Norwegian Bokmål: betale (for) seg?

Discussion in 'Nordic Languages' started by Al-Indunisiy, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. Al-Indunisiy Junior Member

    Are 'betale for seg' and 'betale seg' essentially the same in meaning? Or do they have different idiomatic significations?
  2. NorwegianNYC

    NorwegianNYC Senior Member

    New York, NY, USA
    No - it is not the same. Change person, and you will see it:

    No. "du må betale for deg" = Eng. "you must pay [for yourself]" - such as dues, tickets, fines, contributions etc. that you pay someone else for your presence or something you have done/attended
    No. "du må betale deg" = Eng. "you must pay yourself" - salary etc you pay to yourself
  3. Al-Indunisiy Junior Member

    If I understand it correctly, does the former imply "on behalf of one's self"? Does the later imply pure reflexive meaning (pay to one's self) or does it also share the "on behalf of one's self" nuance to a degree?

    I've looked for examples of the later and it seems to imply so, is it correct? Does it also imply a deed will pay off by only the virtue of doing it?

    "Konseptet om at noen vil betale seg ut av ensomhet i julen..."
    "Gjør en innsats, det vil betale seg."
    "Humor betaler seg"
    "Videreutdanning betaler seg."
    "Må betaler seg fri fra tortur"
  4. Al-Indunisiy Junior Member

    Plus, is there a subtle meaning behind the difference between plain "betale" and "betale for seg"? Perhaps an emphasis?
  5. NorwegianNYC

    NorwegianNYC Senior Member

    New York, NY, USA
    Correct, the former is to 'pay on the behalf of oneself', whereas the latter is 'pay smth TO oneself'.

    Du må betale for deg means that you have to pay what you owe or ought to/can/must contribute. However, in 3rd person, there are two ways of looking at it:
    (1) Han må betale for seg means that he will have to pay his share, dues or contributions (simlar to "du må..."): (similar to) "noen betaler seg ut av ensomhet" = some pay to get (themselves) out of loneliness;
    (2) Without a physical subject, the meaning is often similar to English "pays off" (i.e. "pays for itself"). Such as: "gjør en innsats - det betaler seg" = make an effort - it pays off; "Humor betaler seg" = humor pays off; "Videreutdanning betaler seg" = continuing education pays off

    Yes, I'd say so. "Betale for seg" is more direct. It means that you too have to pay your part or dues. "Betale" is to pay in general. "Betale for seg" is something you do to 'make things right'.
  6. NorwegianNYC

    NorwegianNYC Senior Member

    New York, NY, USA
    Yes - isn't that the conclusion we reached above? It does not really matter what person we use. The difference between "betale for xxx" and "betale xxx" is the same regardless.:)

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