Norwegian: Because you loved me

Discussion in 'Nordic Languages' started by Bails23, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. Bails23 Junior Member

    English
    Hello,

    I want to get a tattoo that says "Because you loved me" in Norwegian. If someone could help me translate that I would greatly appreciate it! Thank you!
     
  2. NorwegianNYC Senior Member

    New York, NY, USA
    Norwegian
    "Fordi du var glad i meg" or "Fordi du elsket med" - same thing
     
  3. KarenRei Senior Member

    Kópavogur
    American English
    While people in this forum are generally quite trustworthy, I strongly advise you against getting a tattoo in a language that you don't speak based on advice from random strangers on the net. If it's meaningful to you that the tattoo be in Norwegian, don't you think that you should learn enough Norwegian to understand it - what each word means, why they're used as they are, why they're declined as they are, etc? Don't you think you should know enough to at least be able to pronounce it? I mean, how do you plan to respond if someone has a question about something about your tattoo - "Oh, I don't know, it's only something I had written permanently on my body, I know nothing about it apart from what some stranger on the net told me it meant."?

    Case in point: http://hanzismatter.blogspot.com/

    Just some friendly advice. :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2012
  4. myšlenka Senior Member

    Norwegian
    The same thing? These two phrases are used in very different situations and circumstances so I disagree. However, it is true that they can be used interchangeably in romantic relations but the second is much stronger. You could say that the second implies the first one, but the opposite implication does not hold.
     
  5. NorwegianNYC Senior Member

    New York, NY, USA
    Norwegian
    Hi Myslenka,

    I believe this forum had a long and interesting debate on this not too long ago (http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=2490792), and timtjf summed up the differences between "elsker" and "glad i" as the following:

     
  6. myšlenka Senior Member

    Norwegian
    I don't know your dialect background but I couldn't see anyone from Western or Central Norway confirm your claim in this thread. I am from the north and I live in the west and the so-called e-word is a concept both places. Words may have different meanings in different dialects of course, but I still wouldn't advise anyone to get a tattoo that said "fordi du elsket meg" unless a romantic relationship was involved.
     
  7. NorwegianNYC Senior Member

    New York, NY, USA
    Norwegian
    The president of the Norwegian Language Council, Sylfest Lomheim, famously stated in an interview, when asked how often he said "jeg elsker deg" to his wife:
    "Aldri."
    "Aldri?"
    "Nei, der jeg kommer fra elsker du fisk, men er glad i kona di - og det sier jeg til henne hver dag"

    My point (through this whole thing) is that in a good chunk of Norway, "elsker" and "glad i" are interchangeable. Some places you will say "elsker deg" to your child, your spouse, your mother, your grandparent, your sibling, your friend; whereas other places you will use "glad i" for some or all of them. You can ask yourself - do you use the same word for all of them? Do you know people who use one form where you would use the other? I am pretty sure you do, because whether "elsker" ranks "glad i" is based on your dialect.

    You mention that you "wouldn't advise anyone to get a tattoo that said "fordi du elsket meg" unless a romantic relationship was involved". That is exactly my point. I think many, but not all Norwegians would agree with you. At the same time, I know people who say "jeg elsker deg" to their siblings, parents and children - which I personally find a little odd, but it obviously makes perfect sense for them.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2012
  8. myšlenka Senior Member

    Norwegian
    I can easily use "kjerring" to refer to any kind of human female, but I would never tell a foreigner that "kjerring" = woman, wife, girl, old hag etc just because my dialect allows it.

    And I am not sure we have the same understanding of "interchangeable". You've described situations in dialects where you would use one or the other (not both), which to me sounds like that they are not interchangeable.

    The use of "elske" that I am used to in relation to siblings, parents and children is a) when someone has died. b) when you use it about them, not to them.

    As for the tattoo in question, I agree with your comment in the other thread. "fordi du var glad i meg/fordi du elsket meg" does not really fit a situation where one's grandfather has passed away.
     
  9. NorwegianNYC Senior Member

    New York, NY, USA
    Norwegian
    :D

    Yes - I was not being clear. I meant 'interchangeable' in the sense 'replaceable', and what I am saying is that in a thorough description of Norwegian, one has to make allowance for the fact that "elske" replaces "glad i", or vice versa, depending on where you are in the country. The inherent meaning of "elske" and "glad i" is relative and subjective, but it tends to be a dialectal thing.

    Which makes more sense to me on a personal level, but I have definitely experienced cases where "elske" has more or less entered all sorts of use
     
  10. myšlenka Senior Member

    Norwegian
    Well, unless there are dialects where elske and være glad i have reversed roles (from my perspective), it seems still to be the case that using elske in the wrong context creates the more serious misunderstanding.

    @Bails23, you are of course free to choose whatever tattoo you like, but I have to agree with KarenRei to some extent. A word-for-word translation is simple enough, but when you add context to it, the choice of words and their meanings can change radically.
     
  11. NorwegianNYC Senior Member

    New York, NY, USA
    Norwegian
    I completely agree with Myslenka. It is not wrong to use either form, but be careful - it is not as easy to say "love" in Norwegian as in English. You often have to qualify or quantify it!
     
  12. Bails23 Junior Member

    English
    Thank you all so much! I appreciate your concern about me getting the tattoo but it is really important to me so if you are ever able to come up with a translation, I would greatly appreciate it!!!
     
  13. NorwegianNYC Senior Member

    New York, NY, USA
    Norwegian
    I am tempted to suggest: "Fordi du var så glad i meg" (but you should wait for second opinions before you break out the ink bottle)
     
  14. KarenRei Senior Member

    Kópavogur
    American English
  15. Bails23 Junior Member

    English
    Ok, the background is that all of my grandparents immigrated to the US from Norway and I was raised by one of my grandpa's since I was 12. If it weren't for him, I would be looking at a much more grim future than what I have now. He basically saved me and gave me a chance to have a happy life and future. I want the tattoo in Norwegian because of the connection that it has, I am Norwegian, my entire family is Norwegian, it is something that I am very proud of and it was something that my grandpa was extremely proud of. I hope this helps!! Thank you all so much for your input already!
     
  16. Bails23 Junior Member

    English
    If it helps, my last name is "Haugen" if that indicates where my grandparents came from and helps with what verb form I should use that would make sense.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012
  17. myšlenka Senior Member

    Norwegian
    Hi Bails23,
    as you can see from the discussion above, using the expression "fordi du elsket meg" would cause the more serious misunderstanding (given that it arises). However, in spite of your family being Norwegian, the tattoo in question with the context provided is not. If I saw someone with a tattoo saying "fordi du var glad i meg" and I was explained that it was in remembrance of his/her grandfather, I would personally find the tattoo odd and out of place.

    NorwegianNYC's suggestion "fordi du var så glad i meg" is maybe better, but it still feels out of place. And just like NorwegianNYC pointed out in the earlier thread, the phrase "fordi du elsket/var glad i meg" sounds more like a lost love than a homage.

    So, all in all: if you are happy with a simple word-for-word translation, then "fordi du var (så) glad i meg" is good enough. The words are certainly Norwegian, but keep in my mind that speakers of Norwegian probably will find it odd. If you want the words to fit the context too, I think you would need to find a different phrase without "elske/være glad i ".
     
  18. NorwegianNYC Senior Member

    New York, NY, USA
    Norwegian
    Hi myslenka and all the rest: I completely agree - "elske" is a quagmire of ambiguity.

    How about: "Fordi du brydde deg (om meg)" or "Fordi du tok deg av meg"? I know we are drifting off the original phrasing, but it is perhaps better
     
  19. myšlenka Senior Member

    Norwegian
    NorwegianNYC,
    I thought about the same thing. Part of the problem as I see it, is that the meaning of Norwegian words is relatively rigid.
     
  20. Bails23 Junior Member

    English
    What does "Fordi du brydde deg (om meg)" and "Fordi du tok deg av meg" translate to? I care more about the meaning of the words than the exact translation so if that offers any other phrases, I would appreciate it! Thank you!
     
  21. myšlenka Senior Member

    Norwegian
    Fordi du brydde deg (om meg) - because you cared (about me)
    Fordi du tok deg av meg - because you took care of me

    There are probably better and more creative ways of expressing what you want, but I am in no position to tell you what tattoo to get because it's a very private matter. I should probably not let my personal opinions interfere in this, but I suggest that you reconsider the Norwegian tattoo thing. If I were in the same position and wanted a tattoo in Norwegian like that, I would spend a lot of time on finding the perfect phrase.... and I speak the language.
     
  22. torrobin Senior Member

    Norway
    Norwegian
    Hi Bails23,
    I was just reading this thread now and I have an input: what about simply tattooing only one word, the word 'Kjærlighet'? Which means 'love'. Then you'll get the word 'love' and you'll get a genuine Norwegian word.

    And the word 'kjærlighet' is as I find it, very inclusive. 'Kjær' means 'dear' and 'kjærlighet' is a word that I believe most Norwegians find endearing.

    << YouTube links are not allowed [Rule 4]. ;) >>


    torrobin
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 15, 2013
  23. Bails23 Junior Member

    English
    Thank you so much torrobin!!! That would work perfect!!!!
     
  24. torrobin Senior Member

    Norway
    Norwegian
    I'm glad you liked it! :)
     

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