Think of the English 'tends to' which can mean 'usually does' and also 'looks after'. I wonder why plejer and tend have such similar double meanings without being cognate. Is there something about caring for the sick that implies regularly repeated activity?
Uh-huh, now that is a very interesting observation you have put forth there! I love linguistics.
Whether or not is has a good linguistic basis, this is how I'm going to remember it now. Nice catch.
The German word for "plejer" ("pflegen") also has/had this second meaning of doing something usually ("zu tun pflegen"). It is not used any more, but you will find it in old texts.
Actually 'plejer' also means 'caretaker' (I think that would be the closest translation). If you say: "Jeg plejer ham", you could translate it to "I take care of him"
So 'sygeplejer' literally means someone who takes care of the sick, but I understand why you find it funny :)
If I recall correctly, the article gets dropped when talking about someone's profession. So a similar phrase like "She is an artist" would be "Hun er kunstner"
So in the hover over, it says that sygeplejer is male. I know there's another word for a female nurse, which I can't remember off the top of my head right now, but can this word also be used for a female nurse?
Actually that 'sygeplejer' is male is kinda right, but mostly wrong.
In the olden days 'sygeplejer' refereed to a male, and 'sygeplejerske' to a female performing the same job. Danish used to do this with a lot of words, just like German still do, but for this one both words stuck.
In modern Danish though they are actually two different jobs. 'sygeplejerske', the female form, is actually a job requiring a higher education then a 'sygeplejer', the male form.
In even more modern times, since 1991, the education for 'sygeplejer' no longer exist and has been replaced by 'social- og sundhedsuddannelserne'.
Therefore 'sygeplejerske' is definitely a correct translation and, I would argue, the only correct translation. Also if you look up 'nurse' in a English to Danish dictionary you find only 'sygeplejerske'. https://www.ordbogen.com/opslag.php?dict=a000&word=nurse
In other words, maybe the sygeplejer is now more like what we often call a nurse's aide in the US?
I believe that can be used for a male, though I'm not sure about this for a female.
Is "Han vil gerne være at sygeplejer" correct? Like he woul like TO be a nurse
No, the "to" is included in "være". The sentence "Han vil gerne være at sygeplejer" would be something like "He wants to be a to nurse".