Latest Preston, Minnesota, weather
weather sponsored by

Advanced Search
search sponsored by

Business search
Email Directory
Submit news/letters
Happy ads
Photo gallery
Best of Bluff Country
Minnesota news
In-depth topics
Destination: Bluff Country
RSS feeds
Contact us

Alliance Land ROS Tile
Carlson Craft
SG Herald Dotphoto
SGH Election 2010

SGEDA Weddings

home : spring grove herald : headline news September 15, 2010

9/7/2010 1:30:00 PM
Norwegian language researchers visiting Spring Grove to study dialect
By Marlene Deschler
Community Reporter

Signs welcoming visitors and residents to Spring Grove acknowledge the ethnic history of the town - the first Norwegian settlement in Minnesota.

Even though the town was officially established more than 150 years ago in1852, snippets of the original settlers' language can still be heard now and again on the street, in a restaurant, at the church or in the nursing home.

On Saturday, Sept. 11, several members of the Norwegian Ridge and Spring Grove area descendents will be speaking with researchers from Norway who will be recording and interviewing the volunteers and learning about the Norwegian language that they were taught by their parents or grandparents.

The Giants of the Earth Heritage Center is hosting this event. This group has worked in coordinating the efforts of the visiting Norwegian researchers with the local volunteers.

The Norwegian dialects that are still spoken in Spring Grove are from the 19th century and are no longer spoken regularly in Norway.

This event is a special opportunity to document the history of the area; as well as provide an insight to the visiting Norwegians on how their language has changed throughout the last century.

The Giants learned of this opportunity through the local Sons of Norway chapter. Lee Grippen, active member of the Sons of Norway, learned of the researchers investigating immigrant languages in the United States and realized what a unique opportunity this would be for Spring Grove and relayed the information to the Giants.

"The volunteer speakers are our residents and neighbors, maybe relatives, who learned an earlier Norsk dialect from first, second, third generation immigrants; forelders - bestemor, bestefar, oldemor," explained Jill Storlie, Giants of the Earth board member.

"The volunteers are meeting for conversation, interviews and recording and more volunteers are welcomed and encouraged to join the conversation."

Interested volunteers may contact Storlie at (563) 419-0986 or (507) 498-3586.

So far, 14 volunteers will be speaking with the researchers. They include Norris Storlie, Milford Landsom, Emma Landsom, Geneva Tweeten, Truman Omodt, Marlin Omoth, Richard Storlie, Georgia Rosendahl, David Storlie, Nels and Helen Gulbranson, James Wilhelmson, Owen Hegge, Harold Olerud and Carol Gaustad.

Goals of this research include learning about the speakers' Norsk language - how fluent are they, how often do they speak Norwegian, how is their language compared to Norwegian spoken in Norway as well as to other places in the United States.

These volunteers learned the language from their relatives, not from taking classes at a college or living in Norway; it is a unique glimpse into the survival of the language.

The professors that are coming from Norway to do the interviews include Janne Bondi Johannessen, prof., Univ. of Oslo; Kristin Eide, prof., Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim; Arnstein Hjelde, associate prof., Høgskolen i Østfold; Signe Lake, research assistant, Univ. of Oslo; Beate Taranrød, student, Univ. of Oslo; and Marit Westergaard, prof., University of Tromsø; along with a student from University of Wisconsin-Madison, Luke Annear.

On Sunday, Sept. 12, the public is invited to coffee-time at Trinity Lutheran Church in Spring Grove following the 9:15 a.m. service. The Norwegian researchers plan to attend the service to see what an American Lutheran church service is like plus they will be staying for coffee and would be happy to speak with people.

It will be an informal meet and greet - a chance to learn more about their work, about life in Norway, and just a friendly way to make connections across the world.


Spring Grove Cinema

Article Comment Submission Form
Please feel free to submit your comments.

Article comments are not posted immediately to the Web site, but every effort will be made to minimize the delay for any submission.

Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number and e-mail address is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Hammell Equipment

Bluff Country Newspaper Group
507-346-7365 •
Site Design and Content
Copyright 2010 1up!

Software © 1998-2010 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved