This little letter, ø, is pretty much my arch-enemy here in Norway.
Since the keyboards are different here, when I try to use the colon sign (:), this little guy pops up instead. It just looks devilish. And it’s common sound here, and it’s in a LOT of names. I hate it how when people with ø in their name introduce themselves, I’m always like, “I’m sorry, what?” And no matter how many times they repeat it, I still can’t quite grasp how to say their name until I’ve had some intense one-on-one coaching and seen it written down.
About.com has it all wrong when they say you pronounce it like the “u” in the word “hurt.” The Norwegian phrasebook on wikitravel.org said that you pronounce ø like the British pronounce the “u” in “burn” and I’m like, uh, okay. But then they give a VERY helpful tip, and this is the real way to pronounce it: “one starts with an e and then rounds one’s lips to produce ø”. I’m still trying to get the hang of it. After I read that I sat for about five minutes and repeated it over and over…I still don’t sound like a Norwegian. Here are some other fun new letters and sounds I’m learning: æ (which is like “a” in “hat”) and å, which I’m STILL trying to figure out…
To Ø: I will win this. Ø, yes I will.