I have not written any post about my summer vacations in Italy, Spain and Hungary, but now they are far away and I will skip them. I just want to share my experience at the last conference I participated, namely the Nordic Workshop in Programming Theory in Lyngby, north of Copenhagen, Denmark.
As always I travelled together with Adrian and this time I had to share the hotel room with him since my travelling budget for 2009 has been in red since July… Fortunately Adrian is not employed at the University of Bergen but at the Bergen University College, and it seems that funding is less problematic there.
The conference was very well organised and covered very many topics of computer science. Adrian and I spent a lot of time modifying the slides rather than listening to the talks, but the presentations of our two abstracts went fine in the end.
During my stay I had the chance to test my skills in Scandinavian languages with some locals. Just for the records, written Danish and Norwegian (in the bokmål variant) are rather similar, so similar that reading Danish is not a problem for me… But the spoken counterparts are definitely very different. Spoken Danish sounds like a continuous stream of (guttural) sounds to me, with no chances to understand when a word stops and when the next starts. I hope that no one will take it personally if I say that it seems like Danes do not make any effort to pronounce words clearly.
But there is even more… Danish has a rather weird number system. The tens from fifty on are not based on the number ten, as is the case in most European languages (French being another outstanding exception). This strange system combines two archaic ways of counting: twenty-based instead of ten-based and fossilized expressions for two and a half, three and a half and four and a half. This is the result:
After this experience, I think that these Norwegian comedians are not so far from reality.