Because in different dialects the feminine articles and declensions are used in varying degrees.
In some dialects feminine inflection and articles are (or are almost) completely abandoned in favor of common gender (feminine nouns are treated as if they were masculine). In other dialects the feminine forms are used more.
In written language you can also choose whether you want to use the feminine forms or not.
Have a look at this part of the wikibook on norwegian: https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Norwegian/Lesson_2#Gender_of_Nouns
This does not answer the question at all. So "en" and "ei" are synonymous ?
The wikibooks linked explains the genders of nouns. 'En' and 'ei' and 'et' all mean 'a' or 'an' in English, but you pick which one you use based on the gender of the noun - something we don't have in English. I found this explanation helpful: http://www.learnnorwegiannaturally.com/norwegian-grammar/indefinite-and-definite-articles-in-norwegian/
But aren't the two genders En and Et?
So if those are the two genders, then why is ei used?
There are three genders in Norwegian:
"En" is the indefinite article for masculine nouns, "et" is the indefinite article for neuter nouns, and "ei" is the indefinite article for feminine nouns.
However, all feminine nouns may be declined as if they were masculine, meaning that you're free to use "en" as the indefinite article for them as well.
All nouns are either M, F or N, and these are just to memorize. In Norwegian Bokmål it's optional to use "en" [M indefinite article] instead of "ei" [F indefinite article]. In Norwegian Nynorsk though, you can't.
I wonder why that is. In other gendered languages, it is absolutely essential that the correct genders are used for nouns. It's certainly an interesting characteristic of the language.
It used to be like that when I went to school in the 90s. So if you use the male form on a feminine noun you would get an angry face from me.
But some languages drop them over time. E.g. Old English had 3 genders, and modern English has none (or one, I guess, in that they are all the same one). Swedish has a few words where both can be used, and it ALSO used to have 3, but now has 2, which means at some point, people were 'misusing' nouns. To me, it's more amazing that genders survive at all. In English, people make WAY more basic errors than that.
For a feminine noun, you can choose whether to use the masculine or the feminine article "en or ei". "Jente" is a feminine Norwegian noun, it’s correct to say both "ei jente" and "en jente". This only applies to feminine nouns.
I swear I cannot hear the difference between "barna" and "barnet" as well as "jenta" and "jente" in these listening exercises...
If you cant hear the difference use context. 'Jente' will almost always have a word like 'ei' or 'noen' or somthing else to show it is indefinite- ei jente/a girl noen jente/any girl. "Ei jenta" would mean "a the girl" sounds as bad in Norwegian as it does in english
Det can only mean "the" when following the rule of double determination but in this grammatical form, its function is not that of a demonstrative pronoun.
- det røde huset - the red house
Jenta is pronounced
/jɛntɑ/ while jente is pronounced
Also, pay attention to the presence of the indefinite article. If there isn't any, you're dealing with definite singular of that particular noun ( jenta ).
P.S. Let's hope this makes you remarkably efficient in differentiating these two. We are here to fight despair with hope!
Someone can help me with this, I don't have clear yet when i have to use "jente" or "jenta"
Along with these translations:
- entall - singular
- flertall - plural
- ubestemt - indefinite
- bestemt - definite
So you have to memorize the gender of each noun and there's no way to see which gender it has? Damn, that's exactly like in German and so difficult :/
In contrast to German, however, these articles are fixed. E.g. it's always en and -en, not like in German either ein, einen or einem / der, den or dem. But yes, like most languages with genders, you'll have to memorize it.
I get confused. 'Jente' is feminine or neuter? In other words, when we should use en jente and when ei jente?
The word jente is of feminine gender but can take the masculine indefinite article en as well.
Please refer to @En-tyskr-i-Norge's reply on this page for more info.
I thought that en could be used instead of ei...but maybe I was wrong. I wrote "en jente" but it resulted as an error
In a listening exercise, you have to input what you've heard and not what you usually associate with that particular word (Barnet er ei jente vs. Barnet er en jente) and everything will work smoothly.
In all other cases, en jente and ei jente are equally correct which means the application should accept both variants.
I always get confused with the jenta or jente. In what sentence would you change the the end to a or e?
"Jente" is the indefinite singular. Any unspecific girl is "en / ei jente" = "a girl".
"Jenta" is the definite singular. Any specific girl is "jenta" = "the girl".
- "A girl is reading a book" = "Ei jente leser ei bok"
- "The girl is reading a book" = "Jenta leser ei bok"
Female nouns are usually "ei": "Ei jente", "ei bok", "ei flaske". But they can also use the male form "en": "En jente", "en bok", "en flaske". Some Norwegian regions / dialects insist on using the female forms, others don't.
it really sounds like "jenta" not "jente". Is the pronunciation so similar or just the text-to-speech cråp?
I promise I am not following you and telling you what you should hear but TTS is not at fault here either. Look at the graph below to see how close ɑ (open back unrounded vowel) is to ə (mid central vowel).
Although the current match result is 0:2, I'm sure that you'll end up striking those goals as you become more and more surrounded by the language itself and exposed to its sounds. Give your ears time and it will click in your mind. Also, we are always here when people need help.