Norwegian: energisk, men samtidig bestemt

Sowka

Forera und Moderatorin
German, Northern Germany
Hello everyone :)

I'm trying to translate the profile of a seal into English. It is a female bearded seal (Bella) that lives in the Polaria in Tromsø. This is the sentence:

"Hun liker nye utfordringer og kan være veldig energisk, men samtidig bestemt og viser klart og tydelig når hun kjeder seg under trening".

Source: Polaria

The problem I have is understanding and translating the words "veldig energisk, men samtidig bestemt".

My attempt: "she can be very energetic, but at the same time resolute"

What do the words "energisk" and "bestemt" mean? I'm wondering about the "men" between them because in my understanding, "energetic" and "resolute" are not opposites. So I guess I may be misunderstanding something. What do you think?

Thank you very much in advance! :)
 
  • winenous

    Senior Member
    English - British
    I think the "men" contrasts everything before that word with everything after, rather than just "energetisk" and "bestemt". Does that make more sense to you?

    And in this context possibly "stubborn" is a better English translation for "bestemt"...?
     

    Sowka

    Forera und Moderatorin
    German, Northern Germany
    Ah, I see -- thank you!

    So it would be something like "She likes new challenges and can be very energetic, but also stubborn".

    This makes sense because the first part of the sentence describes quite positive characteristics, whereas "stubborn" is rather difficult. (I had the impression that the writers wanted to say something like "she is difficult to handle, but we like her nevertheless" ;), but I couldn't find a way to interpret the Norwegian words as I read them in that way).

    Thanks!
     

    winenous

    Senior Member
    English - British
    So it would be something like "She likes new challenges and can be very energetic, but also stubborn".
    Yes, and the whole thing would be "She likes new challenges and can be very energetic, but also stubborn and makes it clear when she is bored with training".

    (I was actually getting a bit hung up with "samtidig", as it is not literally "at the same time", but "also" works well.)
     

    raumar

    Senior Member
    Norwegian
    I agree, but the problem is that "stubborn" is more negative than "bestemt". You may need a more positive way to say "stubborn" - maybe "has a strong will" or something like that.

    If you only had the first part of the sentence, "she likes new challenges and can be very energetic", she would appear to be constantly jumping and swimming around. The second part, in contrast, shows that she is more choosy. She will not agree to do anything, only the things she like.
     

    winenous

    Senior Member
    English - British
    Maybe - I am not sure about the nuances of "bestemt", but I think "stubborn" CAN be used in a more neutral sense, and be very similar to "strong-willed" or "wilful".
     

    Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    I think that most foreigners learning Norwegian have a problem with the meaning of the word "men". It is usually translated to other languages as "but", which implies a contrast between two statements, with the second statement being unexpected. In Norwegian, however, "men" can mean the same as "and", i.e. nothing contrasting nor unexpected involved. Yesterday I passed my 37th year of living in Norway, but I still can't internalize this double usage.
     

    winenous

    Senior Member
    English - British
    I think that most foreigners learning Norwegian have a problem with the meaning of the word "men". It is usually translated to other languages as "but", which implies a contrast between two statements, with the second statement being unexpected. In Norwegian, however, "men" can mean the same as "and", i.e. nothing contrasting nor unexpected involved. Yesterday I passed my 37th year of living in Norway, but I still can't internalize this double usage.
    Can you give some examples? I do not remember ever noticing anything odd about "men" in Norwegian.

    I am not sure if it is related to the Norwegian usage, but I think the same can happen in English. For example, "He went into town, but rain was forecast and he needed to use his umbrella after lunch". I cannot explain why the construction is used, but it has nothing to do with contrast or unexpected events. (Edit: On further consideration, I think the "but" works in my example because it introduces a negative element. That is also true with the seal in the original question, but in that case I think there was also a contrast.)

    Also, there was a time a few years ago when BBC newsreaders used unnecessary "but"s so often I found it tiresome. I think they did it to create tension and make a story sound more dramatic, even if the parts before and after the "but" were totally unrelated.
     
    Last edited:

    Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Can you give some examples? I do not remember ever noticing anything odd about "men" in Norwegian.

    I am not sure if it is related to the Norwegian usage, but I think the same can happen in English. For example, "He went into town, but rain was forecast and he needed to use his umbrella after lunch". I cannot explain why the construction is used, but it has nothing to do with contrast or unexpected events.

    Also, there was a time a few years ago when BBC newsreaders used unnecessary "but"s so often I found it tiresome. I think they did it to create tension and make a story sound more dramatic, even if the parts before and after the "but" were totally unrelated.
    I think that this just shows that English and Norwegian are quite closely related. It looks different from the perspective of other languages.
     

    bicontinental

    Senior Member
    English (US), Danish, bilingual
    "veldig energisk, men samtidig bestemt".
    ...You could say, quite energetic, yet determined...

    Personally I don't consider stubborn to be a particularly positive attribute, but would use a more euphemistic synonym e.g. strong-willed, determined.
     
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