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  5. "Her ligger elefanten."

"Her ligger elefanten."

Translation:Here lies the elephant.

May 22, 2015



Rest in peace? :'(


Don't worry. He's just sleeping.


Resting. Pining for the fjords.


I'll make a serious version of lumpydumpling's comment:

In English this would imply the elephant is dead, and probably, buried (which . . . must have been a challenge in its own right). Does Norwegian have the same implication?


If you are translating a headstone, "here lies" would be "her hviler", not "her ligger".


Not necessarily, but it could mean that yes. I didn't think of a dead elephant before I read the comments.


Could it not also be said: "the elephant is lying here" in english (meaning the elephant is lying here and not there)?


Yes. You could also use it even when the elephant isn't there, for example to state where the elephant habitually lies, as "this is the elephant's bed".


Yes, you'd normally say "the elephant lies here." "Here lies..." is archaic word order, so when we say it, we're basically quoting old gravestones.


Am I the only one who thought of the elephant graveyard in Lion King? Or am I lonelier than I thought?


Could I say 'Elefanten ligger her'?


Can this verb also be used in some circumstances to basically just indicate location without much reference to posture, maybe for more abstract things that don't have a physical posture the same way that elephants or furniture do? maybe as in these results https://www.google.com/search?ie=utf-8oe=utf-8q=%22Resultater+*+ligger+her%22+site:.no (about results rather than elephants). or are abstract non-objects still seen as having a specific ability to lie or stand? does the word order ('ligger her' or 'her ligger') possibly make a difference in which sort of meaning it could have?


It's often used for files and information on computers, hard drives, memory chips, websites. And also when describing the location of buildings, even if one could argue that they're actually standing.

It can be used with some abstract concepts, but it's mostly limited to cases where you're actually likening that concept to something tangible, as well as to a few common expressions:

"Mørket ligger som et teppe over byen."
"Det ligger mye kunnskap bak denne avgjørelsen."
"Situasjonen ligger ikke til rette for å..."
"Vår største utfordring ligger i å..."

As for the "her ligger" vs "ligger her", I'd say that "ligger her" is used when describing the general location of something you can't see (because of distance, not abstraction), while "her ligger" is used when you could point to whatever you're referring to; either because it's in your field or view or on a map. "ligger her" would still be a viable option in those cases.

"her(/location) + ligger" can also be used to make a statement seem a bit more lofty or dramatic, much like in English. That's what's giving people the "funeral vibe" from the elephant sentence:

"Here lies/rests the greatest man who ever lived."
"In Africa lies the cradle of humanity."


Thanks so much for the detailed answer and examples! I think I’ve mainly come across it in tv narration, talking about buildings and/or for stylistic effect :)


As I've heard, 'her' (here) and 'har' (I/you/he/she/it/we/you/they have/has) are pronounced almost the same way. Is there any way to make a difference in the pronunciation, or the only way to figure out if someone said 'har' or 'her' id the context?


"her" uttales med æ/ä-lyd: https://forvo.com/word/her/#no

"har" uttales med a-lyd: https://forvo.com/word/har/#no


I struggle with the difference also, but the key thing is the context, and I am more likely to make the mistake if I am in button pushing frenzy or in need of a break. Although it does have some issues, I find it very useful to have Google Translate open now, on a PC. Press the microphone once and it repeats at normal speed, press again and it slows it down. Although the accent is different to Duolingo, I can hear the difference now.


How can I divide har and her when i listen to it because i hear no difference


They are very similar. Simple answer: You just have to train your ears.

Slightly longer answer: Context is often a very good clue, and can help you distinguish between minimal pairs like this. And to be technical, both a and æ are open, unrounded vowels, but a is a back vowel whereas æ is front.


It is extremely hard to distinguish but the ladys voice very clearly says har. If both har and her are pronounced identically, this can pose some problems for learning students to correctly translate a sentence in any listening exercise.


Context is key. "Have lies the elephant," doesn't make sense.


So both her and har are pronounced identically?


Not identically. Her is pronounced with a "wider" vowel sound. With more exposure, it's easier to hear.


Thank you very much, I guess this is also a bit hard to capture into a voice heard on a computer also, I have had several words sound confusing in the past with some voice mangling that seems to be used on this poor ladys voice haha


Would "Her står elefanten" essentially mean the same thing?


No Her ligger implies that the elephant is lying down, while her står implies the elephant is standing. The difference is little but still there!


Sannsynligvis han spiser brød og gråter på gulvet.

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