New 2 Norway
Tove Jane Fjeldstad, Founder & Managing Director
With their 20th anniversary quickly approaching, AmCham sat down with Tove Jane Fjeldstad, Founder and Managing Director of New 2 Norway to gain insight into the industry and hear about their exciting plans for 2022.
New 2 Norway offers Norwegian language courses customized to individual needs and progress. Tove Jane truly loves what she does, and it shows. With over 25 years of experience, she knows the industry like the back of her hand.
Language Learning During and Post-Pandemic
While most have been far less mobile during the past year due to travel restrictions and other regulations, Tove Jane was ahead of time when offered online classes via Skype to specialized online teaching platform. She also noticed an increase in those wanting to learn and build skills, including brushing up on their Norwegian skills via online teaching platform. Not only was this a phenomenon in Norway, but a developing trend of language learning increasing globally. Additional time at one’s disposal due to home office and home deliveries, meant there was good opportunity to pursue existing interests, such as language learning.
Many working professionals have returned to school during their furlough. Suddenly, executives who have been in Norway for five to ten years were given the opportunity to learn as a part of skill-building through their employer.
Building Connections Through Language
Norwegian is said to be one of the easiest languages in the world for a native English speaker to learn. The reason is that from a linguistic perspective, the languages have a lot in common: the way verbs work, word order (in many, but not all cases), and a large amount of shared vocabulary, although the Norwegian language has fewer words compared to English. Composite words are commonplace, whereby two words are compounded to make a new one.
Tove Jane notes that perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of learning Norwegian is that Norwegians generally don’t make it easy for expatriates to practice their Norwegian. Norwegians will gladly switch to English once a non-Norwegian person enters the conversation. It is commonly said that you don’t need to speak Norwegian to live in Oslo, but that is not the case in all of Norway.
Showing interest in learning the language shows colleagues respect and a positive attitude towards the culture. However, in many cases, Norwegian is the fourth or fifth language of immigrants to Norway. Tove Jane has experienced high-level executives who understand Norwegian perfectly but lack the confidence of speaking. Many are looking to learn so they can communicate more effectively and connect with their teams. For practicing, she suggests engaging in conversation with someone outside the company or family. The New 2 Norway team consists of knowledgeable teachers who can customize their programs to fit the needs of the individual learner. Classes are offered to individuals or to small groups of up to six persons.
Combining “Norgesferie” with Learning
One of the best ways to learn Norwegian is by learning through experience, New 2 Norway’s Explore Language Packages are five-day intensive training programs through which you’ll learn Norwegian by doing, by talking to people, by interacting in real-life scenarios, and by living the Norwegian culture.
The Explore Program is perfect for individuals who:
- want to learn Norwegian as fast as possible,
- need to improve their communication skills in Norwegian,
- wish to be able to measure their progress in a systematic way,
- love nature, outdoor activities, and adventure.
Currently, the Explore Language Packages are offered in Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim and beautiful Sognefjorden (the area where Tove Jane grew up). From 2022, they will expand and offer Explore Packages in additional locations covering the East, West, North and South.
Tove Jane has never been to the far north of Norway, but she would like to go to Tromsø! She enjoys the idyllic south coast, and says “Norway is so diverse, there are so many opportunities both by the sea and in the mountains.”
Tove Jane’s “dream holiday” in the US would be to go back to New York, and she would also like to visit her working partners in Minnesota.
Interested in learning more about New 2 Norway’s language courses?