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nissemor

English translation: mother nisse

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
Norwegian term or phrase:nissemor
English translation:mother nisse
Entered by: brigidm
Options:
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13:51 Nov 3, 2008
Norwegian to English translations [PRO]
Folklore
Norwegian term or phrase: nissemor
This text is full of culturally-based challenges. Here goes:
"Hver adventssøndag fra kl.13:30 til kl.15.00 våkner Nisseskogen til live! Da kan du møte levende nisser som tar deg med til eventyrenes rike. I Nissehytten kan du hilse på Nissemor og Nissefar, og levere ønskelisten din, hvor fire heldige vil få oppfylt ønskene sine allerede før jul.."

So far I have decided to use "Christmas elf/elves" as the primary translation for "nisse" wherever possible. But when it comes to "nissemor" and "nissefar", I'm beginning to waver...

Thinking caps on, dear colleagues! Delivering on Wednesday so you have time to chew this one over...
brigidm
Norway
Local time: 10:50
mother nisse
Explanation:
I think there is no replacement in the English language for "nisse". It is therefore my suggestion that you keep the Norwegian word. The Swedish "tomte" is another possible word, maybe more known to an English-speading audience.

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Note added at 19 hrs (2008-11-04 09:16:07 GMT)
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In your context, which is far from the real "nisse" world, there is a family aspect, I think.
Re your husband's comment:I believe that "nissemor" has a strong position as the carer of the whole family, i.e. the boss as I see it. What about "mum nisse" and "dad nisse"?
Selected response from:

Vedis Bjørndal
Norway
Local time: 10:50
Grading comment
Firstly, thank you all for your valuable input. I have decided that the Norwegian cultural aspect should weigh heaviest here, and that to replace "nissemor" would be doing an injustuce to Norwegian folklore and cultural traditions. I will, however, add a literal translation using Vedis' term in brackets.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
3 +3Mrs. Claus
Frode Aleksandersen
4 +1Mother Elf
Hanne Rask Sonderborg
3 +1Mother Christmas
William [Bill] Gray
3mother nisse
Vedis Bjørndal
3Christmas Elf Mother
Egil Presttun


Discussion entries: 9





  

Answers


8 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
Christmas Elf Mother


Explanation:
"Christmas Elf Mother" er i bruk på denne siden:
http://www.kieranfagan.com/christmas/christmas_2004.htm
Tenkte det kunne passe sammen med de andre "Christmas elves" som du allerede har brukt.


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 22 mins (2008-11-03 14:13:51 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

OK, but "Elf Mother" gives many hits.

Egil Presttun
Norway
Local time: 10:50
Native speaker of: Norwegian
Notes to answerer
Asker: Hmm, got only one hit with this one, Egil.


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Vedis Bjørndal: I think elves are something very far from the "Nisse".
16 hrs
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52 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Mother Christmas


Explanation:
Thanks!

William [Bill] Gray
Norway
Local time: 10:50
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  NO-EN-DE
21 mins
  -> Cheers, Therese!
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Mother Elf


Explanation:
From experience, I know that elves are around all year round! Also, the people of Iceland plan their road system around that belief, so you really don't need to mention Christmas.

Example sentence(s):
  • Elf N Safety is a mother elf with 25 years of helping Santa deliver presents to every country in the world.
  • It’s only October, but Northside Neighborhood House in North Chattanooga already has had about 25 families request assistance for Christmas, said volunteer Bonnie Cummins, who is known as “Mother Elf” during the holidays.

    Reference: http://christmas.vg/easy-christmas-cake-144/
    Reference: http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2008/oct/27/chattanooga-t...
Hanne Rask Sonderborg
Local time: 04:50
Native speaker of: Native in DanishDanish
Notes to answerer
Asker: I like it! Thanks, Hanne. It'll take a lot of convincing to beat this one, I think.


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  lingo_montreal: "Santa Claus & Mrs. Santa" conjures up the fat American Coca-Cola version and his other half. Frode's "Mother Nisse" is my 1st choice, though the more generic "Mother Elf" is also ok.
5 hrs
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4 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +3
Mrs. Claus


Explanation:
And then use Santa (Claus) for Nissefar :).

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 14 mins (2008-11-03 14:06:12 GMT)
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Sometimes he is. Judging from the context you supplied, I'd say it fits in this case.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 4 hrs (2008-11-03 18:39:38 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Well you could go the same route as that website does, by just using nisse and adding "Christmas elf" as a one time descriptive device. I offer up "Mother Nisse" as a suggestion in that case :-). Not translating it gives it a bit more exotic appeal and might work better for a marketing text.

As for "helper", I feel it suffers a bit from the same effect as "elf" truth be told.

Frode Aleksandersen
Norway
Local time: 10:50
Native speaker of: Native in NorwegianNorwegian, Native in EnglishEnglish
Notes to answerer
Asker: But nissefar is not the same figure as julenissen, is he?


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  William [Bill] Gray: I have used Father and Mother Christmas, or Mrs Christmas! Some wag once said her name is "Mary" (Merry Christmas!)
7 mins
  -> Why don't you add Father/Mother Christmas as a seperate suggestion? It could also work in my opinion and deserves a seperate entry :).

agree  NO-EN-DE
1 hr

neutral  lingo_montreal: Frode, my vote is for your "Mother Nisse" suggestion - sometimes the only way to safeguard the imagery and culture attached with it is by taking a hardline approach.
7 hrs

agree  Jande: You send your christmas wish list to Santa, who is also the elves' father. Nissemor is Mrs. Claus.
11 hrs
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16 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
mother nisse


Explanation:
I think there is no replacement in the English language for "nisse". It is therefore my suggestion that you keep the Norwegian word. The Swedish "tomte" is another possible word, maybe more known to an English-speading audience.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 19 hrs (2008-11-04 09:16:07 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

In your context, which is far from the real "nisse" world, there is a family aspect, I think.
Re your husband's comment:I believe that "nissemor" has a strong position as the carer of the whole family, i.e. the boss as I see it. What about "mum nisse" and "dad nisse"?

Vedis Bjørndal
Norway
Local time: 10:50
Native speaker of: Native in NorwegianNorwegian
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
Firstly, thank you all for your valuable input. I have decided that the Norwegian cultural aspect should weigh heaviest here, and that to replace "nissemor" would be doing an injustuce to Norwegian folklore and cultural traditions. I will, however, add a literal translation using Vedis' term in brackets.
Notes to answerer
Asker: After a night's sleep and nightmares about nisses, I'm beginning to consider keeping the term "nisse" in the translation. But on the point of "mor" - according to my husband "nissefar" is not understood to be the father of the nisses - the term simply denotes his position as their boss. Would you agree, Vedis? If this is correct, then I see no reason to retain the "mother" and "father" element if I find an alternative solution which better captures this relationship in English.

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