"Please" in Norwegian
DuoLingo folks, thank you for adding Norwegian. Ever since my visit to Norway, I have wanted to learn it.
I have a question about usage. During my trip, I was told by a few Norwegians that "please" is not used in conversation, but rather implied.
So, is "vær så snill" actually used in Norway?
"Vær så snill" is used.
When accepting something you would use "takk" (="thanks") instead. So "Yes, please" is "Ja, takk". Other constructions using the modal verb "å kunne" such as "Kunne du ta inn avisen?" (="Could you get the newspaper?") is considered soft enough to not necessarily require an additonal "vær så snill": "Kunne du være så snill å ta inn avisen?"
You'll get the feel as you hear and read Norwegian. In general the bigger the request and the more distant the relationship, the softer the request has to be. Isn't it the same in English?
A couple more ways to translate "please":
"Kom hit, er du snill"
The word "vennligst" is also used, but it comes across as a little formal and stern and is mostly used on signs: "Vennligst benytt fortau på andre siden".
In more official requests, you mostly use "vennligst" or "vær vennlig" (in signs for example). Also in the middle of a question, vennligst is more correct, but also sounds very much like a polite demand and could come across as rude or distant when not used by an authority. If used by a flight attendent (please wear your seatbelts) while speaking on behalf of the authority of the airplane, they will use vennligst.
Furthermore "vær så snill" can be used when passing the food around the table, "could you please pass the butter?", but then you should not put emphasis on it and it is almost made into one little word "værsåsnill". Most significatly it is used when you are asking again or emphasising the question, as a follow up of the question if you have to repeat the request. ie: "Kan du rydde? Vær så snill?" (Can you clean? Please?), or often also in more sort of begging situations "Kan jeg dra på konserten? Vær så snill?" (can i go to the concert? Please?). "Kan du være så snill og la meg være i fred?" (Can you please leave me alone?) is another example of how "vær så snill" often is used to put emphasis on your request, and in this example it particularily demonstrates the disrespect towards you as a person if the indicated does not leave you alone now..
I only speak from my understanding of my language, I don't have any grammar to back me up or anything.