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Thread: all Scandinavian languages: værsgo

  1. #1
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    all Scandinavian languages: værsgo

    I'm familiar with usage of værsgo in Danish. Do you say something similar in your language?

    My question is prompted by looking for the Norwegian equivalent without success. I'd guess there should be a similar word in Norwegian and Swedish and maybe Icelandic too?

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    Re: all Scandinavian languages: værsgo

    Swedish has varsågod [vaʂə'gu:d] which, as far as I know, works the same.

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    Re: all Scandinavian languages: værsgo

    The Norwegian equivalent is "værsågod".

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    Re: all Scandinavian languages: værsgo

    We use "Gerðu svo vel" to the same effect (Icelandic is not a Scandinavian language, the Scandinavian languages are descended from the Old Norse and Icelandic is the modern form of that language so something that applies to the Scandinavian languages does not necessarily apply to Icelandic)

    Sigvaldi

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    Re: all Scandinavian languages: værsgo

    If I remember correctly, the Swedish and Danish usage isn't exactly the same.

    The Danish værsgo is what I say at the same time as I give somebody something. I think all four languages have that usage. Furthermore, I think the Swedish varsågod can also be used as "you're welcome" - a reply to "thank you". Danish doesn't have that - the reply would be "selv tak", never værsgo.

    Am I right, Swedes?

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    Re: all Scandinavian languages: værsgo

    Quote Originally Posted by hanne View Post
    Furthermore, I think the Swedish varsågod can also be used as "you're welcome" - a reply to "thank you".
    I don't know about Swedish, but it's very common to use værsågod in this way in Norwegian.

    It's also possible to use "selv takk", but it would be somewhat old-fashioned.
    Last edited by Tech12; 28th December 2010 at 6:52 PM. Reason: small addition.

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    Re: all Scandinavian languages: værsgo

    Quote Originally Posted by Tech12 View Post
    I don't know about Swedish, but it's very common to use værsågod in this way in Norwegian.

    It's also possible to use "selv takk", but it would be somewhat old-fashioned.
    "Varsågod" is also used in Swedish as "you're welcome."

    And let's not forget that "værsgo" in Danish also means "go ahead."
    Does the same apply to the other Scandinavian languages?

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    Re: all Scandinavian languages: værsgo

    Quote Originally Posted by frugihoyi View Post
    "Varsågod" is also used in Swedish as "you're welcome."

    And let's not forget that "værsgo" in Danish also means "go ahead."
    Does the same apply to the other Scandinavian languages?
    Hmm, yeah, you are right. A film- or theatre director would say "værsgo" when they in Hollywood say, "Action".

    In Germany they say "bitte", which also basically means "please".

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    Re: all Scandinavian languages: værsgo

    Quote Originally Posted by frugihoyi View Post
    And let's not forget that "værsgo" in Danish also means "go ahead."
    Does the same apply to the other Scandinavian languages?
    "Varsågod" or "varsågoda" (plural) is a quite common way in Sweden to ask somebody to go ahead at the dinner table, for example. Often you would add something like "varsågoda att ta för er", "varsågod att börja", but "varsågod" would definitely be part of the expression.

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    Re: all Scandinavian languages: værsgo

    Quote Originally Posted by hanne View Post
    If I remember correctly, the Swedish and Danish usage isn't exactly the same.

    The Danish værsgo is what I say at the same time as I give somebody something. I think all four languages have that usage. Furthermore, I think the Swedish varsågod can also be used as "you're welcome" - a reply to "thank you". Danish doesn't have that - the reply would be "selv tak", never værsgo.

    Am I right, Swedes?
    Yes, but many would not. We could instead say "ingen orsak" (no reason (to thank)) or "det var så lite" (it was so little).

    In the region and archipelago of Åland, the saying is "var så vänlig" ((please) be so kind (to accept)).

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    Re: all Scandinavian languages: værsgo

    Shouldn't it be written "vær så god" in Norwegian?

    Yes, it could be used roughly as "go ahead" in Norwegian as well.

    I feel that if you give someone something, you could say "vær så god", but if they thank you before you have said anything (especially if they thank you for doing them a favour) it might be more common to say "ingen årsak". Or is this nitpicking?

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    Re: all Scandinavian languages: værsgo

    Værsgo in Danish is a contraction of Værsågod, meaning "be so good". It is the equivalent of "Here you are!" in English when giving something to someone. Also, it is used at mealtimes when calling people to the table: Værsgo! Dinner is served!

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    Re: all Scandinavian languages: værsgo

    I think the word välbekomme(n) is much more common in Danish than in swedish. I don´t know about Norwegian.

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    Re: all Scandinavian languages: værsgo

    To just reply varsågod when someone thanks you may seem a bit terse, depending on the situation.
    Unless you have simply given someone a pencil, it's more polite to say "ingen orsak", "det var så lite" or similar expressions.

    I remember when Ibrahimovic had done an interview, and the reporter thanked him for his time. Ibrahimovic replied "varsågod", and it struck me as rather brusque.

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    Re: all Scandinavian languages: værsgo

    I don't recognize any such distinction between varsågod and ingen orsak.
    Linguistics is always descriptive. Never prescriptive.

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    Re: all Scandinavian languages: værsgo

    Quote Originally Posted by ValdiSig View Post
    We use "Gerðu svo vel" to the same effect (Icelandic is not a Scandinavian language, the Scandinavian languages are descended from the Old Norse and Icelandic is the modern form of that language so something that applies to the Scandinavian languages does not necessarily apply to Icelandic)

    Sigvaldi
    Wait, what?

    We have "Vertu svo góð/ur að gera e-ð" meaning "Be so kind as to do something". Then we have "Verði þér að góðu" meaning "You're welcome."

  17. #17
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    Re: all Scandinavian languages: værsgo

    Quote Originally Posted by ValdiSig View Post
    We use "Gerðu svo vel" to the same effect (Icelandic is not a Scandinavian language, the Scandinavian languages are descended from the Old Norse and Icelandic is the modern form of that language so something that applies to the Scandinavian languages does not necessarily apply to Icelandic)

    Sigvaldi
    The Germanic language split up into West Nordic and East Nordic, -West Nordic being Icelandic and Faroese and East Nordic being Danish, Swedish and Norwegian.

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