Norwegian: Thanks for being such a good friend

Grefsen

Senior Member
English - United States
I want to send a handwritten card to a Norwegian friend who has done a lot of nice things for me over the years. How would I write the following på norsk?

"Thanks for being such a good friend to me."

Mitt "rough" forsøk:

Tusen takk for at du har vært en veldig god venn til meg.

På forhånd takk for hjelpen. :)
 
  • Obil Tu

    Senior Member
    Tusen takk for at du har vært en veldig god venn til for meg.

    Almost!

    Perhaps even more idiomatically, you could drop the "for meg" at the end altogether. It's kind of redundant since the card is coming from you and it's therefore obvious to whom the person has been a good friend.

    Some other tips: If you want to incorporate the "such a" you could say "en så god" in stead of "en veldig god". Maybe it would sound good to drop in an "alltid" ("always" in the sense "ever since you met") in front of "har vært"?

    I'm happy for you for having friends like that! :)
     

    Grefsen

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    Tusen takk for hjelpen! :)

    Perhaps even more idiomatically, you could drop the "for meg" at the end altogether.

    Just out of curiosity, why would it be "for" instead of "til?"


    It's kind of redundant since the card is coming from you and it's therefore obvious to whom the person has been a good friend.

    Even though as you say, it is "kind of redundant," I think it sounds more personal when I add "to me" in English. However, if you think this sounds a bit unnatural to include this på norsk, then I will leave it off.


    I'm happy for you for having friends like that! :)

    Tusen takk for det! :)
     

    Obil Tu

    Senior Member

    Just out of curiosity, why would it be "for" instead of "til?"
    Hm. Good question. I think we're more restrictive with "til" than English is with "to", and that "til" is used in a sense of "to" and "from" (either directional movement or something like exchange of gifts, for instance) but I realize I can only be very vague about this... Maybe someone else can be clearer?

    Even though as you say, it is "kind of redundant," I think it sounds more personal when I add "to me" in English. However, if you think this sounds a bit unnatural to include this på norsk, then I will leave it off.
    Personally I think I would leave it out, yes, just because I think it sounds a little odd, but it's by no means wrong :)
     

    Grefsen

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    Personally I think I would leave it out, yes, just because I think it sounds a little odd, but it's by no means wrong :)
    I'm going to take you advice and just "leave it out."

    One thing I neglected to ask about before was the use of venn vs. venninne. Do you always use venninne for a female friend even if she is just a platonic friend and not your girlfriend?
     

    vestfoldlilja

    Senior Member
    Norwegian
    Til/for

    I’m not sure how well I will be able to explain it, but I’ll give it a try.

    Til - jeg vil gi den til han – I will give it to him/ I want to give it to him)
    For - jeg vil være her for deg – I want to be here for you/I will be here for you)

    We use til, when we want to express that something is for/to or from someone, and for, when we want to express an active gesture/act/way of being from/between someone to someone else/towards someone.

    Venn/venninne

    This probably differs between generations, and maybe from place to place, but I have a feeling venninne is more and more less used these days.

    Venn does not have to refer to a male friend, and can just as well be a girl. Venninne is as you say, only a term for female friends, but a distinction is not needed. I prefer venn for both genders myself.

    One wouldn’t really use venn og venninne to describe someone as your boyfriend/girlfriend, that is more an old fashioned way of getting around having to say kjæreste.

    More common these days are type for boyfriend and dame for girlfriend, though I must say I still like kjæreste best and I’m glad that word is still around.
     

    vestfoldlilja

    Senior Member
    Norwegian
    You're welcome, I'm glad you got something out of it.

    And I just I want to make some things more clear:

    In earlier days venn were used only to describe male friends, and venninne female, but as I said venn is nowadays used for both genders. (We see this in other words that has typically had two versions referring to different genders. The feminine version is usually the one lost, or at least most seldom used, and that is probably because in many cases these words were made specifically as female work titles that differed from the male ones. It is recommended to use words that are gender neutral these days, especially if the context can be understood as negative if one does not.)

    If one want to make a distinction one can of course do so using venn/venninne, or one can say kamerat if it’s a male friend. Typically that was more used between male friends, but it’s now also common for females to refer to their male friends as kamerater as well. Or one can make it clear in the sentence which gender the friend is, but this is most likely later shown with pronouns.

    I feel I made it sound like kjæreste is not very much in use any more, which was not my intent. Kjæreste is still the most common expression for boyfriend/girlfriend. Type and dame, that I mentioned were usually used among teens, but now it’s a relaxed way of saying kjæreste, without having to make such a big deal out of it, for older people as well.
     

    Obil Tu

    Senior Member
    Til - jeg vil gi den til han – I will give it to him/ I want to give it to him)
    I just wanted to point out for the sake of the non-native forum users that the traditionally correct object form in bokmål is "ham", not "han". For some years, "han" has been regarded as correct as the object form as well as the subject form, but in my personal experience many still consider it as substandard. In nynorsk it's the only option, however!

    Also, I submit that "Jeg vil gi den til ham" cannot mean "I will give it to him". This sounds like a typical English speaker's mistake. "I will give it to him" would be translated with "jeg kommer til å gi den til ham" or "jeg skal gi den til ham" (or actually, more naturally still, "jeg kommer til å/skal gi ham den", unless you emphasize "ham").
     

    vestfoldlilja

    Senior Member
    Norwegian
    I really should know when to use ham/han, but I admit, my knowledge of when to use ham/han is very lacking. I’ll try to remember how it is from now on. :)

    Jeg vil gi den til ham

    I agree that the most natural thing to say in Norwegian are "jeg kommer til å gi den til ham" or "jeg skal gi den til ham".

    I still think it can be translated as ”I will give it to him”, I especially see this if it’s an answer to a question. “Hvem av dere viI gi det til ham?” – “jeg vil gi det til ham”.

    Of course it's possible that is all in my head.
     

    Obil Tu

    Senior Member
    I really should know when to use ham/han, but I admit, my knowledge of when to use ham/han is very lacking. I’ll try to remember how it is from now on. :)
    Well, the thing is, it's not wrong (anymore!). But if you do want to make the distinction, think about when you'd use "meg" instead of "jeg": In those places you'd use "ham" instead of "han". (That's what I tell non-native friends and it seems to be helpful!)
    Jeg vil gi den til ham

    I agree that the most natural thing to say in Norwegian are "jeg kommer til å gi den til ham" or "jeg skal gi den til ham".

    I still think it can be translated as ”I will give it to him”, I especially see this if it’s an answer to a question. “Hvem av dere viI gi det til ham?” – “jeg vil gi det til ham”.

    Of course it's possible that is all in my head.
    I agree that "jeg skal/kommer til å gi den til ham" becomes "I will give it to him" in English. But "å ville" in Norwegian implies will (as it were) or intention, which becomes "to want to" in English. At least for me that distinction is quite clear.
     

    Huffameg

    Senior Member
    Norwegian - nynorsk
    I just wanted to point out for the sake of the non-native forum users that the traditionally correct object form in bokmål is "ham", not "han". For some years, "han" has been regarded as correct as the object form as well as the subject form, but in my personal experience many still consider it as substandard. In nynorsk it's the only option, however!

    Also, I submit that "Jeg vil gi den til ham" cannot mean "I will give it to him". This sounds like a typical English speaker's mistake. "I will give it to him" would be translated with "jeg kommer til å gi den til ham" or "jeg skal gi den til ham" (or actually, more naturally still, "jeg kommer til å/skal gi ham den", unless you emphasize "ham").

    As you are pointing out, han is just as right as ham used as object. Even though it's still mandatory to use ho-henne, de-dem, etc., that does not mean that you should do the same thing with han.

    I would also point out that nynorsk uses traditionally honom in the object form which is still correct but less used compared to han. Might I say that this is the same developement?
     
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