several years until some Portuguese plantasjeeier (plantation owners) suggest that Robinson travel to Africa in search of 400 slaves. He begins his next adventure, this time as slaver, on 1st September, the same day as eight years previously he left home. One suspects that Robinson’s avarice is going to get the better of him…

One thing I did notice from reading this week was that more words were familiar, more sentence structures, so that I didn’t have to spend quite as much time stopping and figuring out every third word. I could read it a little faster, and get the general gist a lot easier, although there’s still plenty of new words that may or may not be useful.

Take innfødt, for instance. It can be understood as native, aboriginal or some variation on the two. Født means born, and Inn means, well, in basically. So Inborn, if you will. It’s kind of close to Iron-born, but it’s not. And this isn’t Game of Thrones. It’s much more moral than all that. The opposite of being Innfødt is to be utlending: a foreigner. Our outlander, basically. Jeg er utlending. I am a foreigner. Jeg er ikke innfødt, I am not a native.

Of course, the words native or aboriginal carry with them a good deal of baggage from colonialism. If people use this word today, it’s probably a fair shout that they might be well aware of that rather heavy colonial baggage attached to that word. Nonetheless, it can’t be assumed that this is how the word is actually used. It may be that it has the more innocent connotations of saying one is native to a place: Jeg er innfødt av Waterford, or av Irland, for instance. It matters of course who’s calling who a native as usual. Incidentally, as I read this chapter, there was a speech given recently by King Olav V of Norway on ideas of belonging and who is and who isn’t a nordmann (Norwegian):





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