Norwegian translations for beginners…

Posted: June 10, 2011 in humour, Norwegian culture

Kompetanse (competence) – To be Norwegian.  “you do not have the ‘kompetanse’ for the position meaning that you are not Norwegian, so your experience, education and skills are not recognised here.  You will make the other Norwegian employees look lazy and gormless.

 Kritisk (Critical) – noticing the shortfalls and bullshit in the situation at hand.  ” you are too ‘kritisk’ meaning that you have used your brain, thought about the situation and have noticed the gaps in logic, the lack of cohesion and exposed Norwegian planning for being the optimistic party trick that it is.

Negativ – closely related to ‘kritisk’, usually found together.  This also is a defensive word used to deflect attention from the fact that you are being realistic and not walking around with your head up your arse.  Norwegians are obsessed with being ‘positive’ or optimistic, thus if their house is on fire, only comment about how nice the weather is and what pretty lights are on the fire engine.  Being negative in Norway is surprisingly a trait that pertains only to foreigners as when Norwegians make a ‘negative’ observation, they are given respect and their opinion is valued.  Best tactic is to let a Norwegian present your ideas or concerns and let them also take the credit/promotion/pay rise/bonus for being such a brilliant person.  When Norwegians learn about optimist, pessimist and realist, they drop realist as that implies actually using their brain.

Beste (best) – not to be confused with best as in having been weighed against and compared to other like things and found to be superior.  This just means that Norwegians think it is pretty good, will tolerate no discussion on the matter and it is invoked usually to cover up something that is completely rubbish and sub-standard such as roads, rail , hospitals, schools….the list goes on.  Usually found in close proximity to the Norwegian word ‘verdens’ again easily misunderstood as meaning the worlds, it actually has no real meaning.

 Lutefisk (fish in lye) – wallpaper glue.  Avoid at all costs.

Smållehovet (sheeps head) – actually half a sheeps head.  Again an oddity and usually accompanied with the other good bits such as the arsehole, the intestinal lining and hooves.  An acquired taste bourne out of starvation and Nazi like brainwashing techniques from birth.

Hallingdal (region between Oslo and Bergen) – a place where dreams come to die  Populated largely by the descendants of the kid on the front porch playing banjo in deliverance.   They think everyone else is strange, gonna go with the numbers on this one as they are vastly outnumbered.  Foreigners seen as suitable for washing toilets and other lowly paid positions.

Nå skal du høre (now you shall hear) – Hello in the dialect of Bergen.  Actually translates to listen, but people in Bergen have never got the hang of hello.   Said with a nasal tang, often by those who also have never understood the idea of queing and waiting their turn.

Vær så snill -Please.   A very rare and elusive word not in common usage.  Understood to be practiced by a few smll collections of foreigners residing in Norway.

Kaffe – Not coffee.  This burnt excuse for a beverage is more akin to liquefied asphalt and in no way resembles coffee.  Best to locate a starbucks if you can afford it or buy imported coffee and a real espresso machine.  Exposure to large quantities has been proven by scientists to inhibit higher functions in the brain and can mimic the results of a frontal lobotomy.  Choose tea if given the choice.

Europevei (european highway standard) – goat track.  This is not a high way as we understand it, the ‘high’ means that there are more ‘high’ bits, or original (circa 1960’s) ashphalt than the ‘low’ parts which are the bottoms of the potholes.  Usually populated by automated toll machines and just wide enough for 2 medium sized vehicles to pass.  Considered an adreneline sport to drive on one by rally drivers and other extreme sports fanatics.

Riksvei (national road standard) – unmaintained and frankly dangerous Tibetan standard walking trail.  Extremely expensive to use as your vehicle will most likely vibrate itself to small peices and disintegrate before your arrival at your destination.  Usually not wide enough for 2 trucks to pass, devoid of overtaking lanes, looks something like a patchwork quilt of ashphalt repair jobs and with guardrails only beside the bits that don’t need them.  Usually heavily populated by tractors and other agricultural machinery doing 5 km/h and driven by locals who do not know what the rear view mirror is, also frequented by the killer SUV driver, a special species that treats driving as a blood sport and flagrantly disregards the safety of all others as they are in the biggest car on the ‘road’.

SUV – Socially Unacceptable Vehicle.  Chelsea Tractors such as range rovers, porsche cayennes and BMW x5’s.  Driven by men with severe self image delusions and real estate agents.  If driven by a ‘Bærum’ native, such as the wife or child of the owner, stay well back as they are not accountable for their actions.

Utlending (foreigner) – lower form of life not worthy of respect or equal rights.  Subject to being underpaid in employment if they are lucky enough to get any.  Commonly seen doing functionary positions such as driving taxis, washing floors and toilets in government buildings, cleaning Norwegians houses, just actually working in general as opposed to lazing around getting paid to read the newspaper or surf the net at their place of ’employment’.  Totally responsible and accountable for all actions and regularly hung out for ridicule by the political parties, especially the F.R.P which seems to be mainly composed of paedophiles and fraudsters.

Innvandere (immigrant) – invader.  Viewed as a hostile species by Norwegians.  Believed to have grand designs and hidden agendas about taking over Norway and stealing everything from the Norwegians.  Perceived as a direct threat and often used as a way to avoid saying the word Muslim by politicians and news journalists.   Innvandere are seen as the root of all evil in Norway and must be sent home immediately so they do not drain all the national wealth through unemployment benefits and sickness benefits.

 Muslim (follower of the Islamic faiths) – Terrorist.  The Norwegian government and media have been successful in creating such a frenzy of fear and suspicion that all Muslims are regularly portrayed to be the spawn of Osama Bin Laden and are always wearing a suicide vest.  Heavily influenced by Bush era American politics and (lack of) foreign policy, this is a view often based on such complete ignorance that if Norwegians believe this, it is amazing they can tie their shoelaces.

Rik (rich) – not rich as we understand it.  Having lots of financial wealth is important to Norwegians, in fact, I would go so far as say this is often the most important and highly respected thing to Norwegian culture.  But whereas being rich usually means that you can afford what you need and want, in Norway it is the ‘uncle scrooge’ mentality that is the dominant influence.  Having enormous sums secreted away in a bank account, not to be used to maintain and improve the essential services and infrastructure of the nation regardless of the actual state of disrepair and the definitive urgent need for investment is a particularly Norwegian thing.  So when you hear that Norway is the ‘richest country on earth’, take it with a grain of salt as there are 3rd world nations with better roads, rail and education systems.  It may be ‘rich’, but it lacks wealth.


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