Picking the Right Twin Posted by Bjørn A. Bojesen on Oct 31, 2019 in Conversation
Much to the frustration of new language learners, words can rarely be translated directly between two languages. Shades of meaning vary, and when you look in an ordbok (dictionary), you just might get lost in lists of alternatives… Sometimes, a Norwegian word has several English translations. Other times, it’s the other way around.
When replying to a negative phrase – typically involving the word ikke (not) or nei (no) – use jo. Otherwise, use ja [yah].
Child: Jeg vil ikke på skolen! (I don’t want to go to school!)
Parent: Jo, det må du. (Yes, you have to.)
1: Liker du fårikål? (Do you like fårikål [dish with mutton and cabbage]?)
2: Ja, det smaker veldig godt. (Yes, it tastes very good.)
1: Liker du ikke fårikål?!? (Don’t you like fårikål?!?)
2. Jo, men jeg er stappmett. (Yes, but I’m crammed 1stuffed in American English.)
If you really want to say ”the two of them”, begge is the word to use. Både is for lists of two items.
Ola og Kari bor i Hønefoss. Begge stortrives. (Ola and kari live in Hønefoss. Both are thriving/having a great time.)
Jenta var både klok og vakker. (The girl was both wise and beautiful.)
Jeg liker begge – både hunden og katten. (I like them both – both the dog and the cat.)
Many children like to leke. Footballers, however, spiller fotball. Pianists spiller piano. Gamblers spiller kort.
Child 1: Hei, skal vi leke? (Hi, wanna play?)
Child 2: Ja, skal vi leke tikken? (Yes, wanna play tag?)
Child 1: Nei, tikken er så kjedelig. Skal vi ikke spille Playstation i stedet? (No, tag is so boring. Let’s play Playstation instead, ok?)
This one is quite basic, but of course: When you’re addressing only one person, use du [doo] (or deg). ”You (all)”, on the other hand, is always dere.
Hei du! Hvor har jeg sett deg før? (Hi you! Where have I seen you before?)
Tusen takk, dere er veldig snille. (Thanks a lot, you guys2 A couple of readers have kindly pointed out that addressing both sexes with you guys can be offensive to some listeners. This phrase merely serves as an example; the addressees might be considered male. are very kind.)
Do you know more ”twin words” like this?
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