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  5. "Forstår du ikke? Jo."

"Forstår du ikke? Jo."

Translation:Do you not understand? On the contrary.

December 14, 2015



I find this an odd sentence. If I say' I do not understand. Why would I say after I have made that statement, on the contrary? The contrary is the opposite of whatever you are talking about.


It's meant to be a conversation - one person asks "Do you not understand?" and the other person responds "On the contrary"


Takk Jennifer! :)


First of all I think it should be made clear that it's two people talking. I said "Don't you understand? Yes, you do." because I thought it was one person only.

Second I would like to know if "jo" equals "doch" in German?


Yes. "Jo" is just the same as the german "doch".


Also, like "si" in French.


so, "jo" is like, "actually, I do"? at least that's what i'd say


This can be translated as "You do not understand? On the contrary."


For the sake of clarity, our team has decided to reject such responses, as they lead to ambiguity.


Could "Jo" be translated into "Yes, as a matter of fact"?? It did not accept that translation


"Ja" might be better suited for that. "Jo" is used to respond positively to a negative question. It's a subtle difference, but a difficult one nonetheless.


Just to be clear - the answer 'jo' to a negative question is confirming the negative, right? So in this case, the answerer is saying 'No, I don't understand'?


Jo is the answer to a negative question saying that it is not right? In this case the answerer would say "Yes, I understand, as a matter of fact"


I do not believe that is the meaning of 'jo' - Jo seems to CONFIRM the NEGATIVE. However, I await a moderator's clarification.


LeaoLouro is correct - 'Don't you understand? Yes, I do' is an accepted translation


Jeg ser. Det er ikke klart...


"Do not (Don't) you understand? On the contrary." Why this is not accepted?


"Do not you" isn't English. "Don't you" and "Do you not" are, but "Do not you" is out of order.


I do not understand how "Jo" (Yes) becomes "on the contrary." Contrary is "No."


It's not really very helpful to think of "jo" as meaning "yes". The reason that Norwegian has the word "jo" is that answering "yes"/"no" to a negative question is completely ambiguous. In English you could answer the question "Don't you understand?" with "Yes, I do" or "No, I do" without very much difference in meaning.


Thank you for you comments. I do take your point in regard of the lack of difference in the English translations you offer. It happens that in my corner of England we would respond to "Don't you understand?" with either "Yes, I do (understand)." or "No, I don't (understand)." In most cases the "understand" would be vocalised rather than being merely implied. This would be done specifically because of ambiguity arising from potential double negation... which is what seems to be the problem in the Norwegian example. Of course, I am still puzzled by how "Jo" means anything contrary, since it sounds so positively affirmative. Do you want to be really kind, and have another shot at it ... for my sake? Thanks.


I agree that "Yes, I do" or "No, I don't" would be the most common answers - my point is more that the "I do" and "I don't" parts are usually included because just "Yes" or "No" on their own are confusing.

"On the contrary" doesn't always mean "No", it means something along the lines of "That's incorrect"/"I disagree"/"The opposite of what you said", which is what "Jo" means too. The difference is that "Jo" can only be used in response to a negative question. "On the contrary" can also be used in response to a positive question ("Do you understand?"), in which case it does mean "No"


Jennifer: Thank you for your kind assistance...

To recap, if I am getting this right, the term"Jo" means "No" to the previous statement, thus negating it. However, since it is only ever applied to statements that are already negative, as such "Jo" can be considered to exist in the language solely to create double negatives... and thus means "Yes" in every case. Is that the essence of it? And please tell me one more thing if you would. Does this construction come up often in conversational Norwegian? I mean, is it important for me to have a full understanding?

Thank you again. You have made much effort on my behalf. Have a couple of lingots for your trouble... (hey, I didn't pay for them!)


I think maybe I have confused things even more :)

I was only really trying to explain the English translation is "On the contrary"

In terms of the Norwegian: - When you ask a positive question (e.g. "Do you understand?"), "ja" agrees with the person ("Yes, I do") and "nei" disagrees ("No, I don't") - When you ask a negative question (e.g. "Don't you understand?"), "nei" agrees with the person ("No, I don't") and "jo" disagrees ("Yes, I do")

I guess this kind of question/answer exchange is about as common in Norwegian as in English?

Note that "jo" has several other meanings as well, although I don't think that any of the other meanings come up in the Duolingo course from memory.


I am thinking it may be time to buy a proper Norwegian-English dictionary. Is it not? ;-)


Where is the indication that two people are talking here? This is unlike any other exercise I've seen.


Technically, one should start a new line to show that a second person is speaking. That makes it much clearer.


Have "ja" and "jo" the same meaning?


Essentially, both mean yes, however, jo is mostly only used in response to a negative question.


will dialogues be a regular thing now?....is this a sign that I'm progressing?!!!!!!!!!!! :)


No, the dialogue is used here to clarify the sense of "jo", but most of the course uses single sentences. The sentences do tend to get longer as you go along though :)




how is the word <<so>> coming into this phrase? what is the equivalent in Norwegian?


There isn't a 'so' in the preferred translation. What was the sentence that you were suggested that contained 'so'?


Why is " I do" not accepted for "jo"? It's quite literally the contrary to "don't " in the previous sentence.


Well, I do not understand it indeed


if we say this in English as "you don't understand, do you?". is that the same interpretation?


Modalpartikel for the win ♥


So I submitted a report for this, but I'd also like to add it here to get other people's views on the subject.

The phrase "On the contrary" doesn't feel right in my mouth as a complete sentence but it works well as a phrase, whereas I'm far more comfortable saying "Quite the opposite" as its own sentence and, as is relevant here, a direct response to a question. Granted, I'm from the US, so this might be a matter of common usage in other English speaking countries.

As others in this thread have pointed out, it seems like this exercise is intended to be spoken by two different speakers, but the spacing and/or punctuation would suggest otherwise, which leads to confusion.

As far as I can tell, "on the contrary" and "quite the opposite" are equivalent translations of "jo", so I'd like to see "quite the opposite" be included as a translation.


I do not understand this question at all. I would never have this "conversation" in English. Shouldn't it be: Person 1: Do you understand? Person 2: Actually, yes, I do.


I think "Do you understand? You bet." should be accepted. Or, more colloquially when we're making fun of Norwegian-Americans, "Ya, sure, you betcha".


Why make such a fuss about jo ? there are so many answers/thoughts on this irrelevant subject , as far as I can see nobody understands the word "jo " .Personally I see this Norwegian course simply as to know something abt the Norwegian language as such and to express myself if visiting Norway." Jo "gives me the impression you are theologians scrutinizing the bible to find mistakes. Regards , Sjef van der Pennen , the Netherlands.


Some of us live and work here, and would prefer to learn the language fairly carefully. That helps.


It's not that hard. Jo is the response to such a negative question. "Don't you understand?" (just trying to be funny)

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