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  5. "Er hun en frøken eller en fr…

"Er hun en frøken eller en frue?"

Translation:Is she a Miss or a Mrs?

May 24, 2015



Nobody would ask this in Norwegian. You could ask "Er hun gift?" (Is she married?) if you were wondering about her marital status.


You are right that it is a sentence you would rarely see. Titles seem only to be used on airline tickets these days. But you do hear them used informally. A man might to refer to his wife as "fruen" when talking to his mates, much as "the missuss" is used in English. Similarly, "frøken" is sometimes used to refer to a girl or young woman.

I guess that it is useful to know these words even if they are not much in use, if nothing else to know what to pick when ordering airline tickets and we need some sentences to teach them.

BTW: My little brother was convinced that the given name of his first teach was "Fru" when he started going to school.


I'm only concerned that people would use this literal translation, as opposed to a more meaningful translation from the English sentence.

While you could probably find some instances of both fru(e) and frøken, they wouldn't be used in the same context as the English sentence. So while learning them might be useful, I think the sentences teaching them should be more meaningful. The use should perhaps be explained in the "Tips and notes" section?


Reading the English sentence I assumed that the context was that the speaker was filling out a form (e.g., when buying plane tickets as mentioned above) and needed to know whether to write Miss or Mrs. I would have been somewhat puzzled if the Norwegian translation had been Er hun gift? :) It seemed like a perfectly meaningful example sentence to me.


Ah, I like that, that makes sense. I was remembering semi-creepy customer service situations where old men would ask call me "miss" and ask my name.


My coworker (a native Norwegian speaker) told me yesterday "Fruen er på fottur i fjellet med noen veninner". The word fruen was very noticeable to me because it was one of the few times I have heard it used in everyday conversation.


Note to oneself:

hun er gift != she is poison :-p


Hun er forgiftet = she is poisoned


You won't hear this sentence much in English either. Except for maybe some old people.


Well, in Spanish is not uncommon to ask it this way: Es usted señora o señorita. (Are you a missus or miss.) I did not find it weird.


However, don't try to use this sentence in Norwegian - it sounds awkward.


If I see a stranger in the street and want to draw their attention, how should I call them? Maybe just ‘unnskyld’? But what if I want to be specific?


In my experience 'Du!' seems to be a common way to do this. I thought it was rude, at first, but Norwegians don't see it that way.


Ha, interesting! :) Thanks!


Is "ma'am" really used frequently in everyday English? It reminds me of the strange "yessum" in To Kill a Mockingbird which definitely doesn't seem so formal.


Madam is used in all formal/semi-formal situations in the UK (shops, etc). Ma'am (pronounced mam, not marm) is the more classy equivalent, also the way you address the queen (should you have to).


That's interesting; in the US, ma'am would not be the classier version.


It is used very frequently in the South (the Southern states in the US). They still hold very dear to what they refer to as "southern hospitality." They also use "Sir" when referring to men. It's not just old people, or rednecks - it is considered deeply offensive to not use these terms when dealing with elders, strangers, customers, and people in positions of authority (teachers, police, employers). As a transplant from the northwest, I had to learn real quick so as to not offend; but now that I've moved back to my home state, I still tend to use those terms, and I get the evil eye from everyone here who hates to be referred to that way, even though I'm just showing respect.


No. There are handful of old people in the US that may use it. Maybe some rednecks. But it's definitely rare and will generally get you strange looks if you use it.


If these titles are outdated, how do people refer to eachother in formal situations?


What's a 'formal situation'?


I guess another way of phrasing the question is, are there any situations in Norway where it is not okay to call someone by their first name? What do kids call their teachers?


Kids call their teachers by their first names. Famous persons(celebrities, CEOs, athletes) would perhaps be called by their last or whole name when written about in the newspapers, but this is probably because it's easier to recognize the persons, because many share the same first name. The PM is often called by his/her first name, however, so there are exceptions to this rule.

[deactivated user]

    So, if you're talking to someone in a situation in English when you would use "Mr." , "Mrs.", or "Miss", you would use the person's first name?


    ...Or full name, depending on the situation I guess.


    The translation here is confusing. Miss and ma'am are not mutually exclusive, since ma'am has nothing to do with marital status. Shouldn't it be "a miss or a mrs."?


    I think you're right. I've changed it.

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