International Student Blog

Study break: Bergensbølgen

Ok, I hope you guys want to get into some deep, random, inside-joke-ish-ness, because I sure appreciate it and I just got introduced to a youtube video that I think you, fellow-imports-to-Bergen, should know about. The video in question is a faux-trailer called “Bergensbølgen” by comedy group, Kollektivet, you may remember them from such hits as “Size Matters” (if not, see below).


Unfortunately Bergensbølgen has no English subtitles, so this cultural resource is difficult to access when you are a foreigner with little to no Norsk-language skills. I had to have a friend help translate it line by line (thanks, friend!), and I will now attempt, with painstaking care, to explain (at least some of) the Bergen-specific inside jokes to you as a way for us all to learn a little bit more about this charming city we call our (at least temporary) home.

What’s that you say, you love it when people explain jokes to you? Well, your sarcasm is coming through loud and clear, however, this is happening, so let’s go!






Newscaster1: The wave of “bergensere” (people of Bergen) that has spread out past its own city limits has reached new heights. Nobody has found a cure for this contamination.


image“has reached new heights.” Image: Kollektivet: Trailer – “Bergensbølgen”


Newscaster2: The victims of the contamination experience symptoms such as annoying “skarring”*, over-confidence, irrational patriotism, and they become carriers themselves.

*Here is it important to note that ‘skarring’ refers to the skarre-r. The skarre-r is a way of pronouncing Rs that is guttural, created by vibrating the uvula against the back part of the tongue, and it is one of the common features of Bergen’s dialect, Bergensk. This is distinct from the rulle-r (which apparently could be two different, but more rolling/trilling r-sounds). ‘Skarring’ came to Norway in the 1800s, and today about an eighth of the population uses this pronunciation. Apparently, in Norway, the ‘Skarre area’ has been expanding dramatically, especially in the west in the last 70 years (in fact, much has been written about the migration of the skarre-r). Wanna work on your Rs? Check out this video:


Video: Norwegian Teacher – Karin

Now, back to Bergensbølgen:

imageImage: Kollektivet: Trailer – “Bergensbølgen”

Newscaster1: We are getting news that the quarantine around Oslo is about to be breached and the government has ordered a full evacuation.


imageImage: Kollektivet: Trailer – “Bergensbølgen”

Newcaster3: I stand here at the outskirts of the government-imposed quarantine, and things do not look like they will improve. The situation has escalated.  


imageImage: Kollektivet: Trailer – “Bergensbølgen”

Two Brothers!

Trond: I am Trond Daase, I am still in Oslo after the evacuation…


neither me nor my brother Tore enjoy Dagfinn Lyngboe* or Lars Vaular**.

*Dagfinn Lyngbø is a standup comic from Askøy (nearby Bergen). You can check him out (with some English subtitles) below (I won’t mention if I do or do not ‘enjoy’ him based on this tiny sample, myself).


**Lars Nesheim Vaular is a freestyle rap/hip-hop artist from Åsane (nearby Bergen).

and… again… let’s not forget that he’s from Bergen:


image“If anyone can hear this” Image: Kollektivet: Trailer – “Bergensbølgen”*

Trond: If anyone hears this…
Tore: [Unintelligible]

*Notice the Ylvis banner unfurling on the right. I’m assuming you know Ylvis by now. (Come on guys, ‘What does the fox say?”). Just in case, here’s ever my favorite classic Norwegian hytte video to get you started (I also recommend, ‘The Intellevator“):



Additionally, on the left you can may have seen David Frank Huey “Davy” Wathne a sports journalist/sportscaster at Bergens Tidende. Here’s a video of Ylvis interviewing him on their show, I kveld med Ylvis (Tonight with Ylvis):


Tore: Trond! Trond! What the f*@k is that!?
Trond: Fløibanen!

imageFløibanen! Image: Kollektivet: Trailer – “Bergensbølgen”


*I assume this needs no explanation.


imageImage: Kollektivet: Trailer – “Bergensbølgen”

Now they have to escape…

From Bergenserene…

Before they lose themselves.


imageImage: Kollektivet: Trailer – “Bergensbølgen”

Bergenser: WASSUP!*

*Here he’s saying “Kedegåri”, which was explained to me as kind of a slang Bergensk combination of “hva er det” (what is it) and “hvordan går det” (how are you doing) – the Ke actually standing in for “Ka”, Bergensk’s version of ‘Hva’ (What) and “går i” is the abbreviated end of “hvordan går det”. Confused? Yep: Me. Too.

imageImage: Kollektivet: Trailer – “Bergensbølgen”

Tore: Huh!? What are you doing!?

imageImage: Kollektivet: Trailer – “Bergensbølgen”


*I hope you know what Bryggen is by now…

**Sondre Lerche, is a singer-songwriter from Bergen (see below for a sample).

***Sadly yes, this does refer to a specific pedophile from Sotra.

Moving on…

imageImage: Kollektivet: Trailer – “Bergensbølgen”

Tore: I am losing my R, Trond!


He has a casual rock-do

Bergenser: I have one of those casual rock hair dos*.

*You know, like you do in Bergen.

imageImage: Kollektivet: Trailer – “Bergensbølgen”

Tore: It isn’t casual, it is studied!
Bergenser: No, it’s CASUAL! It happened all on its own!

imageImage: Kollektivet: Trailer – “Bergensbølgen”

Tore: It is you who is the cure, Trond

 imageImage: Kollektivet: Trailer – “Bergensbølgen”

He is the cure!


imageImage: Kollektivet: Trailer – “Bergensbølgen”

Tore: Speech impediment!
Trond: Speech impediment? I don’t have a speech impediment?
Tore: You are unable to say RRRRRRR

imageImage: Kollektivet: Trailer – “Bergensbølgen”

From left to right the images on the buildings are: Erna Solberg, born in Bergen, current prime minister. Raske Menn (“Fast Guys”) a comedy trio (at least some of whom are Bergensere), and Gabrielle, an Electropop singer from Bergen.

Here’s a clip from the Raske Menn:

This fall…

Trond: They are permanently wet! They have gills!


Tore: Actions speak louder than words*, take out your gun and shoot me


*This line, ‘handling foran ord’ (actions speak louder than words) refers to a song by the popsinger from Bergen, Gabrielle, referenced above. Here’s the song:



Bergenser: This isn’t Norway… This is Bergen!


Tore: If it is so damned nice in Bergen, why does everyone live in Oslo then?!





Okay, Bergen-natives, be kind to me, what did I miss?

2 comments for “Study break: Bergensbølgen

  1. Amy
    9. February 2016 at 20:44

    Héhé this is awesome, thank you

    • Stand Hiestand
      9. February 2016 at 23:01

      Aw, thank YOU!

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