Norwegian: å prøve seg frem

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dukaine

Senior Member
English - American
I'm curious about the use of "frem" here, why it's there and what it means.

Å lage mat gjør meg glad.. utrolig nok. Jeg er ikke flink, men jeg liker å høre podcast, tenne lys og lage mat. Det å prøve seg frem er gøy, men det er ekstra gøy å lage noe jeg vet smaker godt!
 
  • winenous

    Senior Member
    English - British
    Å prøve seg frem would in that context be very loosely translated into English as to try out new things. But frem (forward) conveys the idea of moving forwards or advancing. In other contexts the phrase could mean to feel your way.
     

    dukaine

    Senior Member
    English - American
    Å prøve seg frem would in that context be very loosely translated into English as to try out new things. But frem (forward) conveys the idea of moving forwards or advancing. In other contexts the phrase could mean to feel your way.
    Thanks so much, excellent explanation!
     

    raumar

    Senior Member
    Norwegian
    I agree that "å prøve seg fram" could be translated as "try out new things" in this context. But winenous is right in pointing out that the basic meaning is "to feel your way", and I would only use "å prøve seg fram" if this element is present. There should be some experimenting -- some uncertainty about the result.

    If you just try out a new recipe, I would not call that "å prøve seg fram". But if you add some new ingredients that aren't mentioned in the recipe, "å prøve seg fram" would be a good description.

    I would also use "å prøve seg fram" if the recipe is vague and leaves some decisions to the cook. For example, if it just says "add some water" without saying exactly how much.
     
    Last edited:

    raumar

    Senior Member
    Norwegian
    Many Norwegian words have alternative spellings, and "frem"/"fram" is one of those. Both are accepted in Bokmål, while Nynorsk only accepts "fram". "Frem" is mainly used in more conservative versions of Bokmål.

    I use "fram" myself, so that is why I wrote "prøve seg fram".
     

    dukaine

    Senior Member
    English - American
    Many Norwegian words have alternative spellings, and "frem"/"fram" is one of those. Both are accepted in Bokmål, while Nynorsk only accepts "fram". "Frem" is mainly used in more conservative versions of Bokmål.

    I use "fram" myself, so that is why I wrote "prøve seg fram".
    Thanks so much! Great explanation above, also, thank you.
     

    winenous

    Senior Member
    English - British
    Thanks @raumar. It is always good to have confirmation from a native speaker, and further nuances explained.

    BTW, I learned Norwegian from a 1940s textbook that was very antiquated in many ways, even in the 80s when I used it. But it still taught a more modern Norwegian than the one used by Aftenposten when I arrived in Oslo in 82. And here we have a podcast listener that still uses a conservative form. These things can be very confusing for the learner - and that's before you start throwing nynorsk and dialect forms into the mix.
     

    bicontinental

    Senior Member
    English (US), Danish, bilingual
    Å prøve seg frem in Norwegian/at prøve sig frem in Danish...

    Det å prøve seg frem er gøy, men det er ekstra gøy å lage noe jeg vet smaker godt!
    Trial and error is fun but it´s more fun to make something I know will taste/tastes good!
     
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