Just For Fun
Black Metal Boosts Language Interest
A deep enthusiasm for the Norwegian languages is thriving at La Sapienza University in Rome. The modern and historical languages are seen as an exotic and romantic subject thanks to student passion for Norwegian Black Metal bands.
Teacher Sven Otto Scheen's class full of black leather and metal-studded pupils in Rome is part of the NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting) series Typisk Norsk (Typically Norwegian), which examines aspects of the Norwegian language.
Almost all of the 15 students studying Norwegian in Scheen's class are doing so because of their devotion to Norwegian Black Metal bands.
There is no doubt that it is interest in Norwegian Black Metal that has gotten them to chose Norwegian studies," program host Peter Schjerven told newspaper VG.
One of the students is the lead for Italian metal band Eligor, and can sing some songs in Norwegian, including a song called "Geitost" (Goat cheese).
"They (the students) have told me that they have Black Metal bands as role models, especially the Norwegian. The know the story about Greven (musician and convicted murderer Varg Vikernes) and have a good overview of all the other groups," Scheen said.
"They are very curious about norrønt (Norse) and nynorsk (New-Norwegian - Norway's second official language, constructed from its regional and historical dialects), which appears to them as something primeval, Teutonic, anti-classical and possibly also a bit occult. There is something neo-Romantic about their view of Norway," Scheen said.
Scheen said he was considering sending some of his students to summer school in Norway, so they could see it for themselves.
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