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|Norwegian to English translations [Non-PRO]|
|Norwegian term or phrase: jeg elsker De|
|English translation:"I love you" or "I love them"|
The Norwegian sentence is wrong, so we can only guess at what the correct sentence would be. I have three proposals:
1. Jeg elsker deg.
This means: “I love you”. In this case the G at the end must have been lost somehow. In addition, “deg” has been written with a capital D. This is sometimes mistakenly done with the intention of being polite.
2. Jeg elsker dem.
This means: “I love them”. Here, the M at the end may have been lost, but I think another explanation is more probable. It may have to do with the lingusitic situation of Oslo, the capital of Norway. A simplified description of the ligustic situation of Oslo is that in eastern Oslo, people speak a Norwegian dialect that evolved from Old Norse. In western Oslo, however, people speak a language which has evolved from Danish, spoken with a Norwegian pronunciation. In eastern Oslo, the word for “they” is “dem”, and the word for “them” is also “dem”. In standard Norwegian Bokmål the word for “they” is “de”, and the word for “them” is “dem”. In western Oslo, people often use the same forms as in standard Norwegian Bokmål, but not always. Because they think of the language of eastern Oslo as being vulgar, they try to make their own language as different from it as possible. Therefore they use the form “de” for both “they” and “them”. However, this does not explain the capital D. That brings us to my proposal No. 3, which explains the capital D:
3. Jeg elsker Dem.
Just like No. 1, this means: “I love you”, but there is a difference. The last word is the polite form of “you”, just like in French you might use “vous” instead of “tu” or in German you might use “Sie” instead of “du”. Nowadays this polite form is only used sometimes in business letters, but perhaps 100 years ago you might actually hear sentences like “Jeg elsker Dem”. Except for the capital D, in standard Norwegian Bokmål this word is alway equal to the word meaning “they”. Still I do not think people in western Oslo would be likely to say “Jeg elsker De” even if they actually do say “Jeg elsker de” (No. 2), but since the polite form is so little in use, some young people might simply be confused as to how this form is used. Perhaps some young person wanted to be funny by using some exaggerated polite form, but because he was young, he did not know how to use it correctly. Or perhaps the M just got lost because of a typing error.
The ancient English “I love thee” corresponds to No. 1, and not to any of the others.
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21 mins confidence: peer agreement (net): +3
I love you
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