1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Norwegian (Bokmål)
  4. >
  5. "Hvor er verdens største foss…

"Hvor er verdens største foss?"

Translation:Where is the world's largest waterfall?

October 15, 2015



The etymology of this surprisingly short word is rather interesting. Apparently it comes from a word which meant either waterfall or torrent, and that itself came from a word meaning "spray". So because waterfalls spray, that seems to be the word's origin. Kul.


In Laos, Chutes de Khone :)


depends if you mean widest, or highest drop or volume of water. Question is imprecise?


Long before I ever started learning Norwegian, I had a friend whose last name was Foss. I had no idea at the time what it meant. I had no idea what my last name meant either. It's cool to get a new perspective on the Norwegian names from the small town of my past.


So what does your last name mean?


'he who leans over' - their ancestors had one leg shorter than the other, naturally, living in a place with a lot of slopes.


"Where is the world's biggest falls?" It is common to shorten waterfall to falls.


Except only 'fall' can correctly be applied to a single waterfall, while 'falls' requires a series or group of some sort. In practice it's a pretty soft requirement since places like Niagara Falls can be considered several falls adjacent to each other, so it may seem to be breaking (and thereby devaluing) the rule in plain sight, but it's not. Or in Yosemite, visitors complain when they're corrected to say "Vernal Fall" and "Nevada Fall", instead of Falls for each of those, and they point to Yosemite Falls as a counterexample. But the thing is, Yosemite Falls is actually a series of three distinct and separated waterfalls.

Ultimately, though, it's another of those places where people know the rules but it's just not that important to follow the rules. I am only mentioning it here for the reason that when we're in language learning and translation mode, rules matter a little more, then we can break them all day long after that.


I'm not sure English speakers outside of the US would necessarily agree with this.


I'm not sure English speakers inside the US would, either.

Learn Norwegian (Bokmål) in just 5 minutes a day. For free.