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Norwegian: stronger version of "bare hyggelig"

Discussion in 'Nordic Languages' started by timtfj, Jun 11, 2013.

  1. timtfj

    timtfj Senior Member

    Northwest England
    UK English
    (I wasn't sure whether to start a new thread for this or to continue the old you're very welcome thread. I've opted for a new thread.)

    I'm familiar with exchanges like this:


    • Takk for det! ("Thanks for that!")
    • Bare hyggelig! ("You're welcome!")

    My understanding is that bare hyggelig is a standard, polite way of responding to being thanked, like you're welcome is in English. However, there are situations where I want to express something rather stronger: for example when what the person has thanked me for is something I was enthusiastic to do anyway. Is there a good Norwegian equivalent to phrases like You're very, very welcome or It's the very least I could do! ? I want something which expresses not just polite acknowledgement, but warmth and enthusiasm. Something that emphasises that the response is heartfelt and not merely said out of politeness.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Norway
    Polish
    Norwegians are extremely preocupied with being natural and not sounding affected or grandiloquent. That's why such expressions are so rare, that I can't think of any typical one (maybe my limited experience, despite long time residence). If I should express something like that you describe, I would say "det var en glede å få gjort det", or "det var det minste jeg kunne gjøre" (quite diferent meaning though). But let's wait for the native speakers.

    I think that the usual way of strengthening the message, without sounding grandiloquent, would be the intonation and body language accompanying the words. It is also possible to add an introduction like "Nei, men, det var bare hyggelig", or "Nei, hør du, det var bare hyggelig".
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2013
  3. NorwegianNYC Senior Member

    New York, NY, USA
    Norwegian
    "Bare hyggelig" is endemic in Norwegian. Like so many other things, it is not about what you say, but how you say it. I personally use various shades of "bare hyggelig" for everything.
     
  4. vthebee Junior Member

    English- Ireland
    I am only learning Norwegian myself but could ingen årsak be used? Maybe not though, I'm not sure.
     
  5. timtfj

    timtfj Senior Member

    Northwest England
    UK English
    So... from your reply and Ben Jamin's it sounds as though the only way to add emphasis in writing (other than emoticons) is to say it explicitly in the surrounding words. I've been jokingly using phrases like "Mye mer enn bare hyggelig!", but on the assumption that they're more like wordplay than like any real Norwegian expression. I hoped there might be common ways of adding a few words to bare hyggelig to strengthen it, but it sounds as though there aren't.
     
  6. timtfj

    timtfj Senior Member

    Northwest England
    UK English
    I know I've used ingen årsak occasionally and it's been received the same way as bare hyggelig, but it certainly looks easier to strengthen: how about absolutt ingen årsak or ingen årsak som helst?
     
  7. raumar Senior Member

    Oslo, Norway
    Norwegian
    Ben Jamin is right -- Norwegians often use understatement, also when we try to be polite. So you do not necesarily need a stronger version. Ingen årsak is a set phrase, and it does not really work to add anything.

    But if you want to say something like "It was obvious that I should help you, and there is absolutely no need to thank me", then det skulle bare mangle might be an option. See this thread:
    http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=697577
     
  8. timtfj

    timtfj Senior Member

    Northwest England
    UK English
    Thanks---that does seem to come a little closer. What I really want to imply (translated fairly literally) is something like Bare hyggelig! Det ønsker jeg alltid å gjøre for deg, og jeg nyter å gjøre det og håper jeg får gjort det igjen. So without the ability to use tone of voice, it's hard to see how to say it unambiguously with a standard formula.
     
  9. myšlenka Senior Member

    Norwegian
    Or maybe even gleden er på min side :)
     
  10. timtfj

    timtfj Senior Member

    Northwest England
    UK English
    Yes, that comes closest so far, I think! (When read literally, at least.) That does at least make me feel that I'm expressing some warmth along with the basic acknowledgement.
     
  11. NorwegianNYC Senior Member

    New York, NY, USA
    Norwegian
    raumar and myslenka are entirely correct, but when I say that "bare hyggelig" has become endemic, it is because phrases like "gleden er på min side", "det skulle bare mangle" and even "ingen årsak" are often (in modern-day Norwegian) replaced by the more boring "bare hyggelig". Do not get me wrong on this - there is nothing wrong in using "gleden er på min side", "det skulle bare mangle" and "ingen årsak", but you will sound a tad bit dated, and even solemn. Variants of "bare hyggelig", or "ikke noe problem", "det går fint", "det går bra", "hyggelig å kunne hjelpe deg" and "selvfølgelig" are prevalent.
     

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