Norwegian: ser mye i taket

Discussion in 'Nordic Languages' started by jm88, Jul 12, 2013.

  1. jm88 Senior Member

    Oslo, Norge
    Chinese
    Hei,
    Jeg er litt forvirret av "ser mye i taket". Betyr det at "I see much in the roof", ikke sant? Så hun er ikke utenom rommet og går på taket for å se?

    Tusen takk for hjelpen!
     
  2. raumar Senior Member

    Oslo, Norway
    Norwegian
    På norsk skiller vi ikke mellom roof og ceiling; begge deler er tak. Her snakker hun om det innvendige taket, altså ceiling. Vi kan kanskje oversette "ser mye i taket" med noe i retning av "spends much time staring into the ceiling". Det er kanskje ikke helt ordrett, men burde få fram meningen.
     
  3. jm88 Senior Member

    Oslo, Norge
    Chinese
    Takk skal du ha, raumar!
     
  4. frugihoyi Senior Member

    Copenhagen
    English - USA, Portuguese - Brazil
    Staring at the ceiling. You can't stare into the ceiling. But this is the Scandinavian language forum so that's neither here nor there ;-)
     
  5. NorwegianNYC Senior Member

    New York, NY, USA
    Norwegian
    frugihoyi - It is a good point. Prepositions are the hardest things to translate, since no language treat them the same. "I" in Norwegian means "in, into, in the middle of, in amongst, in the area/surface are of, in the [body] of", so staring "in" the ceiling in Norwegian, makes perfect sense, since it describes a surface.
     
  6. raumar Senior Member

    Oslo, Norway
    Norwegian
    My English is certainly not good enough to get the prepositions right. But the reason why I avoided "at" may be relevant for jm88's question. In this case, "på" would be wrong in Norwegian: "se i taket" and "se på taket" are two different things.

    "Se på taket" means to look at, or take a look at, the ceiling/roof (for example to see if it needs to be repaired or painted). "Se i taket" means to look that way because you don't really have anywhere else to look, or because you want to avoid looking directly at somebody; you are not really interested in the ceiling.

    This distinction is made by using different prepositions in Norwegian. I suppose that we have to use different verbs to express this distinction in English - or can any prepositions handle this difference?
     
  7. frugihoyi Senior Member

    Copenhagen
    English - USA, Portuguese - Brazil
    I agree, prepositions are hard in any language! Here's how I would translate the two examples:

    Se på taket - Look at the ceiling/roof
    Se i taket - Stare at the ceiling/roof

    So in English it's not the preposition that would change in this instance; it's the verb itself.
     

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