Danish - næsten lige


Senior Member
A man /priest/ is introducing a newcomer to his new home:​
"Ja og det er vores lille kirke. Nu skal du næsten lige se denne her også. Det er vores æbletræ. Og det er vi rigtig stolte af."​
I wonder if you can translatate this like: "You have to see this right now." or "You have to see this very thing." Or something else?​
  • I think it can be translated as "Now you should just see this as well". "Næsten" is literally 'almost', but here I would say it's an expression of politeness to soften the strict modal "skal". "Lige" is hard to translate; I've used "just" here. I think it it signals that they are going to do something else (maybe more important), but first they'll "just" have a quick look at the apple tree.
    From your explanation @Svenke, I think a good translation would be "Now you might as well see this too"

    Here "as well" means "equally well", and I am guessing that "lige" literally translates as "equal" or "same".
    I an not Danish, but I don't think your translation is quite right, winenous. Rejzko's original translation in post 1 was too enthusiastic about seeing the apple tree, but your version seems a bit too indifferent. I think Svenke's solution is good.

    "Now you might as well see this too" would work as a translation of the Norwegian sentence "Nå kan du like gjerne se denne også", but that is quite different from the Danish sentence in post #1. The problem is that "lige" in "Nu skal du næsten lige se denne her også" can't be translated to Norwegian as "like" (or "like gjerne"). I think "lige" in this context should be translated to Norwegian as "bare", so it does not really mean "equal/same".

    Lige" is hard to translate; I've used "just" here. I think it it signals that they are going to do something else (maybe more important), but first they'll "just" have a quick look at the apple tree.

    I agree, and I would just add that the word "lige" seems to convey two different meanings at the same time, both related to "just": "merely, only" and "right now, at this very instant". I hope a native Danish speaker could join us and tell us whether I'm right.
    Fair enough @raumar. Maybe I was too hung up on the Norwegian "like".

    Without really wanting to exactly argue though, I think "might as well" can convey a whole spectrum of levels of enthusiam, depending on tone of voice. I checked dictionaries before I posted and admit they did mention it implied reluctance - but I respectfully disagree :)
    The sentence in the OP is idiomatic with a very specific meaning and intention, which may be hard to fully explain, but I'd like to add the following to the otherwise excellent comments and explanations above,

    Skulle is a fairly versatile modal verb used in commands (frequently with emphasis, du skal være færdig i aften) or to indicate an obligation/encouragement (du skulle (=burde) ringe til din bedstemor). It is also used (without emphasis) to form the simple future tense (jeg skal til København i næste uge).

    Nu skal du næsten lige se denne dette her også (referring to the apple tree, æbletræet)

    In the example above we can argue whether it is a polite command of sorts, like a friendly suggestion, or if it just indicates that the action will take place in the (near) future. Regardless, the modal verb is significantly softened not just by "lige", i.e. du skal lige komme herhen, but by "næsten lige," which makes the statement sound more encouraging/inviting than commanding, i.e. du skal næsten lige høre denne her sang.

    Lige in this context is an adverb, modifying the modal verb and implies, as raumar says, "something minimal, "only" and "quickly, swiftly before you do something else". Lige is used with a plethora of nuances and meanings in Danish, frequently modifying modal verbs (e.g. skulle, ville, måtte) to minimize their otherwise stronger, commanding qualities. Please see here for more examples: lige,3 — Den Danske Ordbog

    Næsten adds an element of uncertainty, almost as if the speaker were open to other suggestions including being turned down. In this example it modifies 'lige'.

    To convey the same type of a subtly polite suggestion in English, I think what comes closest is,
    [...] Nu skal du næsten lige se dette her også. [...]
    [...] Now you might also want to see this. This is our apple tree. [...]

    This is, of course, different from 'you might as well see this', which sounds too indifferent to my ear.

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    Thank you all! You are right that my translation was maybe too enthusiastic. But the thing is the speaker is very enthusiastic about the apple tree. Maybe he downplays his enthusiasm a bit.
    This is a non figurative filler making a nondemanding submissive suggestion to present a hobby without expressing pride or demanding it
    >And now upon giving you this tour in our church you almost sertainly would like to see this It is an endo origin Danish figurative term that is non translateble but is an indirect way of expressing indirectly pride and wish to brag about an aquirement or feature from a person bound by obiding the ten commandments as Woman and Man one having shitty parents and would avoid a premature meeting >You almost sertainly would not like to meet the folks home This is mostly dominant within cristrianic churces monestaries or community houses door
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    okay, and this is our little church. Now, you ought to see this as well, it's our apple tree, and we are really proud of it.