A few days ago I got to speak with a Korean at work. However, we didn’t actually speak Korean. There were moments where I wished I could have just switched to Korean rather than us speaking potluck-Scandinavian, but his Norwegian was sooo much better than my Korean that I betrayed no knowledge of Korean and we stuck to our unique Norwegian/Swedish/Danish mix. It would have been so cool if I could have just switched and wow’ed him with my Korean skills!
The odd thing is that I never spoke this much Swedish when I actually lived in Sweden and now I speak it almost every day! Life is really unpredictable.
If some of you wonder how we can speak together in different languages, it’s because the Scandinavian languages are relatively similar. Danish and Norwegian have relatively similar spellings, but some strategic words are very different, and Norwegians “sing” more. Swedish sounds closer to Norwegian than Danish, but has a significantly different vocabulary from both Danish and Norwegian.
It often works if at least one has a fair understanding of which words are different and adjusts to the other, but other times a dialect can really throw you off and then you need to find a native or switch to English.
One day I will be able to make that switch to Korean.