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Norwegian: gamle

Discussion in 'Nordic Languages' started by kanakanake, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. kanakanake

    kanakanake New Member

    Hi! I would appreciate your help here.
    What does the phrase "takk for det gamle" mean?
    I know the meaning of each word separately but together they don't make sense.

    Thank you :)
  2. NorwegianNYC Senior Member

    New York, NY, USA
    It is an eroded form of "thank you for (what we had/shared) in the old (year)". - i.e. it is something you say on New Year's Eve or there about. Norwegian has a number of eroded expressions that were once much longer, such as "takk for sist", "vær så god", "hade" and "ingen årsak"
  3. kanakanake

    kanakanake New Member

    Tussen takk! :)
  4. Skitlus New Member


    "Ha det bra" is still used by most Norwegians today, alternatively they'll say "Ha det"; I've noticed that the spelling "hade" is becoming more and more common, and I die a little on the inside every time.
    The word "hade" makes no sense, and it's pronunciation would be something akin to "hage"

    Tusen means 'thousand'; Tussen is the definite form of tusse, which is a subterranean creature from Norwegian folklore. :D
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2012
  5. NorwegianNYC Senior Member

    New York, NY, USA
    Well, skitlus - regardless of your personal preferences, "hade" is a word that is increasingly common, and perhaps poised to be the common form within a generation or two. We might argue that usage does not define correctness, but usage certainly defines the future.
  6. Skitlus New Member

    And regardless of your preferences, "hade" is still a typo.
    How'd you react if you saw someone claim that a typo is the standard, or that "u" is an acceptable way of spelling "you" because they sound the same?

    I'd rather not see my native language devolve into illogical nonsense, such as "hade".
  7. NorwegianNYC Senior Member

    New York, NY, USA
    I am not quite sure what to say. Norwegian - as indeed any language - is constantly developing. Whether "hade" is becoming the dominant form, is not up to you. It is determined by usage. Norwegian is not a very normative language - we do not even have a standard spoken form! I am sure people said the same thing about losing the -th- sound, not pronouncing the final -g in -ig words, saying "trettito" instead of "to-og-tredve", dropping "De" and "Dem" and using "sin" as possessive form. If it happens, it happens, and there is nothing we can do about it. "Hade" is on its way regardless of our sentiments.
  8. Skitlus New Member

    Sure, I'll give you a point for that: Languages do change over time; however, you can not prove that "hade" will ever become an accepted form. (Nor can I prove that it won't)
    I do however hope that you can see how ludicrous of a claim you are making, when you tell someone that a typo is correct now because it might be considered correct 20-30 years from now.
  9. NorwegianNYC Senior Member

    New York, NY, USA
    In an at least semi-intellectual debate, I will attempt not to cross the line, but instead explain it to you more directly:

    "takk for det gamle", which started this thread, is an eroded form of a longer phrase. There are many examples of such eroded forms in Norwegian. I mentioned that a high frequency term such as "ha det bra/fint/godt" quickly became "ha det", and since this again is a nonsensical phrase (it has no inherent, only an assumed meaning), it is in the process of becoming simply "hade". As 'ludicrous' as you find my 'claim', a quick google search will reveal that "hade" - in all its fallacy - is already well established in writing, although with (predictably) far fewer hits than the two other forms (neither "hadet" nor "ha det" are official forms either). Thus it has already made the leap from colloquial speech into print.

    This development parallels the erosion of Middle English "God be with thee" > "godbwye" > "good-by" > "good bye" > "goodbye" > "bye". The fact "hade" is not an approved form, is not because comparative evidence does not suggest it will be one day, but simply the inherent conservatism of the written language. "Hade" is NOT a typo. It is a deliberate shortening of an already shortened phrase. I do not know when or if it will be officially 'sanctioned', but one of the key principles in historical linguistics is that if you have two equal or similar forms, the easier form will prevail. A parallel development in Norwegian is "god morgen" > "go'moren" > g'morn" > "morn", and "morn" has already entered the dictionaries.

    Again - "hade" is not a typo. It is like "morn" and "bye" a high frequency phrase that has eroded, and will probably - if the principles of linguistics are valid - keep on eroding. It is not a quiestion of what we like and dislike - it is evolution
  10. Skitlus New Member

    Yes, but unlike "morn", you can not find "hade" in a single dictionary, and until then it is considered to be wrong in most formal situations.
    Again, I've never said that languages do not evolve, although I have pointed out that you couldn't get away with a typo (or slang, or whatever you'd refer to it as) by telling your teacher or professor that "it might be like that in a generation or two because the language evolves".
    Try telling someone that the following sentence is correct, because there's a bunch of people that make these typos everyday:
    "Jeg å beste far å beste mor skall ut for og plokke epler"

    Until "hade" is a word in the dictionary, you should at least add that it is listed in any dictionary, and that it is considered as very informal or even a typo, when you teach people to use it.

    And I do indeed consider it a typo; I've never heard anyone pronounce "ha det" with the same stress as "hage", so there's no logic behind "hade" except laziness or stupidity.
  11. NorwegianNYC Senior Member

    New York, NY, USA
    Dictionaries record words that are being used, not words one ought to use. They are descriptive, not normative! A words does not have to be 'approved' to enter the dictionary, it needs to be recorded and in accordance with the established orthographic guideline of the respective language. You describe "hade" as (qv.) 'illogical nonsense' - which in itself is a fallacy, since it is an absolutely logical development. The phrase "ha det" is the nonsensical one, and it has already entered the dictionaries. The widespread use of "hade" will inevitably lead to its inclusion - we just cannot predict when (unless Norwegian language policies all of sudden turn normative, that is). A typo is an erroneous spelling, but this is not about the misspelling of a word. This is about a trend where one makes a conscious decision to alter an expression. We might dislike it and frown upon it, but you know as well as me that it happens all the time. I am confident "far" was once considered equally 'wrong', since it is nothing but an eroded form of "fader". However, the fact that people kept using it, and writing it, made it acceptable.

    The example you give: "Jeg å beste far å beste mor skall ut for og plokke epler", is unfortunately not valid, since (1) "bestefar" and "bestemor" are compounds according to Norwegian orthography, (2) "å" is the infinitive marker is not phonetically equal to the conjunction "og", (3) the same is (historically) the case with "skal" and "skall" (albeit in mordern Norwegian, the distinction is more or less gone), and (4) "plokke" and "plukke" are not pronounced the same, due to the orthographic and phonetic rules regarding long and short -u-.

    As for your final point - whether you pronounce "hade" like "hage" is a matter of dialectal distinction. The 5 main dialect groups in Norway are not conform when it comes to the use of pitch, meaning certain dialects will probably use the same pitch, whereas others will differ. Norwegian pitch accent is often described by the two terms "bønder" and "bønner". However, these two words are pronounced differently all over Norway (in terms of pitch), and since there is no standard spoken Norwegian, and no normative dialect, there is no way to tell which is right.
  12. timtfj

    timtfj Senior Member

    Northwest England
    UK English
    Sorry to butt in, but I've read the whole thread several times and NorwegianNYC seems to have been very careful NOT to say that hade is "correct", and he doesn't mention teaching people to use it. He merely says that it exists, as an example of the erosion process---which it clearly does since you're both discussing it.

    As for pronunciation---both Norwegian and English contain words with anomalous spellings. If hade one day becomes an accepted form, it will be one of those exceptions. The anomalous spelling preserves the derivation of the word: in this case, the fact that it's been shortened from ha det. Maybe adding an apostrophe to give hade' would represent the situation more accurately. Including the -t (Hadet!) would misleadingly make the word look like a past participle ("I've now hade'd it!"). I'm guessing that this is why people choose to omit it: the word looks more grammatically sensible without the -t.

    And which is more logical in a language: a two-word phrase whose literal meaning ("have it") is nothing like its actual meaning, or a two-syllable word which has acquired the correct meaning for the situation?

    None of this seems lazy or stupid to me. It seems like an an experiment in finding a suitable spelling for a new word. Not an accidental misspelling, but a deliberate respelling done for logical reasons.
  13. kanakanake

    kanakanake New Member

    Skitlus, I didn't know that tusse is a creature! Takk for det ;)
  14. StunningNorway Junior Member

    English - Australia


    Is it possible for you to write the evolution of the phrases, "takk for sist", "vær så god" and "ingen årsak"? I would find it useful for better understanding the usage of these phrases.

    Incidentally, I am already familiar with "hade" because sometimes younger Norwegians sign off their emails to me, using this term.

    Takk :)
  15. NorwegianNYC Senior Member

    New York, NY, USA

    There are several possible explanations for all of them, but I will take it from the top.
    "takk for sist" is really a shortened form of "takk for sist gang vi møttes", meaning you state that you recognize the person in front of you by making a reference to your previous meeting. It is a somewhat odd phrase, since you do not refer to the pleasure of meeting again, but rather gratitude of having met before.
    "være så god" is probably short for "vær så god (i.e. "snill") å ta imot denne", that is please be so kind to accept this. The sentiment of the expression is a surprising (by Norwegian standards) display of servitude: 'I know this does not mean anything for someone like you, but I will be honored if you accepted it'.
    "ingen årsak" can mean a number of things. It literally means no reason, so an approximation of the original phrase is "det er ingen årsak for å takke meg" = there is no reason (for you) to thank me. The sentiment is 'this was nothing, you do not have to show me gratitude'.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2012
  16. perevoditel Junior Member

    @NorwegianNYC isn't "vær så god og ta imot denne" more correct?

    @StunningNorway most Norwegians write phonetic in a dialect they actually use.

    @Both-of-you I know people that would say "hadet", not "hade", and I think we should use standardized forms of writing.
  17. myšlenka Senior Member

    when you say you know people who would say "hadet", does that mean they pronounce the final -t?
  18. perevoditel Junior Member

    Yes, that is what I mean.
  19. myšlenka Senior Member

    Where do these people come from? For all I know there might be dialects where it is pronounced but I have never ever heard the -t pronounced in "ha det".
  20. perevoditel Junior Member

    Hordaland ;)
  21. NorwegianNYC Senior Member

    New York, NY, USA
    I do not doubt for a second that certain dialects actually say "hadet", but I know for a fact (and I have a feeling myslenka feels the same way) that the by far more common pronunciation of "hadet" is "hade" (without -t)
  22. StunningNorway Junior Member

    English - Australia

    Thank you so much for your explanations, Norwegian NYC.

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