Nynorsk: Overload

Basic Disclaimer: I am not a native speaker. I am using these posts as a way of chronicling a semi-auto-didactic process.  In other words, this is my way of seeing my own journey. I hope that others learn from it, and I hope that others contribute knowledge to it. To the Nynorsk activists out there, I apologise if a Bokmål word comes through as it is easier to find those words. Feel free to correct me in the comments, or by message.

Tea: I have no tea today. I woke up too late, and am dreading not getting this finished.

Song: The Hearthstone theme as my friend plays hearthstone next to me.

 

Hallo! Korleis har du det? Er dokker vel og bra?

 

I have been thinking about my Nynorsk practice. I wanted to step it up a bit. I, naturally, decided to do an alphabet post. A word for every letter of the alphabet should be easy, right? It was not.

Auga (neuter), auga/ augo, augo. ‘Eye’ as in the organ.

Barn (neuter), barnet/born, borna. This is ‘child’. I love this word because it survived in Scots as ‘bairn’, so one can use that form in English.

Cup (masculine), cupen/ cupar, cupane. A sport’s cup, or final playoff. This was really hard to find. I could not find any native Nynorsk word beginning with ‘c’.

Deildegast (masculine) deildegasten/ deildergastar, deildegastane. ‘Border ghost’. This is a feature in Norwegian mythology. I will write about this later. I love death mythology…if one could not tell.

Eggeskive (feminine), eggeskiva/ eggeskiver, eggeskivene. This is an egg slice like the ones which people put on salads.

Fabelverd (femine), fabelverda/ fabelverder, fabelverdene. ‘Fantasy world’ as in the setting of a fantasy novel.

Gjestgivar (masculine), gjestgivaren/ gjestgivar, gjestgivarane. ‘Guest-giver’ is a person who house/feeds travelers. I am not sure if it is like a bed-and-breakfast official business, or just someone who lends out his/her supplies.

Hjarteanfall (neuter), hjarteanfallet/ hjarteanfall, hjarteanfalla. ‘Heart attack’, these are very serious. I do wonder if people, Norwegian-speakers, use this as an intensifer as some English-speakers still do.

Iøyrefallande means ‘catchy’, as in a tune, or idea.

Jarl (masculine), jarlen/ jarlar, jarlane. This is ‘Earl’; however, titles do not really translate well, so in Norwegian histories — even in English — one will see ‘Jarl’…like in Skyrim.

Kald. Cold as in temperature. Ho er kald. It (lit. She) is cold.

Lågadel (masculine), lågadelen/ lågadlar, lågadlane. Another title. This approximates ‘gentry’.

Mæling (masculine), mælingen/ mælingar, mælingane. This is a measurement of land roughly 1000m2

Nihalda. ‘To hold fast’. From my dissection this is ‘to nine-hold’. That is an intense grip!

Om. This is ‘if’. If I want/ Om eg ynskjer.

På. ‘Of’, or ‘in’ depending on context. This is a very useful preposition.

Qatarar (masculine), qatararen/ qatararar, qatararane. A person from Qatar. Another letter that it was rough trying to find words beginning with it.

Realfag (neuter) , realfaget/ realfag, realfaga. I had to choose this: it means ‘mathematics’.

Sjøorm (masculine) sjøormen/ sjøormar, sjøormane. This is ‘sea serpent’, and it is a combination of sjø (sea, masculine), and orm (snake/worm, masculine)

Tjeld (neuter), tjeldet/ tjeld, tjelda. This is curtain, or sails on Nordic ships.

Uforstyrra. Adjective for ‘peace and quiet’, or ‘undisturbed’.

Vitabrød (neuter), vitabrødet/ vitabrød, vitabrøda. This is vitaminized coarse bread.

Weaselbil (masculine), weaselbilen/ weaselbilar, weaselbilane. This is not the animal. This is another word for a snowmobile.

Xantom (neuter), xantomet, xantom, xantoma. This was almost impossible to find a Norwegian word beginning with ‘X’, so here is another macabre one. ‘Xantom’ is a type of tumor with cholesterol….yay! Seriously, get this one checked out, and if anyone knows another ‘X’ word, please message me it.

Ynskja. ‘To want’. I want/ Eg ynskjer.

Zoofag (masculine), zoofagen/ zoofagar, zoofagarane. This is ‘carnivores’.

Æresgjest (masculine), æresgjesten/ æresgjestar, æresgjestane. This is honoured guest, or guest-of-honour.

Økseblad (neuter), øksebladet/økseblad, økseblada. This is axe-blade.

Å (feminine), åa/ åer, åene. This is river, but a small one. Not quite a creek/spring, but a small river.

 

As a gay person, I was ecstatic to learn that ‘fag’ is a word in Nynorsk, so this opens a lot of interesting, and awkward translations. ‘Fagfolk’ means ‘expert’. ‘Fagfelt’ means ‘area of expertise’. ‘Fagbibliotek’ means a library with expertise, e.g. a Library of Science. I love this language.

 

Now, for the grammar discussion. I realised that we never discussed pronouns which are very necessary to everyday conversation.

  Person Subject Object Genetive English
 

 

Singular

1 Eg Meg Min Mi Mitt I,me,my
2 Du Deg Din Di Ditt Thou,thee,thy
3 m Han Hans He, him, his
3 f Ho Henne Hennar She, her, her
3 n Det Dess It, it, its
 

Plural

1 Me Oss Vår Vårt Våre We, us, our
2 Dokker Dykk Dykkar You, you, your
3 Dei Deira They, them, their

 

This is a collection of pronouns for my usage. It turns out that there is a lot of variation — yet, again, Norsk…—of pronouns. Even in official Nynorsk standard, there is wiggle room with which pronoun to use. I chose ‘me’ vs ‘vi’ for ‘we’. ‘Me’ — and ‘dokker’ — come from the dual forms. ‘Vi’ sound too much like ‘we’, so I feel as if I be copping out by choosing it, too…also, I love dual forms. I also used ‘thou’ as a translation because it clearly differentiates between singular, and plural second person. I, truly, do not want to get into the argument of standard plural second person in English…I got into that argument too often in university. Now it seems that the genitive case — possessive case to some — alters itself depending on the object’s gender.

Eg har mitt barnet. I have my child.

Eg har zoofagen min. I have my carnivorous animal.

Eg har mi äa. I have my river.

 

Notice how I have to use the definite form. It literally says then.

Eg har mitt barnet. I have my (the) child.

Eg har zoofagen min. I have my (the) carnivorous animal.

Eg har mi äa. I have my (the) river.

 

This may sound weird, but if one thinks of it as: I have this specific item, and it is mine. The phrase does not sound too off then. The ‘my’ can be placed before, or after the noun. After the noun is more natural, but before seems to happen if one searches for a word, or wants to emphasise the ownership.

Eg har mi boka ikkje di boka. I have my book not your book.

 

So, do we like the alphabet, and possessive? It was an exhausting research, but it was fun. I am looking forward to next week. I am thinking something dark. This was too upbeat for me. If you guys want to send me ideas, or lists you want to see, I will totally do them.

Thank you to everyone who has reached out! I promise I will respond as soon as I post this up.

Tusen takk !

-J.A. Victor Wilson

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