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  5. "Du er syg i hovedet!"

"Du er syg i hovedet!"

Translation:You are insane!

September 16, 2014



I have heard you are "sick in the head in English" enough that it seems perfectly acceptable to say about mental illness. I think saying "you are sick" would have more of a connotation of very abhorrent behaviors than mental illness.

[deactivated user]

    I wouldn’t consider it an acceptable way to refer to mental illness. Someone I would refer to as “sick in the head” actually wouldn’t be mentally ill but an evil, manipulating, scheming [bleep]. The kind of person who takes perverse pleasure in causing others misery. That is someone who is sick in the head.


    Which makes it a good translation for the Danish sentence, though. :)

    "Syg i hovedet" is more about being a psychopath/sociopath than about.. um, other mental illnesses.


    This is my kind of Danish


    Would it not be acceptable to say 'You are mentally ill'? This would be a fact in England. But 'You are insane' would be more like an insult.


    No. When Danes say, "Du er syg i hovedet", it is normally meant in an insulting way, either friendly or hostile. The translation of, "You are mentally ill", would be, "Du er psykisk syge", amongst others.


    The term I have heard for "insane" is sindssyg (literally, mind-sick).


    Insane in the membrane ...


    In English English 'mad' and 'insane' are synonymous but mad was not accepted as a translation - it should be.


    It is my understanding that where one might say in American English to a friend "you are insane" as a form of humor or a jest to describe their crazy behavior, that to say "du er syg I hovedet" is a very deep insult to any Dane; at least that was the case when I lived in Denmark 50 years ago. Is that still the case or has the language changed? Also, it would never be appropriate to discuss mental illness that way in America.


    "Du er syg i hovedet." is indeed something you use as an insult or at the very least a very frank evaluation of your actions/words/motivations etc. And we wouldn't use this to discuss mental illness either.

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