For mange kokker = Too many cooks.
Til mange kokker = To many cooks ("We have updated the regulations for the Italian kitchen, we have to send the new forms to many cooks.")
For mange kokker er måltidet ødelagt uten olivenolje = for many cooks the meal is ruined without olive oil. "For" can be both an adverb (meaning too), a preposition (like this example with the olive oil) (and a synonym for "som" in certain expressions ("ta for god fisk", to accept/believe in something)).
Basically there is no way to tell the difference without a context. But "For mange kokker" has become a shorted version of the idiom too many cooks spoils the broth, "Jo flere kokker, jo mere søl", the more cooks you have, the more mess you'll get. Something you can say whenever things get messy because of the number of people involved, maybe even like "Det er for mange kokker".
And Norwegians will think "too many" whenever they see for mange, I don't think anyone would seriously write it down like that meaning the preposition "for", it needs a context and without it it turns into the adverb.
In Italy we use to say "troppi galli a cantare non fanno mai giorno" something like "Where too many cocks sing, the day never comes".
It was just a curiosity to add ... it's nice to see how the wisdom of peoples is translated into all languages, but in the end it contains the same substance :)
Thanks for the excellent reply. But it seems that based on what you say, "for many cooks" should also be an acceptable answer, since there is not enough context to pick any one answer. For example, a cooking class might say "We have room for many cooks". If Duolingo had given a more complete sentence, such as ending it with "...spoil the broth", only then would "for many cooks" be wrong and "too many cooks" be right.
Hvor = (ʋuɾ) , u = [ ou in French genou, u in German kulant, Spanish puna: a sound made with a tongue position similar to that of English (u:), but shorter]
For = (fɔɾ) , ɔ = [ o in Italian no, French bonne, German Sonne: a vowel resembling English (ɒ), but with a higher tongue position and more rounding of the lips]
There should both be a difference in the starting sound and the vowel sound.
"for" means "too" whereas "altfor" means "far too," "way too" or "much too." Some examples:
- Det er for vanskelig. = It's too difficult. versus Det er altfor vanskelig. = It's way/far/much too difficult.
- Du snakker for mye. = You talk too much. versus Du snakker altfor mye. = You talk way/far too much.