Ok I'm embarrassed to admit this, but I'm just now copying your Norwegian Bella AU into a text translator, and if you don't already have 50 people in your inbox demanding a translation then shame on ALL OF US because this is glorious! And while Google Translate does have a certain charm (it translated "piper hun ut" as "she beeps") I'm curious to see how you'd put it in English.
Troquantary is referring to this post. In which Bella doesn't speak English.
Fun fact, you're the only one who's gone into my inbox to request this. I was so sad, had the translation half-written and everything, but I was too proud to beg. So thank you, Troquantary, for popping this ask.
As for the dictionary fuckups, sounds about right. I made a few typos, too, that made Google Translate suffer even more. (Such as managing to mix up "henne" (her) and "hendene" (hands), resulting in Aro patting Bella instead of clapping his hands. Poor Google.)
Also, there are a few cultural references and language things that would be lost in the translation, in an attempt to keep them I included notes clarifying things.
Some things, like Aro and Carlisle's very old man way of speaking, are easier said than done to translate, you'll have to bear with me there.
Additional notes are that I added a few things to this version, many of them because translating is hard, but a few because while translating I thought "oh you know what would be much funnier-" and then wrote that.
Alright, without further ado:
When Renée left Charlie she did not go to Florida, she went to Oslo. And she went all in to make her daughter a true Norwegian, hiring Norwegian nannies and making sure never to speak English around the child. Since transatlantic flights are expensive, little Bella Swan rarely got to visit her father, and as such she never did learn what should have been her native language.
She quickly forgot what English she did have in favor of Norwegian, with the exception of words like “Yes”, “No”, and “I’m Bella”.
The few trips she took to visit her father were all the more awkward than in canon since she couldn’t play with the Black kids. Let not the blame fall upon Charlie: he took Norwegian classes and speaks conversational Norwegian. He can’t speak to Renée, because her Norwenglish is incomprehensible even to Norwegians, but he can communicate with Bella.
Not that he’s had a lot of chances to do so.
Bella makes it to seventeen years old, she’s in second grade at Handels* and is a major outsider among the preps there, and then Renée marries a handsome skier**. Together they shall travel the continent all winter to participate in as many skiing races as they can, and in the summer they’ll take gigs at Hurtigruta to see the coast.
*“Handels” is the nickname for an Oslo high school infamous for its pupils being rich and beautiful blonds who are going to be CEOs when they grow up.
**Skiing as a sport is huge in Norway
***Hurtigruta is a famous ferry that travels across the Norwegian West coast
Bella, who sucks at skiing and is too young to work at Hurtigruten, takes the hint.
With dread in her stomach and dictionary in hand she goes to her father in America.
Where she doesn’t speak the language.
Charlie gives her a car, and I wish this meta was set in the present because I could have joked about electric cars and the automat only driver’s license*, but Twilight is set in 2005 so I can’t. The car part proceeds without drama.
*An increasing number of Norwegian youth take the driver’s license for automatic cars only, and we’re the country in the world with the highest percentage of electric car purchases.
School is worse than in canon, because she is now a thousand times more sensational than if she was merely the new student. She is from another country! All of Forks keels over with excitement.
To make matters even worse, our girl doesn’t understand a word of what people are saying.
She is too awkward to let them know she doesn’t know English. It’d become a thing, and they might think she’s dumb. To be fair, it’s not good that she’s been through primary, secondary, and now a year and a half of high school and still sucks at English.
So she nods, smiles, mumbles “Hi, I’m Bella” to the new faces, and blushes heavily when anybody says anything.
People assume she’s shy. That’s a bit boring, but oh well.
She has her biology class with the redhead hottie she noticed during lunch. She watched him and his family, they were fascinatingly pretty, but she doesn’t know anything more about them. Sure would have been great if she could have asked the tiny girl (was it Jess?) about them.
Biology proceeds as in canon - Edward badly wants to eat the delicious girl, but fortunately doesn’t.
She runs into him in the office when he tries to switch to another biology lesson, but she has no idea what he’s saying so she only has the suspicion that this somehow concerns her. Which is still uncomfortable, but Bella is probably the problem here. The hottie surely can’t be.
He’s missing from school for a week, Bella finds that weird.
He returns, and to her great horror he starts talking to her.
“Hello”, he says.
Bella dies inside. He’s too handsome!
"I'm Edward Cullen," he continues, and ok, she got that. The hottie is called Edward, that’s good to know. She’s not sure she caught that last name, though, Köln?
He says something else, it’s gibberish to Bella even though she’s concentrating, and at the end there he says “Bella Swan”.
"I'm Bella Swan," she confirms and nods. That should be correct. God, she hopes it’s correct.
He smiles a crooked, boyish smile. She’s awed. She didn’t think it was possible to be so beautiful.
He says something else.
Bella didn’t catch it.
She blushes even harder, she hasn’t been more embarrassed in her life. Here he is, the most handsome guy in all the world, and she has nothing to say to him. Literally, they don’t speak the same language.
She should tell him.
It’s one thing to chicken out of telling the town she doesn’t speak English, but there’s something different about Edward Cullen. He deserves the truth.
He’s the most beautiful person she has seen in her life. He is American, too, so the odds of him knowing Norwegian are microscopical. If he finds out she doesn’t understand a word he says he’ll stop talking to her, and selfish as she is she doesn’t want that.
So with a slightly guilty conscience (but not enough to fess up) she contributes to the conversation with enough words and smiles to pull through. "Yes", "No", "Thank you", and "That's nice".
He is surprised by several of these answers, but instead of giving her odd looks and losing interest he grows more invested in the conversation.
The next day the near accident happens, and he saves her. She is stunned - dear god, did he just pick up a whole car? After teleporting across the parking lot..?
Soon she’s in the ER, and more than a little bit stressed about that fact since she knows the Americans have a terrible healthcare system.
She hopes Charlie has an insurance.
An insanely beautiful man walks into the ER, and Bella is shocked. He is just as handsome as Edward and Edward’s lunch friends!
He introduces himself as Carlisle Cullen, and Bella can only assume this is someone’s older brother. Possibly related to the blonde girl.
He smiles at her, says something, and she answers, "I'm Bella Swan."
That must have been the wrong answer, then.
His hands return to investigating her scalp, and to her great surprise he switches to perfect Norwegian, "kjenner De* noe ubehag når jeg holder her?" Do you feel any discomfort when I touch here?
*De is the Norwegian polite pronoun for “you”. Du = thou = the French tu, and De = you = the French vous. These polite pronouns went out of use in the 1980’s, save for when addressing royal persons, and would be considered antiquated in 2005.
He hurries to add, "Norsk lærte jeg i... fjor sommer. Det var et nettkurs." I learned Norwegian… last year. Online class.
"Hvilket da?" Which one? Bella asks, because Charlie needs to hear about this. The doctor has beautiful, if slightly outdated, pronunciation.
The doctor’s smile turns uncertain. She gets the feeling there’s something he doesn’t want to say. "Husker ikke," I don’t remember, sier han etter en litt vel lang pause.
That’s a shame. And weird.
"De hadde hellet med Dem i dag, som ikke ble truffet av den bilen." You were lucky today, not getting hit by that car. he then says, noticeably changing the subject.
"Det var ikke hell, det var Edward," It wasn’t luck, it was Edward, she replies sharply.
The doctor definitely looks uncomfortable.
She continues, "Han krysset skolegården på et blunk, og plukket opp hele bilen. Jeg så det," He crossed the schoolyard in a moment, and picked up the whole car. I saw it,
The doctor laughs. "Om han kunne det hadde nok gymkarakteren hans vært meget bedre. Nei, frøken Swan*, jeg beklager å si at det høres ut som at De er litt omtåket. Det er helt normalt ved hjernerystelse." If he could do that, his PE grade would be a lot better. No, Miss Swan, I’m sorry to say you seem confused. That’s normal with concussions.
*Addressing a young woman as “frøken” is even more outdated than using polite pronouns.
Why does Bella get the feeling he’s lying?
We’ll jump ahead to her trip to La Push - that trip uneventful, since Jacob knows she doesn’t speak English. They stick their hands in their pockets and stare at the sea.
The next day she’s shanghaied to Port Angeles, because apparently she said “Yes” at the wrong time when talking to Jessica (Turns out Jess’s name was Jessica!) and accidentally said yes to a day trip to Port Angeles.
Like in canon she wanders away from the others, and as in canon she is nearly gang raped. And again as in canon she is saved at the last moment by Edward.
He buys her dinner, and she can’t believe her own luck- and misfortune. A date with the most handsome guy on the planet (hence the luck) and she can’t say a word to him (hence the misfortune)!
He says things to her, lends her his jacket, and really this is it for Bella, she’s peaked, life can’t get better than this.
(That’s a lie, it would be better if she spoke English.)
He’s so amazing.
She’s gotten pretty good at navigating conversations with him, so she nods and aha’s her way through.
In his car on the way home the tone takes a more serious turn.
He asks her about something, and it’s a serious question, that much she’s gathered. She answers in the confirmative.
He is silent.
Did she say anything wrong?
(Edward, on his end, just asked if she knows what he is. She said yes, so calmly, not even a trace of fear in her.)
A few days later he takes her out on a walk in the woods.
He shows her a meadow in the woods, and when he steps into it he lights up in the sunlight.
Bella is in shock.
She knew there was something different about him, but- holy cow. This guy isn’t human.
Is she dating a god?
She stumbles into the clearing after him, and they spend a day together where he says things, and she can barely hear any of it (nevermind understand it) because she’s so distracted by how pretty he is.
The next day he takes her to a house in the middle of nowhere. She doesn’t want to guess that this can be where he lives. Surely gods don’t live in houses?
He shows her inside the house, and introduces her for Dr. Cullen and a lady with a name she doesn’t catch.
Bit weird that these two are acting like a couple of parents, they’re far too young and divine for that.
Edward shows her around in an old-fashioned office, and she doesn’t know what to make of i when she sees a painting of Carlisle. Edward launches into a long story when he sees her watching it, unfortunately she doesn’t catch any dates or artist names. At one point she heard the word “suicide”, though, and that’s not good.
She doesn’t get much out of the story.
The baseball game doesn’t happen because Bella didn’t pick up on what Edward wanted and didn’t realize she was being invited to a thing. They spend the afternoon watching a movie instead.
The relationship continues, impeded slightly by communication problems, but she’s mostly able to cover those up.
Until her birthday comes around.
She gets a papercut.
Jasper lunges at her. Edward throws her into a glass table, and then everyone is leaving.
Carlisle is kind enough to switch to Norwegian when he’s stitching up her arm, perhaps remembering the last time she was his patient. "Jasper har ikke vært på dietten vår så veldig lenge." Jasper hasn’t been on our diet for very long.
"Diett?"she asks. She’s never seen Edward eat anything. She wasn’t clear on what the Cullens ate, honestly she thought they were above such things. She was thinking maybe photosynthesis. The knowledge that they apparently eat food astounds her, but diets?
"Dyreblod istedenfor menneskeblod," Animal blood in stead of human blood, Carlisle clarifies.
Carlisle gives a slight smile. “Jaspers liv som vampyr fikk en brutal start." Jasper’s life as a vampire got off to a brutal start.
Bella’s missed something here.
Oh dear lord, oh fy faen, she has missed something.
“Åja”, uh huh, is all she can say, and suddenly she’s very aware of the fact that she’s sitting there with a bleeding arm.
Who is a vampire.
Over the course of the following conversation Bella makes a host of discoveries.
Edward has been a vampire this whole time, and he’s a telepathic vampire. Whether Bella should be a vampire too or not has been a matter of hot debate, but due to religious reasons Edward doesn’t want that.
Carlisle also brings up how Edward died of the Spanish flu.
"Jeg var under den oppfatning at Edward fortalte deg bakhistorien min?" I was under the impression Edward told you my back story? Carlisle asks at one point, and Bella just has to ask very nicely if he’d be so kind as to repeat it.
Turns out the guy is nearly four hundred years old.
Jahahaha jaa ha.
That’s… a lot.
She wanders out of the house in shock, and hardly notices Edward’s strange behavior over the next couple of days.
One day he picks her up at school, and takes her behind the house.
That works out.
He’s a vampire, but he never hurt her. He is endlessly beautiful, perhaps easier to love now that she knows he’s not a god. He’s her Edward, and that’s suddenly easier now that she knows.
They can still be together.
But now that she knows this about him, it’s about time he knows something about her as well.
It’s time to finally be honest with him.
So when he opens his mouth, she opens her mouth as well, but she doesn’t get any further than to “Edward-” before he launches into a monologue.
She’ll have to wait until he’s done before saying her piece. It’s a bit embarrassing, but it doesn’t seem like he intends to stop talking anyway.
And what he’s saying seems to be serious, so it’s probably best to let him finish.
Edward concludes his monologue by kissing her forehead. Then he disappears.
Where did he go?
A big unsure, Bella goes back to the house. She’ll just have to wait until he gets back.
She doesn’t know what to think when Charlie returns from work and tells her the Cullens have all left.
Edward must have found out she doesn’t speak English.
She made a mockery of him.
He has every right to leave.
Knowing this doesn’t make it any easier to live with.
Bella sinks into a depression.
The hallucinations begin, as in canon, though Hallusinward speaks Norwegian. Thank god for small mercies.
The friendship with Jacob (dictionary in hand) blooms, as someone has to help her see those hallucinations.
The cliff diving happens, and Alice shows up. Bella’s not sure what this is about, but she has gotten good enough at English to know that something bad happened, and Alice wants them to do something.
She’s a bit surprised to find herself on a plane to Italy, though.
Alice tells her to “Run to Edward” and ok, she got that, actually.
So she saves Edward.
After that she’s taken into the sewer, which turns out to house dozens of vampires.
Bella, Edward, and Alice are received in some kind of hall, where an unusual vampire has quite a bit to say. She understands some of what he’s saying, at least the part about “la tua cantante”. She knows a bit about Italian, see, so she knows that he’s talking about a song now.
She wishes she knew the context.
At one point he takes her hand, and appears fascinated by it. She wonders if he’s a palmreader. Not very vampirey, but what does she know.
He asks her a question.
"Yes," she says.
Saying yes has gotten her this far, after all.
But when he lights up and claps his hands together, and Edward and Alice stare at her in shock and betrayal, she knows she must have said the wrong thing.
The two are dismissed from the room before Bella can do or say anything, she’s just listening to Edward make a racket outside in the hallway.
The unusual vampire brings her further down in his sewer palace to a basement, and she is given comfortable clothes to wear.
This is getting terrifying.
The vampire leans towards her - and she chickens out.
"Jeg snakker ikke engelsk!" she squeaks. "Non habla ingles!" I don’t speak English.
Han stanser, og ser forvirret ut. "Que- Hva behager*?" I beg your pardon? spør han etter et øyeblikk.
*A very formal, and slightly outdated (you can use it, but people will think you’re putting on airs. And they will be right) way of saying “excuse me?”
Sobbing, Bella tells him the whole story, from how she didn’t want to be the weird kid in school to how she’s now somehow in Italy without knowing why nor what she just agreed to.
When she’s done the vampire starts laughing.
"Dette forklarer jo en hel del," This explains quite a bit, ler han. "Men, kjære Bella, jeg er redd det ikke endrer noe." But, my dear Bella, I’m afraid it changes nothing.
He tells her that she has agreed to serve him and his army of undead warriors into eternity.
"Du skal få slippe det, når du ikke visste hva du samtykket til - men skjebnen din forblir den samme. Loven er loven." You’re released from that promise, as you didn’t know what you agreed to - but your fate remains the same. The law is the law.
After a moment of silence, during which she looks terrified, he hurries to add, "Vi har en lov. Du må bli en av oss." We have a law. You must become one of us.
A law that Bella Swan has to become a vampire?
People are finally speaking Norwegian, and Bella is still lost. And it’s too embarrassing to keep pestering this poor, polite man with questions.
So she nods.
He gives her a glittering smile, and bites her.
When she wakes, Aro offers her an English course. A language course that, naturally, leads to her staying in Volterra. Why not learn a few more languages while we’re at it, dearest Bella?
Some time later Edward breaks into Volterra to save his Rapunzel, only to barely recognize her now that she’s a vampire who says things. Lots of things, she talks all the time now. WHAT DID ARO DO TO HER.
Too mortified to admit that she never spoke English, Bella claims she’s been brainwashed.
Aro is having too much fun to correct her, and the whole sad affair sets off a regrettable flood of rumors.
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