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"Spiser han frokost?"

Translation:Is he eating lunch?

August 27, 2014

11 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lawchiyan

Might I ask how it came to be that 'frokost' meant breakfast in Norwegian and lunch in Danish? Caught me off guard, it did.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mokichan

German: Frühstück = Breakfast

Swedish: Frukost = Breakfast

Norwegian: Frokost = Breakfast

Danish: Frokost = Lunch... ?

I am just going to assume that Danish people are not early risers. ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/degeberg

My dictionary says that the etymology is from Low German "vrokost" (vrô=early, kost=meal). It also says "really the first meal" under etymology. I suppose the Norwegian meaning is more reasonable :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StefanoSolgreno

I thought about the same.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SabreeBlackmon

"He eats lunch?" was not accepted. I wonder if there is a reason for this?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sovay

I don't think your answer is correct English. If someone said that to me, I would understand them to a degree, but it sounds awkward. "Does he eat lunch?" is a more natural possibility in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SabreeBlackmon

"He eats lunch?" and "Does he eat lunch?" have different meanings (to me anyway). I would ask "He eats lunch?" much like I would say "He's writing a book? I don't believe it!" I think it is fairly common to rhetorically ask things that way informally, especially with a verbal emphasis on the subject, "he" in this case, and a rising inflection -- it communicates a kind of surprise or disbelief, often when you are restating something just said to you, but as a question.

I assumed maybe there was a different way to do this in Danish, so that's why "He eats lunch?" was rejected, but as far as I know, it's a grammatically fine answer in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sovay

Oh, I hear ya. I notice, though, that your second hypothetical example is in a different form than the first. "He's writing a book?" is different and performs a different function in that context than "He writes a book?"

I understand what you mean now, though. I'll leave it to native Danish speakers to answer the question of how they would translate your idea.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SabreeBlackmon

Indeed! I do agree though, and I think a better example would be something like saying, "He drives a motorcycle!?" after you see your boring boss drive away on his new sports bike after work :D

I'm not sure that kind of snarkiness would translate cleanly across languages but I am mighty curious now!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/John_Ryan_

I'm still a bit lost on grammar. Why is it not "Han spiser frokost?" I thought it was usually: Subject Verb Object. My guess is that in this order it implies it's a question?

I've so far ran into another example that didn't work like this, but that was explained because there was an adverb so it was really Adverb Verb Subject Object, "Måske snakker han engelsk."

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