Norwegian Language Blog

Looking Back and Looking Forward Posted by on Dec 31, 2017 in Traditions

(Free image from Pixabay, no license.)

Da ble det jammen nyttår igjen! (Then it really became New Year again!) Nyttårsaften (New Year’s Eve) is a time for looking back at året som gikk (the year that went) as well as looking forward to det nye året (the new year). Let’s look in both directions in this post. 🙂

To recall something, for example when speaking with your norske venner (Norwegian friends), you most often use the past tense. In Norwegian, this usually means that your verb will take the ending –de, -te or -et (lage ”make” > lagde ”made”; kjøre ”drive” > kjørte ”drove”; sykle ”go by bike” > syklet ”went by bike”). Of course, you’ve also got a handful of strong verbs that work similarly as the ones you know from English (synge ”sing” > sang ”sang”). Here are some phrases to talk about your opplevelser (experiences) in 2017:

  • Takk for sist! Det var en veldig morsom fest. (Thank you for the last time! It was a really fun party.)
  • Husker du … da vi var i Lillehammer? (Do you remember … when we were in Lillehammer?)
  • Det var en skikkelig koselig tur. (That was a really cosy trip.)
  • Hva var den beste opplevelsen din i år? (What was your best experience this year?)
  • Jeg glemmer aldri påskeferien! (I’ll never forget the Easter holiday!)
  • Fikk du noen fine presanger til jul? (Did you get some nice presents this Xmas?)

Before we gaze in the other direction, it’s worth noting that Norwegian has no future tense (and no ”wish tense” either, unlike for example Spanish)… To solve this, you have to use a lot of hjelpeverb (”helping verbs”) to create meaningful ”verb combos” – just like we would do in English. Here are some phrases to talk about fremtiden (the future) in 2018:

  • Jeg ønsker meg mye snø i januar. (I wish for a lot of snow in January.)
  • Har du noen planer for neste år? (Have you got any plans for next year?)
  • Jeg håper 2018 blir et bra år. (I hope 2018 will be a good year.)
  • Jeg vet det kommer til å bli et bra år! (I know it will become a good year!)
  • Skål! (Cheers!)

Vi snakkes i 2018! (We’ll be talking in 2018!) Godt nyttår! 🙂

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About the Author: Bjørn A. Bojesen

I was born in Denmark, but spent large parts of my childhood and study years in Norway. I later returned to Denmark, where I finished my MA in Scandinavian Studies. Having relatives in Sweden as well, I feel very Scandinavian! I enjoy reading and travelling, and sharing stories with you! You’re always welcome to share your thoughts with me and the other readers.