Danish, Norwegian, Swedish: Ingen vanskeligheter mer…

serbianfan

Senior Member
British English
Sounds good, doesn’t it? No more difficulties! But unfortunately it’s not so simple - now you have to rise to the occasion, because all your “vanskeligheter” have become “utfordringer”! The n-graphs for both Norwegian and English show a very clear picture. “Challenges” has replaced “difficulties” to quite an extent in English (especially in American English), but in Norwegian it’s even more extreme: “utfordringer” has really kicked “vanskeligheter” to the bottom of the graph!

In both countries the sharp rise of “challenges/utfordringer” began in the 1980s, which fits in with my experience: when I lived in Norway in the 1970s, people only had “vanskeligheter”, “vansker” and “problemer”.

Well, I’ve got nothing against the word “utfordringer” but there is (or should be) a difference in meaning from “vanskeligheter”. “Vanskeligheter” is a relatively neutral word, while “utfordringer” suggests the person can/should do something about the problems. So if you start using “utfordringer” instead of “vanskeligheter” all the time, this difference is lost.

Has there been a similar development in Danish and Swedish?
 
  • PoulBA

    Senior Member
    Danish
    På dansk har man stort set ikke længer problemer, men udelukkende udfordringer hvis man er med på newspeak-noderne.
    Til gengæld kan man nu være i problemer; tidligere var man i vanskeligheder hvis man havde problemer eller genvordigheder.
    En anden anglicisme i fremgang er "lykkes med at" svarende til "succeed in" på bekostning af den traditionelle dativ-konstruktion: Det lykkes ham at ...
     

    Svenke

    Senior Member
    Norwegian
    Nasjonalbiblioteket har et flott hjelpemiddel for å finne ut av slikt. Bildet viser utviklinga for problem, utfordring og vanske (alle bøyingsformer) i bøker på bokmål.
    utfordring.png
     
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