Skal vi sjå...

serbianfan

Senior Member
British English
Does anyone have any idea why people from south-eastern Norway sometimes say "Skal vi sjå..." instead of "Skal vi se..."? I can't think of other examples where those speakers often use a Nynorsk/dialect word in that way. Was there once a well-known comedian or other figure from radio or the early days of television who had "Skal vi sjå" as his catchphrase?
 
  • serbianfan

    Senior Member
    British English
    Maybe not surprising that no-one knows the answer here, because I've discovered that someone asked the same question in 2008 on diskusjon.no without getting a proper answer, and presumably far more Norwegians look at that forum than this one.

    Let's imagine something similar in English. In Northern England, many people say "nowt" for "nothing". If some Southerners started to say "I ain't got nowt", the only possible explanation would be that this was the catch-phrase of someone on TV, probably a comedian with a northern accent. That would in theory have been possible in the old days, when everyone watched the same programmes - less likely today now most people have 50 or 500 channels :(
     

    Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    I have heard this form also from people using consequently bokmål like speech, in Oslo. I think it is used somehow like a "foreign" word, to make the speech more "colorful". Also Swedish words are sometimes used in the same way.
     

    winenous

    Senior Member
    English - British
    Yes, I almost referred you to the discussion on diskusjon.no earlier. I think a fair point is made there - that it could have been picked up from the media without it necessarily being a catchphrase. Or it could have been through normal contact between people. Words get imported from other languages, so why not from other dialects? It's always going to be difficult to predict which aspects get carried over.

    As a foreigner who is not really comfortable with nynorsk and dialect forms, I have heard "skal vi sjå" so many times I didn't even realise it was not an accepted bokmål form, but that might just be from my Trøndelag-rooted in-laws rather than through Oslo contacts. I may even have used it myself on occasion. It seems to me to take less effort to say than "skal vi se". Could that be one reason for its more general adoption? Or is it just my English-trained mouth?
     

    serbianfan

    Senior Member
    British English
    Can you give examples of Swedish words used in this way? My mind's a complete blank, but I remember in the old days when people in SE Norway only had NRK and Swedish TV to watch (and they often preferred the latter!), that people used Swedish words they'd heard on TV.
     

    Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Can you give examples of Swedish words used in this way? My mind's a complete blank, but I remember in the old days when people in SE Norway only had NRK and Swedish TV to watch (and they often preferred the latter!), that people used Swedish words they'd heard on TV.
    Just now I remember one such example: Vi tar det från början.
     

    serbianfan

    Senior Member
    British English
    I have heard "skal vi sjå" so many times I didn't even realise it was not an accepted bokmål form
    Yes, it seems so common that people don't normally react to it, whereas if someone who normally spoke Bokmål said "Eg veit ikkje" in the middle of a conversation, people might smile.

    "Sjå" is only used in this set phrase - a person from SE Norway who says "Skal vi sjå" would not say e.g. "Jeg skal bare ut og sjå på rosene mine". As you say, words get imported from other languages, but usually they're then used in all kinds of contexts, not just one phrase.

    Comparing with English again, you might find some speakers from England who say "I dinna ken" (Scottish for "I don't know"), just for fun, or as Ben Jamin says, to add some colour. But like "Skal vi sjå", it's only the one set phrase - that person wouldn't say: "It's difficult to ken what to do".

    Just now I remember one such example: Vi tar det från början.
    Then there's "...eller hur?" which maybe fills a gap in Norwegian because people don't say "...eller hvordan?", although of course there are other ways in Norwegian to express something similar: "(eller) hva synes du?", "ikke sant?", etc.
     

    basslop

    Senior Member
    Norsk (Norwegian)
    Does anyone have any idea why people from south-eastern Norway sometimes say "Skal vi sjå..." instead of "Skal vi se..."? I can't think of other examples where those speakers often use a Nynorsk/dialect word in that way. Was there once a well-known comedian or other figure from radio or the early days of television who had "Skal vi sjå" as his catchphrase?
    I would like to mention that the expression is not necessarily from Nynorsk. "Sjå" instead of "se" is used in many Norwegian dialects even though they are located in municipalities that have Bokmål as their written language - e.g. Innlandet, formerly Hedmark and Oppland, and Trøndelag.
     

    winenous

    Senior Member
    English - British
    I was just thinking that the only other nynorsk phrase that is fixed in my memory is "me sjåast".

    So I googled to see if I may have heard it from "bokmål speakers", and it seems not. But I did find that it is unusual to use "sjåast" in nynorsk in contexts other than "me sjåast", and the phrase is probably the result of the nynorskification of "vi sees". So not exactly a word imported in the same way as "sjå" into "skal vi sjå", but there are similarities.

    Or maybe I misunderstood the article? It's on the last page of this PDF
    https://www.nm.no/app/uploads/2020/03/nt16nr05-1.pdf
     
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