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  5. "Osten hadde vært ekkel."

"Osten hadde vært ekkel."

Translation:The cheese had been gross.

November 22, 2015



Is "horrible" an acceptable translation of "ekkel"?


Not really. Do you use 'gross' and 'horrible' interchangeably?


Yes, I'd say so, in that context. However, we don't really use the word 'gross' in British English, I think it's an American word. "Nasty" might be a better alternative, but I'm surprised if horrible isn't acceptable. That's been my go-to translation of "ekkel"!


I've added 'horrible', but I think 'nasty' or 'disgusting' might be better alternatives.


I think this sort of phrase probably differs between countries, cultures and also between generations. Personally, i'd be more likely to use horrible or disgusting than nasty.

I understand re the problems with accepting too many options. I'm happy with gross.


Yes, but the problem is that if we start accepting all of these, the translations will be too broad, and it will be more difficult to distinguish the different Norwegian word.


I'm assuming the primary connotation of ekkel is foul-tasting. There are indeed a lot of regional variations in how one would express that in English. Are there other meanings carried by the word also?


According to this source, ekkel can mean disgusting, nasty, gross, repulsive, ugly, and unsavory. Personally, I'd go with disgusting or, in a more formal piece of writing, unsavory.


Also this word exists in the German language. Only written "Ekel" and as a verb "ekelig". For example if you see a really messy public toilet then you say "Das ist ekelig" (this is gross or disgusting).


Is "The cheese would be gross" a correct translation here?


Your suggestion has a different meaning than the sentence here.

The original sentence/translation is written in the past perfect tense, "hadde vært" = "had been," which indicates something took place/happened (was completed) in the past. E.g., Erik tasted the cheese, spit it out and gave the remainder to the dog. The next day, his mum asks after the whereabouts of the cheese. Erik replies, "I threw it out because I tasted it and it had been disgusting."

"Would be" is used to speculate/hypothesize about something that has not happened. E.g., Erik's mum says, I bought that Gorgonzola because I thought it would be delicious served with red wine, pear slices and bitter chocolate!"


I know but is "The cheese would be gross" a possible translation for the sentence?


I think not. Hadde always equates to past tense "had." The word "would" should require the Norwegian word "ville," and would equate to the future.


This is an awkward sentence in english. The cheese was gross or tasted gross is more commonly used. Had been gross is not typically used in american english.

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