Norwegian: Jeg skal til Bergen.

Discussion in 'Nordic Languages' started by janesaddiction, Sep 22, 2013.

  1. janesaddiction New Member

    - Bor du ikke her i Oslo?
    - Nei. Jeg er har på ferie.
    - (1) Hvorfor skal du til Grefsen?

    - Skal du reise til Bergen?
    - (2) Ja, jeg skal til Bergen.

    - Hvorfor reiser du til Bergen?
    - (3) Jeg skal på ferie.

    I've got a question about the meaning of "skal" in those 3 sentences above.
    The first one translates into: "Why shall you to Bergen?"
    The second: "Yes, I shall to Bergen."
    The third: :"I shall on holiday."

    It would make some sense if "skal" meant "shall" & "shall go" depending on the context. Is that so?
  2. raumar Senior Member

    Oslo, Norway
    It is true that we often use "skal" in Norwegian, in sentences where the English translation would be "shall go" or another construction involving "go". Another example is the question "Hvor skal du?" (Where are you going?).

    However, I would perhaps not say that "skal" actually means "shall go". I would rather say that "dra" or "reise" is implied in your Norwegian examples. If we look at your example 2, the word "reise" is optional in both the question and the answer - you can drop it if you like:

    - Skal du [reise] til Bergen?
    - Ja, jeg skal [reise] til Bergen.
  3. Grefsen

    Grefsen Senior Member

    Southern California
    English - United States
    Velkommen til nordiske språkforumet janesaddiction! :thumbsup:
    In this example, I think that har in the second sentence should instead be her.

    I'm sure you meant to write "Why shall you to Grefsen?" :)

    This is something I have wondered about too.

    Good explanation raumar. :thumbsup:

    Would the following exchange also be correct?

    - Reise du til Bergen?
    - Ja, jeg skal til Bergen.
  4. NorwegianNYC Senior Member

    New York, NY, USA
    In Norwegian, the modal auxiliary verbs are stronger than in English today, and truly represents (as the label indicates) a MODE. In other words, skal indicates an intent to do something, and combined with the directional preposition til, the main verb can easily be omitted since it does not represent any semantic difference to the sentence. Therefore, jeg (subject) + skal (intent) + til (direction) + Bergen (object) cannot be misunderstood. Skal does not really mean "shall" in its modern sense, but indicates the mode in which the statement is meant to be understood. Likewise, if it is not you intend, but desire to go to Bergen, you can say jeg vil til Bergen, since vil indicates the desire to do something, and the remainder is a logical consequence.

    Jeg kan norsk means that you are able to understand and speak Norwegian. There is no need to add "snakke". Rationale: Kan indicates (it does not mean, but indicates) have the ability to do something, so jeg kan norsk is broken down to + [have the ability to] + [the Norwegian language]. "Snakke" is therefore reduntant.
  5. raumar Senior Member

    Oslo, Norway
    Thanks for the systematic explanation, NYC!

    The answer to Grefsen's question is yes, but you need an extra "r":
    - Reiser du til Bergen?
  6. NorwegianNYC Senior Member

    New York, NY, USA
    The way to check this in English to make it 3rd person. Reiser du til Bergen = Travel you to Bergen, however: Reiser han til Bergen = Travels he to Bergen. If it takes an -s in 3rd person, it is present tense, and in Norwegian that means the verb will end in an -r.
  7. Grefsen

    Grefsen Senior Member

    Southern California
    English - United States
    Jeg er enig. :thumbsup:

    Beklager! Elementære feil. :eek:
  8. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    You can say in Norwegian "det var en trykkleif".
  9. willem81 Senior Member

    Shakespeare used "shall" in the same way as in Norwegian:

    I have in quick determination
    Thus set it down: he shall with speed to England

    (Shakespeare, "Hamlet")
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2013

Share This Page