It's not versatile, rather it's difficult to directly translate. It's a phrase used to politely offer something to someone. It's a replacement for "Here you go" or "enjoy" as you provide coffee or a gift, etc. You can say it before or after the other person would say thank you. It's not a phrase used outside of this context though.
Because this context can have very many different phrases in English (and some different ones in Norwegian as well) that are considered correct, and there's no clear best translation, it seems like there's many translations.
I'm very confused with this expression, I think I need some more examples. Can someone clarify to me if this sentence is said by two different people?
Like: Person 1- Vær så god: Here you are/help yourself/there you go (giving something to person 2) Person 2- Tusen takk! : Thank you very much!
Or is it all said by the same person?
Also, can "Vær så god" also be translated as "you're welcome" after someone says "thank you" to you?
Thanks in advance!
It's said by two different people, like in your example.
It can be said after a "thank you" as well, for example at the end of a meal after someone says "takk for maten", which is pretty much mandatory in Norway. Of course the person who made the food will likely have said "vær så god" at the very beginning of the meal as well.
When gifting something, "vær så god" will most often come first, and then "tusen takk" follows as a response. The order may get switched around if the gifter forgets or deems it unnecessary to say "vær så god", or the receiver is very quick to say thank you - and that's fine as well. Nothing to worry about. :)
Giving someone something is the main context we would use "Here you are," in the US. "Are" here is used colloquially for the verb 'to have' or 'to take' rather than the literal verb used, 'to be.' "Here you are," can be used in the context of you arriving somewhere or being somewhere. But, in either case, the setting and actions of the prople involved reveal which meaning is intended. English! Sheesh!
En ting man må passe på er bruken av "vennligst".<pre>
"Vennligst skriv meg på listen din."</pre>
I stedet for at denne setningen oppfattes som høflig, oppfattes den veldig lett som en kommando! Man bruker ordet vennligst mer i offentlige sammenhenger – på skilt og i situasjoner hvor det er nødvendig at man handler raskt og effektivt:<pre>
"Vennligst forlat lokalet straks. Det brenner!" "Vennligst pass på bagasjen deres! Det er tyver her".</pre>
Det ligger altså en kommando i ordet vennligst – og det passer ofte ikke å bruke dette ordet i private, uformelle sammenhenger.
Repetition, repetition, repetition... I believe all new languages will mess with your brain, because your brain is literally fighting you to NOT learn a new language. It wants for things to remain the same. You: (insert some norwegian words) Brain: "Why would he want to say something like that now, he's pronouncing everything wrong. Naw, screw that. I'll just say it like I've always said it."
I tried 'thanks a million' and was told it was correct too. I think it's just a way to emphasise thanks.
You can't translate things literally. You just say different things in different languages. I have studied Japanese (perfect example), where most verbs have multiple English 'meanings', some very different, and others very similar. Most of them just do not have a direct English translation.
Good point (even English sometimes does not have a direct translation with my language!), but I'm studying many languages and it is necessary for me for memorizing things (that's why I gave up on Japanese for now!).
Plus, I found myself quite comfortable with Norwegian and english literal translations so far, and I always managed to "map" them (sometimes it's an entertaining exercise!).
And... Last but not least, I'm fond of etymology and it's often a convenient way to relate terms trough a common ancestor.
This way, I often learn better English itself.
As you said, sometimes it is just not possible - but where it is, I prefer to give it a try :)
The two sentences are definitely uttered by different people.
For Canadian English speakers, in most instances, a better translation of "Vær så god" as it is used above and very often used in everyday communications is "Please". The best translations convey the essence of words, not their literal meaning.
"Be so kind," would very seldom be used by Canadians. "Here you are" or "Here it is" would both be good translations but would apply in limited circumstances. There are many more circumstances in which those translations would not be best.
Norwegians make numerous statements in which much of the intended message is implied. For example, after opening a door to see an invited guest on their front porch they will convey the message, "Please come in," by simply stating "Vær så god." "Please" is understood by the friend to mean, "Please, come in".
If the house has a stair case, once the guest is inside the house, the home owner will invite the guest to continue by saying, "Please go up to the living room," with the simple clause, "Vær så god". Nothing more need be said for the guest to understand the message.
Upon entering the living room, the host will say, "Please take a seat," by using only, "Vær så god".
After the guest is seated and the host puts snacks on the coffee table, the host will say, "Please help yourself," simply by stating, "Vær så god."
I do see what you're getting at, but it seems you've just chosen to always translate vær så god as 'please'. Look:
After opening a door to see an invited guest on their front porch they will convey the message, "Make yourself at home," by simply stating "Vær så god."
If the house has a stair case, once the guest is inside the house, the homeowner will invite the guest to continue by saying, "The living room's upstairs," with the simple clause, "Vær så god". Nothing more need be said for the guest to understand the message.
Upon entering the living room, the host will say, "Here you go," by using only, "Vær så god".
After the guest is seated and the host puts snacks on the coffee table, the host will say, "Help yourself," simply by staying, "Vær så god."
I especially think you forced the last one into including 'please' a little bit.