Norwegian: aldri så lite

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Linchia

New Member
Lithuanian
Hi!

What does the norwegian expression 'aldri så lite' means?

context: Det var aldri så lite barn han fikk møte. (man describing the situation where he meets his daughter, he never knew about before, already at the age of seven)
source: Tore Renberg, Charlotte Isabel Hansen, not exact quote

Is the meaning that he never met the daughter before, or that she was quite big by then?
Thank you.
 
  • myšlenka

    Senior Member
    Norwegian
    Hi,
    I think it should say Det var et aldri så lite barn han fikk møte.

    It means that she was very small.
     

    raumar

    Senior Member
    Norwegian
    "Aldri så lite" may certainly mean "very small", as myšlenka has explained, but the meaning might depend on the context. The expression is also sometimes used in understatements, as in these examples:

    http://www.dagbladet.no/2014/02/13/sport/ol2014/sotsji2014/langrenn/31793180/

    Here, "en aldri så liten nedtur" is a quite substantial disappointment (they expected Marit Bjørgen to win the gold medal in the Winter Olympics, but she became number 5), and "en aldri så liten smørebom" seems to be a rather serious problem with the ski wax (they still haven't solved it...).

    I am not sure whether your example might be understood as a kind of understatement (meaning that the child wasn't that small, after all). Linchia, do you have the exact quote? That would be useful.
     

    sjiraff

    Senior Member
    English
    http://www.dagbladet.no/2014/02/13/sport/ol2014/sotsji2014/langrenn/31793180/

    Here, "en aldri så liten nedtur" is a quite substantial disappointment (they expected Marit Bjørgen to win the gold medal in the Winter Olympics, but she became number 5), and "en aldri så liten smørebom" seems to be a rather serious problem with the ski wax (they still haven't solved it...).
    So do you just tell from context whether the "aldri så lite/liten" thing is meaning "disappointment" or "very small"? it seems a little ambiguous.
     

    raumar

    Senior Member
    Norwegian
    So do you just tell from context whether the "aldri så lite/liten" thing is meaning "disappointment" or "very small"? it seems a little ambiguous.
    Sorry - my explanation was perhaps not very clear. "Disappointment" was my translation of "nedtur" -- not "aldri så liten". "Aldri så lite/liten" is about the size or degree of something (in this case, the size of the disappointment). My point was that in the skiing examples, "en aldri så liten" should perhaps be translated as "a bit of a", not "a very small".

    My dictionary translates "aldri så lite" as "ever so little". It may be used with a noun, as in these examples, but also as an adverb that qualifies an adjective. For example: "Han var aldri så lite nervøs" - "He was a bit nervous".
     

    sjiraff

    Senior Member
    English
    Sorry - my explanation was perhaps not very clear. "Disappointment" was my translation of "nedtur" -- not "aldri så liten". "Aldri så lite/liten" is about the size or degree of something (in this case, the size of the disappointment). My point was that in the skiing examples, "en aldri så liten" should perhaps be translated as "a bit of a", not "a very small".

    My dictionary translates "aldri så lite" as "ever so little". It may be used with a noun, as in these examples, but also as an adverb that qualifies an adjective. For example: "Han var aldri så lite nervøs" - "He was a bit nervous".

    Ahhh I see, given the topic of the article I actually thought "nedtur" might've literally meant something to do with skiing downward, but I'm guessing it's more figurative like "en nedgang"?.

    So it seems then that it is like saying "quite a bit (of a)..." in English, as you said, to understate something.
     

    Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Can anybody explain how this expression "et/en aldri så lite/liten" was conceived? The meaning can in no way be deduced from the words used in it, so there must have been at least one change of meaning in the history of the expression, or some words were skipped.
     
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