Norwegian: kan være med og påvirke

dukaine

Senior Member
English - American
I'm not sure how to translate "kan være med og påvirke" here:

En god start på dagen er når du våkner uthvilt etter en god natts søvn, og soverommet ditt kan være med og påvirke dette i stor grad.

I understand the literal translation to mean "can be with and affect (or appropriate synonym)", or, if "og" should actually be "å", as some have told me in previous threads, then "be with to affect", but obviously that sounds awkward in English. I assume "være med" is idiomatic for something, but what?

Thanks!
 
  • serbianfan

    Senior Member
    British English
    This is the same as "bidra til å påvirke", which means "help to affect" or to use more words "be a factor that influences". I have a feeling that "være med å" and "bidra til å" are used more in Norwegian today than 50 years ago, almost a kind of fashion, and unnecessary in many cases. You could equally well say "soverommet ditt kan påvirke dette i stor grad".
     

    raumar

    Senior Member
    Norwegian
    The NAOB dictionary apparently accepts both "være med og gjøre noe" and "være med på å gjøre noe", but not "være med å gjøre noe". See (scroll down to "være med (på/til)"):
    Det Norske Akademis ordbok

    "være med på å påvirke" would have been better in your example, although I agree with Serbianfan - it is unnecessary in this case.

    I believe the construction "være med og" could work in, for example, phrases like "være med og synge". In that case, the English translation could be something like "join in and sing".
     

    myšlenka

    Senior Member
    Norwegian
    I don't understand why it is judged as unnecessary. To me the phrase simply implies that there are other factors governing your sleep quality apart form the bedroom itself and leaving out "være med og" will not give the same implication. Whether that piece of information is unnecessary or not depends on the intended meaning of the speaker/author and the general discourse probably plays a role too. The sentence is grammatical (leaving the og/å confusion aside) and has sound semantics. Exactly what is the problem?
     

    raumar

    Senior Member
    Norwegian
    I agree that "være med" implies that there are other factors governing your sleep quality. The reason why I thought it was unnecessary, is that "påvirke" also implies that other factors (in addition to the bedroom itself) play a role. That is at least how I understand it.

    If the sentence had been " og soverommet ditt kan være med og avgjøre dette", I would have said that "være med" is necessary.

    But this is not a big problem, and I agree that it doesn't make the sentence incorrect.
     

    myšlenka

    Senior Member
    Norwegian
    The reason why I thought it was unnecessary, is that "påvirke" also implies that other factors (in addition to the bedroom itself) play a role. That is at least how I understand it.
    How? :confused:
    If the lexical semantics of påvirke implies that there are other factors apart from whatever appears in the subject position, then what word do you use if there is a sole governing factor?
     

    raumar

    Senior Member
    Norwegian
    I would use "avgjøre", and in some cases maybe "bestemme". Compare these sentences, for example:

    1) Utdanningen din påvirker hvilket parti du stemmer på.
    2) Utdanningen din avgjør hvilket parti du stemmer på.


    In 1), a certain (level of) education increases (or decreases) the likelihood for voting for specific parties. But the effect is not deterministic, so there has to be other factors that influence voting. In 2), party choice is completely determined by education.

    That is at least how a political scientist would use the terms. Journalists may use 2) to express the meaning in 1), to make their headline more catchy.
     

    winenous

    Senior Member
    English - British
    I assume "være med" is idiomatic for something, but what?
    In addition to @raumar's example, I would add that you hear it a lot when a friend is going somewhere (just about to drive somewhere, or perhaps to an event at some time in the future) and invites you to go with him: "Vil du være med?"

    Forgive me if I am telling you stuff you already know but, even though it is often used, I did not learn it textbooks, so found it quite confusing when I first encountered it in real life
     

    myšlenka

    Senior Member
    Norwegian
    I would use "avgjøre", and in some cases maybe "bestemme". Compare these sentences, for example:

    1) Utdanningen din påvirker hvilket parti du stemmer på.
    2) Utdanningen din avgjør hvilket parti du stemmer på.


    In 1), a certain (level of) education increases (or decreases) the likelihood for voting for specific parties. But the effect is not deterministic, so there has to be other factors that influence voting. In 2), party choice is completely determined by education.

    That is at least how a political scientist would use the terms. Journalists may use 2) to express the meaning in 1), to make their headline more catchy.
    Ah ok, I see!
    The words in question, however, differ form each other along more substantial semantic and syntactic dimensions apart from a trivial question of implied presence or absence of external factors. They can't be used interchangeably.
    a) Utdanningen din påvirker deg.
    b) Utdanningen din avgjør deg. (nonsensical)
    c) Han avgjorde at de skulle bo der.
    d) Han påvirket at de skulle bo der. (nonsensical)

    Also, when you say that påvirke implies other factors (that is, it is an inherent part of the meaning of the word), then the following sentence e) should be bad in your ears while f) is good. Note that both exclude other factors by the presence of bare. My guess is that you accept both but that they have different meanings.
    e) Bare han kan påvirke utfallet.
    f) Bare han kan avgjøre utfallet.

    Lastly, I have no problems using avgjøre in contexts where it is contingent on other factors. Hvis du er kvinne og tjener mer enn 500.000, avgjør utdanningen din hvilket parti du stemmer på. This implies several factors and could easily be expanded, thus party choice is not solely determined by education. The reason I think you get the impression that påvirke implies other factors whereas avgjøre does not, has to do with the discrete outcome of avgjøre which is not shared by påvirke which operates on a more gradual scale.
     

    Segorian

    Senior Member
    Icelandic & Swedish
    Note that both exclude other factors by the presence of bare.
    It seems to me that this does not follow (although I'm not sure how it affects your analysis). The way I read sentence e) it means that “han” is the only person who can influence the outcome, not that there can be no other factors.
     

    raumar

    Senior Member
    Norwegian
    Thanks for your response, Myšlenka!

    They can't be used interchangeably.
    Yes, I agree: your examples clearly points to some differences,

    then the following sentence e) should be bad in your ears while f) is good. Note that both exclude other factors by the presence of bare.
    The way I read sentence e) it means that “han” is the only person who can influence the outcome, not that there can be no other factors.
    I am not sure about this, but I think I agree with Segorian.

    Lastly, I have no problems using avgjøre in contexts where it is contingent on other factors. Hvis du er kvinne og tjener mer enn 500.000, avgjør utdanningen din hvilket parti du stemmer på. This implies several factors and could easily be expanded, thus party choice is not solely determined by education.
    I'm not really convinced by this argument. Yes, there are several other factors in this example. But I would still say that in this case, party choice is solely determined by education within the group that the argument refers to (women who earn more than 500 000 NOK).
     

    myšlenka

    Senior Member
    Norwegian
    I am not sure about this, but I think I agree with Segorian.
    Raumar,
    it seems that we are talking past each other to some extent so I have a few questions for you:

    1) What is the meaning difference between påvirke and avgjøre for you? Is it only a question of implied presence/absence of factors that are external to the subject? Should they be understood as having basically the same meaning, a case of suppletion?

    2) When you say that påvirke implies causal factors that are external to the sentence, it must be an inherent part of the meaning of the verb, i.e. it is part of its lexical semantics. Do you know of any other verbs that operate on the same meaning dimension (implying sentence-external causal factors that are not overtly expressed by the subject)? What type of cues are there to figure out that such a meaning dimension exists?
     

    raumar

    Senior Member
    Norwegian
    Yes we probably talk past each other. The reason may be that I am not a linguist, my background is from social science.

    1) No, I don't say that they have the same meaning. I agree with what you wote earlier:
    the discrete outcome of avgjøre which is not shared by påvirke which operates on a more gradual scale.

    2) This is where I think as a social scientist: If X explains 100 % of the variation in Y, we can say that X avgjør Y. If X explains 15 % of the variation in Y, we can say that X påvirker Y. But in that case, 85 % of the variation remains unexplained, and we have to assume that there are other factors that influence Y. It may be something that we haven't measured, or it could be something unknown - something that we haven't thought of. But there must be something, even if we don't know what it is.

    Or maybe it's just random variation. In that case, I agree that we can talk about "påvirke" without any other causal factors. Unless we consider "random variation" as a causal factor.
     

    myšlenka

    Senior Member
    Norwegian
    Yes we probably talk past each other. The reason may be that I am not a linguist, my background is from social science.

    1) No, I don't say that they have the same meaning. I agree with what you wote earlier:


    2) This is where I think as a social scientist: If X explains 100 % of the variation in Y, we can say that X avgjør Y. If X explains 15 % of the variation in Y, we can say that X påvirker Y. But in that case, 85 % of the variation remains unexplained, and we have to assume that there are other factors that influence Y. It may be something that we haven't measured, or it could be something unknown - something that we haven't thought of. But there must be something, even if we don't know what it is.

    Or maybe it's just random variation. In that case, I agree that we can talk about "påvirke" without any other causal factors. Unless we consider "random variation" as a causal factor.
    Ah good, then I understand better where you are coming from. It's not an unnatural interpretation, given the meanings of the words. I agree with the use. However, just like in social sciences, statements about implications in linguistics need to be demonstrated. Meaning implications can be demonstrated by showing that the meaning of a linguistic expression X is incompatible with an expression Y. That is, they can't both be true at the same time. For instance, "spise opp" implies an endpoint where there are no leftovers. Consequently it is incompatible with a statement negating this implication like in a). If "påvirke" implies something more than what is mentioned, it should be incompatible with expressions negating this implication, like in b). Hopefully you find that there is nothing odd about b). If you still want to say, like Segorian suggests, that b) implies non-person external factors, you can test that by adding information that Segorian assumes to cause no compatibility problems, like in c). But such an assumption does not seem warranted because I find c) to be really odd.

    a) #Han spiste pizzaen opp, og lot et stykke ligge igjen.
    b) Kona kan påvirke presidenten. Hun er faktisk den eneste som kan påvirke presidenten.
    c) #Bare hun kan påvirke presidenten. Han kan også påvirkes av hunden/oljeprisen/gode argumenter.... (choose your favourite non-person factor)

    That being said, my view is that the predicate "påvirke" does not imply any external factors but it does not exclude them either. The predicate only carries information about what appears in the same sentence. No more, no less :)
     
    Top