Two rooms of Norwegians

One of our most experienced QuizMasters, Brewis, faced an interesting challenge earlier this month: run a 45 minutes quiz for 50 people, all from Norway (+ 1 from Sweden), on an away weekend in the Cotswolds. Brewis picks up the story:

“As I was preparing the quiz for this very specific audience, I realised that some of the things that I rely on when there are a lot of non-native British people in the room simply didn’t apply. Normally, there are a good number of British people mixed around, so it becomes fair to expect answers to be submitted in English: but when nobody is a native English speaker that doesn’t seem quite fair. So I had to check the Norwegian names of all the countries, films, TV shows, chemical elements, etc. that were answers throughout the quiz so I could be sure of marking fairly.

For example, on one of the questions the answer was “Knight” as in the chess piece – but 3 teams wrote down “Springer”, the Norwegian word for “Knight” in chess. We also have a question about chemical elements whose name begins with the letter S in English…but Zinc in Norwegian is Sink, whereas Sodium in Norwegian is Natrium. So I allowed them both – but I was well prepared.

I was intending to do some Mystery Voice questions, but it occurred to me that many of the English voices are ones that Norwegians may never have heard, because of dubbing or the like. After all how many British people know what e.g. Angela Merkel sounds like when speaking German? She’d always be shown with a translated voice-over on British TV.

But much excitement was had when there was a tie-breaker at the end, and I summoned one person from each of the two teams in equal first place to identify a famous song from a film that I played in rewind…I have to admit that the reason I chose it was to show off that I knew the Norwegian name for the song…Alas neither player got the answer (despite almost everyone else at the quiz not involved in the tie-break seeming to know): it was ‘Superoptikjempefantafenomenalistisk’ or, in English, ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’. Onto the second tie-break, which was children’s TV themes, and this time they got it very quickly, identifying ‘Brannmann Sam’ (which I played in Norwegian: that’s ‘Fireman Sam’ in English). And the whole audience was singing along, in Norwegian.”

Brewis was also very proud of his handling of a logistic difficulty:

“As it happens the teams were spread out across two rooms, so although the speaker system fed both rooms, I didn’t want to spend too much time back and forth between the two during the quiz for fear of slowing things down too much – after all the allocated time for the quiz was very short at just 45 minutes. But I wanted to make sure that both rooms saw me, and I saw them, for a proper introduction at the beginning. So I turned the speaker off in Room 2 while doing the introduction in Room 1, then headed over to Room 2 having muted the speakers in Room 1 so they got their own introduction. I created a sense of competition between the two rooms, and then headed back to my base station and re-connected the sound to both rooms and got on with the quiz.”

I’ll leave you with this:

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