Our company mascot and language expert, a coquí named Terpii, loves to travel and learn about new cultures. Terpii reports about the country’s language, culture, geography, people and history. Here’s what our little dynamo had to say after a visit to Norway.
- Norway is famous for its majestic fjords and mountainous terrain.
- Norway is often described as the “Land of the Midnight Sun.” During the summer months of late May through July, the sun never completely drops below the horizon in northern Arctic Circle areas of the country. Other areas have around 20 hours of sunlight a day. The reverse is true in winter.
- The capital and largest city in Norway is Oslo.
- Norway has a population of 5.08 million people as of July 2013.
- Although Norwegian is Norway’s national language, the Sami language is also regarded as an official language. Several municipalities in Finnmark and Troms counties use Sami along with Norwegian.
- There is no standard spoken Norwegian and a wide range of dialects is used even in public broadcasting.
- Norwegian is written with the Latin alphabet and three additional vowels (ø, æ, å).
- English is widely spoken in Norway, and virtually every Norwegian can speak or understand at least some English.
- Norwegian has two written forms, “Bokmal” (Book Norwegian) and “Nynorsk” (New Norwegian). They enjoy the same legal recognition, although “Bokmal” is more common.
Trolls, Coasts And The Olympics
- Norway is the most successful nation in the world at the Winter Olympics.
- The troll plays a significant part in Norwegian and Scandinavian folklore. The troll is an ugly, messy, nasty creature that lives in caves or forests and will turn to stone if sunlight hits them.
- Norway is the European country (Russia excluded) with the longest coastline – 53,199 km according to the World Resources Institute.
History, Education And Motherhood
- The modern Kingdom of Norway became as an independent entity with the dissolution of a union with Sweden on November 18, 1905.
- As of 2011, 37% of Norwegians had completed postsecondary education, making them the best educated people in Europe.
- Norway was ranked as the best country for the State of the World’s Mothers 2012 by Save the Children.
- The Norwegians claim to have invented modern skiing as a sport.
- The modern cheese slicer was patented in 1925 by Thor Bjørklund.
- The aerosol spray can was invented in 1926 by the chemical engineer Erik Rotheim from Oslo, the country’s capital.
The Economy, Islands And Going To Jail
- Petroleum and natural gas account for 57% of the Norwegian economy and a third of tax revenues.
- The largest Norwegian company is Statoil, an oil and gas giant owned by the Norwegian government (67%).
- Some 50,000 islands dot the much-indented Norwegian coastline.
- About 3% of Norway’s land is arable (suitable for growing crops).
- Get caught drinking and driving in Norway and you go to jail for 30 days and immediately get your license revoked for a year.
Have you ever been to Norway? What do you think? We would love to hear from you!