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Endelig norsk. Igjen. Alltid - TAC 2013

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Ogrim
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France
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 Message 161 of 338
24 January 2013 at 3:19pm | IP Logged 
Hi Expugnator. No, nobody uses De anymore in Norway. You even address the Prime Minister with "du" (if you ever run into him...). I think the only people you normally won't address with "du" are members of the Royal Family. There you should rather use their title. So you may ask the King: "Hva hadde Kongen til middag i dag?"

(Not that I ever talk to the Norwegian PM or the Royal Family. Basically, just say "du" to everybody.)
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geoffw
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 Message 162 of 338
24 January 2013 at 4:38pm | IP Logged 
Ogrim wrote:

(Not that I ever talk to the Norwegian PM or the Royal Family. Basically, just say "du" to everybody.)


Good to know. Now I want to go back and check my Colloquial Norwegian, because I'm pretty sure they teach you to use "De" in there, too.
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jeff_lindqvist
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 Message 163 of 338
24 January 2013 at 11:20pm | IP Logged 
The Linguaphone Norwegian course (1995) also teaches "De" (for the above formality reasons), but maybe it's based on an older edition (when it was still in use?).
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stifa
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 Message 164 of 338
25 January 2013 at 12:55am | IP Logged 
In a few months, I turn 21, and I have never ever used the "De" form.

It was more common before, but it is more or less "extinct" nowadays.
Thus, you have to trust Ogrim rather than your textbooks. ;)

Edited by stifa on 25 January 2013 at 12:55am

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Expugnator
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 Message 165 of 338
25 January 2013 at 1:41am | IP Logged 
I surely trust you guys! Textbooks are outdated, and even the most up-to-date ones are
usually conservative.

I'll forget this De ever existed (that is, at least until I start reading the classics).
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Solfrid Cristin
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Norway
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 Message 166 of 338
25 January 2013 at 7:12am | IP Logged 
I have used De, and still do occasionally, but I would actually still agree with Ogrim that it is extinct. I would
only use it in two very specific situations: If I am talking to a little old lady who is more than 80 years old and
who comes from a posh neighborhood and speaks an extremely conservative form of Norwegian, or
sarcastically. If I am in a shop and have tried unsuccessfully repeatedly to attract the attention of the 20 years
old salesgirl because she is way to busy talking to her friend and chewing her chewing gum I may say
something in the vicinity of:

Unnskyld, kunne De være så utsøkt elskverdig å komme å gi meg litt hjelp? ( Excuse me, would you be so
very kind and come and give me some help)?

It is a turn of phrase which my mother would have used in all sincerity, but which I use only when Iam about
to get really mad. It is the extremely polite way of saying " Drag your sorry ass over here you lazy dog and
start doing your f**king job".

It is meant as an insult, and it is perceived as such, unless the girl is so stupid that she does not even
understand what the words mean.

I was by the way asked yesterday how you say Mrs. in Norwegian, and I answered that you don't. It is also
just used in the same situations as above - sarcastically or to posh ladies over 80 ( and how often do you
come across one of those:-). I know that my mother insisted that she be addressed as Mrs. and by her last
name when she was in the hospital before she passed away, but I think that was more a matter of her dignity
being the only thing she had left at that point, and she did not want to be stripped of that too.

I have a colleague from Switzerland who will always address us girls by Mrs, and our last names and in a
sneering tone, and it makes us really mad, particularly because he uses the first name with all the guys. For
the unlikely situation that he'd be unaware of it, I said straight out to him on a couple of occasions that unlike
in his French mother tongue, it is in Norwegian perceived as an insult, but he persisted. He has now been
transferred to another division, and is missed by no one. We do not really use last names either, unless the
person is totally new to us. Once you are introduced you would normally use the first name.

For all practical purposes Mrs, Mr and De are elements of the language you can forget about.
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Ogrim
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France
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 Message 167 of 338
25 January 2013 at 9:15am | IP Logged 
Expugnator wrote:
I'll forget this De ever existed (that is, at least until I start reading the classics).


It is good to know it exsists, but as Cristina points out, if you use it today people think you are sarcastic.

If you ever read Norwegian literature from the 1950's or 1960's, you will see that De was still very much in use at that time, at least among well educated people in the cities. And at that time radio and TV journalists would also address politicians etc. with De.

I think the big change came with the "hippie revolution" of the late 60's and early 70's. It was not as spectacular as in France in 1968, but nevertheless it had a big impact on Norwegian society, including on language.

What Cristina says about Mr. and Mrs. (and I should add Miss) is also correct. When I was in primary school in the early 1970's, we would still call our female teacher "Frøken" (Miss), but I guess if someone would use that today they'd be expelled for lack of respect for the teacher:-)
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jeff_lindqvist
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 Message 168 of 338
25 January 2013 at 10:30am | IP Logged 
It's one thing to know that "archaic"/outdated forms exist (at least to have seen them, to recognize them when you hear them/see them), but it's not the first time a course presents information which might only confuse the learner.

If (and that's a big IF) learners of Norwegian would use "De", what would your reaction be?


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