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Best Country in Scandinavia

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Mango Elephant, Apr 25, 2011.

?

Which country is the best?

  1. Sweden

    33.0%
  2. Denmark

    33.0%
  3. Norway

    34.0%
  1. oagersnap

    oagersnap Emperor

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    Of course I voted for my native country, Denmark. I think it's okay that Finland isn't included, but Iceland could have been, since their language is also in the Scandinavian language family (and a lot cooler than all the other Scandinavian languages!)
    I don't really understand all the hate against the Danish language that people are expressing here. I think Danish is a great language! Swedish is also pretty cool. Norwegian... just sounds silly.
     
  2. SuperJay

    SuperJay Bending Space and Time

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    No problem at all, that's how I roll. This is sounding better and better! :lol:
     
  3. Cheetah

    Cheetah Deity

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    I was thinking of starting a series of threads covering reasons for men not to go to any of the countries where I don't want any more competition, but I figured that would make it too obvious. :mischief:

    I guess I write mostly of the situation and laws in Norway, but I'm pretty sure it's very similar in Sweden and Denmark.

    In general, Western immigrants are much easier assimilated/integrated into Scandinavian societies. Others may have a harder time, but all in all, it's mostly up to the attitude of the immigrant. If you don't want to be assimilated/integrated, lots of people are not going to like you much. EU citisens have a much easier time getting in here and finding jobs, but be advised that the law actually requires you to have €250 available for each day you plan to stay here initially. The rule is not utilised frequently, but the customs officials are more than happy to fall back on it if they find out they want to deny you entry.

    To start of with it: There's still a tiny amount of racism - or at least skepticism/nervousness about foreigners (read: coloured people), especially among the oldest generation. Having a skin-colour that isn't brown, black or yellow (in order of what is most problematic) helps when interacting with people, though the vast majority aren't bothered anyway. Dressing nicely/properly in Western fashion can eliminate most problems if you feel treated badly: A non-white man in a proper clothing speaking good English will be treated the same way as a white man in proper clothing speaking good English. Exception: Being a black woman you run the risk of being taken for a prostitute, even if you've dressed nicely for going out on a Saturday night (Thanks to the amount of Nigerian prostitutes we have). There is also a situation where a lot of nightclubs and bars may actively discriminate against coloured people, because disenfranchised youth - almost always coloured - are usually always involved in fights or crimes taking place in and around nightclubs. Every single assault w/rape that has happened in the last 2 decades (at least) have been committed by Africans or Muslims as well. But all in all, the vast, vast majority of people will treat an immigrant decently.

    Actually immigrating in most cases will depend on you being able to have/get a job I believe. It's the same stuff with "having skills that a company actually requests" that most countries have. We also accept lots of refugees, but you probably won't get accepted that way - even before all the Scandinavian countries have started to restrict immigration further. We all have political populist parties that gain a lot of votes arguing against immigrants, with the causes and effects that most West European countries know about.

    When it comes to the availability of jobs, at least Norway is in desperate need of more workers. I don't think the situation is quite the same in Sweden and Denmark, but Norway basically lacks people in most types of occupation. However, that does not mean it's easy getting a job here! Especially for foreigners. Construction workers and most manual labour jobs that foreigners may take are often underpaid (something the labour unions don't look at happily) and worked by Poles or other East Europeans. In general, that only works if you intend to save up money for going back home.

    The health care system is also in desperate need for more workers, especially nurses, but also doctors and specialists. Though the rules for being certified to work in Norway are strict I believe, and you most likely need a good understanding of Norwegian (Swedish and Danish is also acceptable). Also, if you are going to work with the elderly, it usually helps if they identify you as "being part of their culture".

    Engineers, teachers, scientists and others are also in high demand. However, the qualifications are usually strict, and many companies seems to want to go without rather than hiring someone who doesn't match their criteria perfectly. And while the manual jobs in Norway have a far higher salaries than they do in other countries, for highly educated jobs the difference is negligible, if not even a tiny bit negative. If you do find a company that will hire you, fluency in English is usually more than enough.

    Juridically speaking, the bureaucracy in Norway is quite hellish, so you might find yourself being needlessly frustrated about all the paper work you regularly have to get done. I remember a newspaper comment where an American teacher wrote about how badly he felt the bureaucracy was treating him, and how much time and energy he spent on getting - and keeping - all the papers in order. But honestly, don't think it's a third-world bureaucracy. It's much worse than it should be, but it works.

    We do not have any kind of green cards, though I remember it has been vaguely discussed from time to time.

    To summarize:
    - There are tons and tons of available jobs here - for the right people.
    - The bureaucracy is not very good.
    - We're continuously tightening the immigration rules.
     
  4. Cheetah

    Cheetah Deity

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    I'm gonna add to my answer a bit.

    Computer science/software/IT are probably the easiest areas for foreign engineers to get jobs in.

    With that? I can name about a dozen companies, at least, who would consider hiring you I think. Probable salary around $100,000 USD + bonuses (Starting salary for newly graduated are about $80k, with 10 years experience I'd assume you will be higher, but I don't really know how much. That you don't speak Norwegian will probably be used to justify giving you less money though - Norwegian companies doesn't raise their offer unless they absolutely have to, even in the current market).
    For consultancy jobs you might need adequate/good Norwegian, but other than that you should be fine I think.

    Every Scandinavian between 12 and 60 has a working understanding of English, and most are close to fluent. We can switch over to English whenever we like, but you'll find it difficult to read stuff and join conversation if you don't know any Norwegian.

    Everything happens in Norwegian, but if they want to, people can switch over to English whenever they feel like it.

    Right, we're the one's who sound silly... :rolleyes:

    :p
     
  5. SuperJay

    SuperJay Bending Space and Time

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    Thanks Cheetah! Very cool, sounds promising. (100k?!?!? Holy crap.) Norwegian babes, here I come!! :cooool:

    (And did I really write "my skillet could transfer easily?" Wow. *facepalm*)
     
  6. kochman

    kochman Deity

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    Can't Norwegians, Swedes and Danes all understand each other?
    It's more of different dialects than different languages, it is not?
     
  7. Angst

    Angst Rambling and inconsistent

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    It's something in between. Written Norwegian (Well, the proper written Norwegian, Bokmål) is spelled much like Danish, but pronounced as though it was Swedish.

    Think of it as one language that's spelled and pronounced wrong in three ways.

    EDIT: We do understand each other btw.
     
  8. Lillefix

    Lillefix I'm serious. You can.

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    More or less yes. Still, many Danes prefer to talk to me(I'm norwegian) in english. Which annoys me, at least when they speak an reasonable understandable dialect. I will usually talk in a more normalised way when talking to them(I don't exactly speak Bokmål). Swedish is much easier. The vocabulary is more different compared to Danish, but it's far easier to identify the individual words.
     
  9. Sveon

    Sveon Warlord

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    Awesome definition. :goodjob:
     
  10. Cheetah

    Cheetah Deity

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    You make more than 100k in the US, though, don't you? At least with 10 years experience?

    I just assumed you were sporting some kind of new mullet. :p
     
  11. Cheetah

    Cheetah Deity

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    Actually, there are two official ways to write it in Norway. So four ways to write it. ;)
     
  12. Yared

    Yared That Guy

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    I can't understand spoken Danish nearly as well as I understand written Danish. Sort of similar with Norwegian, only I have a much easier time understanding spoken Norwegian compared to spoken Danish.

    I don't know if it's just me or if it's a new development among the next generation. IIRC back in the days they used to show a tv show that was aimed to help make Swedes understand Danes and Norwegians better. In any case, sometimes I feel bad for not being able to understand them, since we are so close :( Definitely something I'm going to try to fix in my life.
     
  13. Angst

    Angst Rambling and inconsistent

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    Except that I don't really respect Nynorsk that much... I might be uptight, but the whole project is too nationalistic for my taste.

    I'm trying to be willfully ignorant here! (Am I using the term right?)
     
  14. Lillefix

    Lillefix I'm serious. You can.

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    It's more of a continuum, since there are so many alternate spellings allowed.

    For the uninitiated. These are allowed spellings of the word "low paid" in Norwegian(not all are allowed in both official ways of writing).

    Lavlønnete, lavtlønnete, lavlønnede, lavtlønnede, lavlønna, lavtlønna, lavlønte, lavtlønte, låglønnete, lågtlønnete, lågtlønnede, låglønnede, låglønna, lågtlønna, låglønte, lågtlønte, lavt lønnete, lavt lønnede, lavt lønna, lavt lønte, lågt lønnete, lågt lønnede, lågt lønna, lågt lønte.
     
  15. SuperJay

    SuperJay Bending Space and Time

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    Oh good lord no!! Not at all. But I'm a tech writer, not a programmer (maybe that was misleading, since I mentioned software development earlier). But even if I was a programmer, I likely wouldn't be making 100k at this particular company - 10 yrs of experience or not.

    Hahahaha, no, it was supposed to say "skillset," not "skillet." :blush:

     
  16. Cheetah

    Cheetah Deity

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    Who does? :p

    But as Lillefix said, there are a lot of ways to write things in Norwegian, and it is a continuum. The conflict of how to write our language actually runs quite deep, and many people feel strongly about their position.

    Personally I support samnorsk, i.e. that we combine bokmål and nynorsk somehow. Then there are those who only want bokmål, those who only want nynorsk, those who only want bokmål but wants to reform it to be closer to nynorsk, those who only want to reform nynorsk to be closer to bokmål, those who want to keep both written languages at the same time, and those who want to keep both languages and reform them. We've had about 5 major writing reforms in the last hundred years IIRC.

    Also, there are the supporters of riksmål, which is basically a more Danish version of bokmål - or a less reformed bokmål if you will.

    The joke used to be that we never had a communist revolution in Norway, because we had to fight over how to spell it first...

    Haha. I never thought about that before! :D

    Tech writer may be a bit more difficult, especially if you don't write Norwegian.
     
  17. Angst

    Angst Rambling and inconsistent

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    This is hilarious.

    This is also hilarious.

    I love you guys, brothers to the north.

    And yeah, I really don't know what to say about that mess. xD
     
  18. Ingvina Freyr

    Ingvina Freyr wants a Steamfree option

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    Yeah, that should be forbidden.

    A commendable assignment!

    :lol: Self-determination issues anyone?
    The english speaking people I know living in Sweden are having a hard time learning Swedish as everybody insists on speaking english to them (me being the exception).
     
  19. Veles

    Veles ♈ ♉ ♊ ♋ ♌ ♍ ♎ ♏ ♐ ♑ ♒ ♓

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    Do people, speaking Scandinavian languages, actually percieve the English language as being related to thier native tongues? Does the common origin make it easier for them to learn English? Because in written form they don't seem to look too much alike. It apparently isn't even what Polish is to Russian, but something more different. Or so it seems.
     
  20. metatron

    metatron unperson

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    Can you guys say something about the cost of living, particularly outside the capitals.
    It's supposed to be awfully high, but when i checked a bit for rent and stuff in Copenhagen it didn't really sound any worse than say Munich (which of course is ridiculously expensive compared to where i live). Prosperous cities are expensive places. Duh.
    So, is living in "small town" Denmark for example really that expensive?

    I guess it's a stupid question since i could get into my car and find out in a few hours.

    This is one of the things i always regret as a tourist: One should quit the sightseeing and spend more time in the grocery stores. Way more to learn about people there anyway.
    Well, that's the kind of deterrent you were looking for.
     

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