Norwegian: innenfor opptrukne rammer

Gavril

Senior Member
English, USA
An excerpt from the evaluation of a Norwegian military officer by his superiors:

Tar initiativ og treffer selvstendige avgjørelser innenfor opptrukne rammer.

How is opptrukne functioning in this sentence?

So far, all that I can glean about "opptruken" is that it means "pulled upwards" (e.g. the landing gear of a plane is "opptruken" during flight), but I can't quite square this meaning with the above context.

Takk
 
  • Segorian

    Senior Member
    Icelandic & Swedish
    Itʼs probably also worth mentioning that the verb is not *opptrekke, but trekke opp. Example:
    gjennom å trekke opp rammer for virksomheten på generalforsamlingen kan staten som eier likevel øve innflytelse på selskapets virksomhet
     

    Svenke

    Senior Member
    Norwegian
    Opptrukne is the plural of opptrukken, which is a participle made from trekke opp 'pull/draw up'. You can literally trekke opp something, like a fishing net, or you can, for instance, trekke opp a line, a border etc.
     

    bicontinental

    Senior Member
    English (US), Danish, bilingual
    Just to add, opptrukne it is used figuratively here. A line etc. can be highlighted or marked so that it stands out and gets your attention. In this case you could say that the officer makes independent decisions within his area of authority or responsibility.
     

    winenous

    Senior Member
    English - British
    In the context of the question, I think English speakers can pretty much translate the verb trekke opp literally as draw up (see dictionary definition meaning 1 in the link). Also ramme as framework.

    The only issue is that, even if the verb draw up is commonly used in that sense, its adjective form sounds clumsy in English. We just wouldn't naturally turn the verb draw up into an adjective and say the drawn-up frameworks. Thus would probably use an adjective with a slightly different meaning, like relevant. (Edit: existing would be a better translation, I think.)

    I think this is essentially what others are saying too - I am just trying to explain that once you see the words in the right way, the Norwegian is a lot more easily understood to an English speaker.
     
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    serbianfan

    Senior Member
    British English
    'Ramme(r)' is one of those words Norwegians use perhaps more often, but certainly somewhat differently from the English 'equivalent', i.e. 'framework'. I think Bicontinental's translation of 'within his area of authority or responsibility' sounds much better than trying to put 'framework' in that sentence.
     

    winenous

    Senior Member
    English - British
    'Ramme(r)' is one of those words Norwegians use perhaps more often, but certainly somewhat differently from the English 'equivalent', i.e. 'framework'. I think Bicontinental's translation of 'within his area of authority or responsibility' sounds much better than trying to put 'framework' in that sentence.
    I see what you mean, and agree - framework was not a good translation
     

    serbianfan

    Senior Member
    British English
    This reminds me of an intelligent piece I came across on the Internet about translating the German 'Rahmenbedingungen' (but it could equally well apply to 'rammebetingelser' in Norwegian). I quote part of it: 'Translating the extremely common German term “Rahmenbedingungen” into clear English is fraught with difficulty. The standard and widely accepted translation – “framework conditions” – suffers from one crucial problem: it is not English. The New York Times, for example, has only used “framework conditions” five times (!) in its entire publication history, in all instances to refer to statements made by a German politician or executive'. Translators would do well to think along those lines: "That's what it says in the dictionary, but is it English?"
     

    winenous

    Senior Member
    English - British
    "That's what it says in the dictionary, but is it English?"
    That's a good question, and I don't think the answer is black and white.

    Frame and ramme are etymologically related, and the meaning is pretty much the same - even more similar if the English word framework is used rather than frame. And yet in English it would be rarely used in a non-physical sense, while it is more common in other languages.

    I think it is English to use framework in that sense, but in most cases it would not be a good translation. As you said, the translation can be "fraught with difficulty" - I will leave it to the translators to do their job and worry about that one :)
     

    Gavril

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Thanks again

    As an American English speaker, I'd say that the problem with a translation like "within the established framework" isn't the word framework itself, but that it's too vague in this context -- you need to further specify what framework you're talking about (e.g., "within the framework of his established duties").
     
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    raumar

    Senior Member
    Norwegian
    I am not a native English speaker, but from my perspective, "limits" or "boundaries" (or "borders", as AutumnOwl suggests in post 2) seems to be closer to the Norwegian "rammer", compared with "framework".

    In a civilian context, I think the sentence "Tar initiativ og treffer selvstendige avgjørelser innenfor opptrukne rammer" would look like a rather backhanded compliment, since the limits to his initiative and independence is so explicitly mentioned. But I suppose that it looks better in a military context, where obedience to the hierarchy is valued.
     

    serbianfan

    Senior Member
    British English
    I think it is English to use framework in that sense, but in most cases it would not be a good translation.
    Well, of course it's English, not Chinese :) - that's just the writer's way of saying it, whereas you or I would probably say 'It's not normal English/not normally used in English' or similar. Thinking back to my schooldays in a not very posh part of London, I think if someone made a mistake or used an unusual word, the kids would probably have said, 'That ain't English, mate!'
     

    winenous

    Senior Member
    English - British
    I am not a native English speaker, but from my perspective, "limits" or "boundaries" (or "borders", as AutumnOwl suggests in post 2) seems to be closer to the Norwegian "rammer", compared with "framework".
    That's what I thought at first - that ramme was a frame in the sense of a picture frame or border - something surrounding something else and limiting its scope. (As also suggested by @AutumnOwl)

    But then I decided it was rather a frame in the framework sense - a supporting structure - which seems to be the more fundamental meaning in English. I think the picture frame word came by analogy to a window frame which, back in the day of small glass panes, would also be the supprting structure for the window as a whole. So it is not something that is designed specifically to limit the powers of the applicant, but the structure/context within he must work. (I thought that meaning was hinted at by later comments by others, which I found persuasive.)

    I am really feeling my way here, with my rather limited knowledge of Norwegian, but also bearing in mind what people have been saying, and having checked the various meanings and etymology of frame in English.

    To change the subject slightly, terms of reference is another posible translation for opptrukne rammer.
     

    winenous

    Senior Member
    English - British
    Well, of course it's English, not Chinese :) - that's just the writer's way of saying it, whereas you or I would probably say 'It's not normal English/not normally used in English' or similar. Thinking back to my schooldays in a not very posh part of London, I think if someone made a mistake or used an unusual word, the kids would probably have said, 'That ain't English, mate!'
    It sounds to me like exactly the sort of English that is generated by various EU organisations. Here are the top few hits I found with a quick google search....
    "The Commission is working on a proposal for the framework programme that will succeed Horizon 2020"
    "The strategic and governance framework underpinning the European Semester"
    "What is the Transparency & Consent Framework (TCF)?"
    "Ensuring a sound and effective framework at EU level is therefore a key priority"

    The kids would probably say the same about that language, and to be honest I would tend to agree. But we must allow that the English language is allowed to change, and if the EU use it for their business they have as much right to mangle it as anyone.
     

    AutumnOwl

    Senior Member
    Swedish, Finnish
    That's what I thought at first - that ramme was a frame in the sense of a picture frame or border - something surrounding something else and limiting its scope. (As also suggested by @AutumnOwl)

    But then I decided it was rather a frame in the framework sense - a supporting structure - which seems to be the more fundamental meaning in English. I think the picture frame word came by analogy to a window frame which, back in the day of small glass panes, would also be the supprting structure for the window as a whole. So it is not something that is designed specifically to limit the powers of the applicant, but the structure/context within he must work. (I thought that meaning was hinted at by later comments by others, which I found persuasive.)

    I am really feeling my way here, with my rather limited knowledge of Norwegian, but also bearing in mind what people have been saying, and having checked the various meanings and etymology of frame in English.

    To change the subject slightly, terms of reference is another posible translation for opptrukne rammer.
    My understanding of "innenfor opptrukne rammar" would be "within drawn/set borders", within what his duties/orders is.
    I didn't see the borders of the person's duties as something limiting, but as a knowledge support for what they are expected to handle, and what kind of authority they have (if any), and make their best performance of the job.
     

    serbianfan

    Senior Member
    British English
    Fortunately, nobody's ever asked me to translate 'rammebetingelser', though I have had to struggle with translating various other Norwegian 'nøtter' (hard nuts to crack), such as 'faglig'. It seems that even the little ones (or at least their parents) can't escape 'rammebetingelser' because I found a 'virksomhetsplan' for a Norwegian kindergarten, presumably partly aimed at parents, because it's mostly written in everyday language, where Section 1 was 'Velkommen' and Section 2 was 'Rammebetingelser for barnehagen'. Excitedly, I scrolled down to Section 2 to find out what 'rammebetingelser' really meant and what did I find? Exactly the kind of stuff we would put under the heading of 'General Information' in English - the name of the manager, the sections of the kindergarten, when the staff have meetings with each other and with parents, and so on.

    So, in this case (and maybe many others) neither a 'framework' nor 'conditions' in normal English :)
     

    winenous

    Senior Member
    English - British
    I didn't see the borders of the person's duties as something limiting, but as a knowledge support for what they are expected to handle, and what kind of authority they have (if any), and make their best performance of the job.
    OK, fair enough. I misinterpreted what you said
     
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