"Han er nok dessverre borte i helgen."

Translation:Unfortunately, he is probably gone on the weekend.

July 28, 2015

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When I looked up nok I got "enough" as the (only) translation. How come it can also be translated to probably?!?


Unfortunately, there isn't a single extensive and reliable Norwegian-English dictionary available which is also free, so if a definition is lacking it doesn't mean that it doesn't exists.

Having said that, "nok" is a tricky word to translate when used in this sense, and even the Norwegian dictionary struggles to define it.

Depending on context one might translate it to either "probably" or "surely" (or even omit it completely), and you can think of it as a way of softening a sentence that would be an absolute statement if we removed the "nok" - adding either a touch or probability or opinion into the mix.

Imagine consoling a mother who's worryingly waiting for her child to return home:

"Hun kommer nok hjem snart."

"She'll probably be home soon."
"She'll surely be home soon."
"I think she'll (probably/surely) be home soon."


Tusen takk! I realise there is no such thing as a perfect 1-on-1 translation for most words, and free dictionaries may have their limitations I guess. I just failed to see how enough and probably/surely were related and where this "other" meaning came from :)

I understand your explanation of the "touch of probability/opinion" but am still wondering how the "enough" part fits in. Say you have the sentence "Han spiser nok", would this be "He is probably/surely eating" or "He is eating enough"?


Bare hyggelig! I'm not sure where the other meaning came from, as the dictionary only gives one etymological source. Maybe someone will come around and educate us both eventually. ;)

The sentence could mean either of those two things, but with context it shouldn't be too hard to figure out which is the intended meaning. Very generally you can expect "nok" as in "probably/surely" to be found either in reassuring statements or in answers to a question


Takk igjen, jeg nøk forstår det nå! ;)


Ja, du forstår det nok nå! :)

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Det ser ut som at nok kommer fra tysk "noch". Se punkt 2: https://www.naob.no/ordbok/nok_2


Belated reply, but in some dialects of English you still hear "like enough" or even "likely enough" as a variant of "probably," although it's falling out of favor. You do still hear "sure enough" with regularity in the US South. The overlap seems to be that there's sufficient basis to make the statement.


"sure enough" was what i thought of too, I live in Tennessee so it's familiar. It seems like quite a few Norwegian turns of phrase resemble idiomatic phrases in English, the first one that comes to mind is "dere" because it's the exact equivalent of "y'all" and it makes me feel very validated in my regiinal expression


In this example, since 'nok' is in its typical position in the sentence it means enough. As a general rule I would say that if nok is at the end of the sentence it means enough, if it is somewhere in the middle, it is most likely being used for another purpose. Context plays a huge role in this, and the inly way to master this is to practice with native speakers


Thanks for this comments..


There are several words that can be placed throughout the sentence instead of in their usual position, which changes the meaning. They are usually used as sentence modifiers to provide emphasis to certain points. Such as: 'nok, vel, da...' I wouldn't say that in this sentence 'nok' directly translates to probably, there are some other nuances to it l. And depending on how you say it, would mean more like you are exasperated that he isn't home, or being passive aggressive because he's never home and the speaks thinks he should be. Bthat's the closest you can get in this situation since there really isn't an equivalent in modern english


The most awkward sentence I have seen yet. I am from the South (U.S.). We would say "Unfortunately, he probably will not be here this weekend" or "Unfortunately he will probably not be here this weekend" We NEVER use "on the weekend" (singular) But we do use "on the weekends" (plural).
For singular, we always use "this weekend"


Also from the South in the US, but I've definitely heard and used and grown up around "on the weekend" (singular) as common usage to refer to the upcoming weekend. This sentence only comes off as marginally unusual to me because they (appropriately) translated "borte" more aptly as "gone," instead of what I would more often colloquially as "not here." "Is John going to be in Saturday?" "No, unfortunately, he probably won't be here on the weekend."


What is a word order that comes after a verb? Could we inverse 'nok' and 'dessverre'?


Adverbs describing the verb usually comes after the verb. However, inversing 'nok' and 'dessverre' wouldn't work, at least not in this sentence.


Can’t we say “Unfortunately he is probably gone during the weekend”?


Can we say: "Han er sannsynligvis dessverre borte i helgen" ?

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I think you can either use "sannsynligvis" or "dessverre", the two are too much together. Try to remember to use "nok" instead of "sannsynligvis" and you'll sound like a native.


So would kanskje be 'maybe' and nok 'probably'?


Depends on how you use it. Kanskje is always maybe but nok can mean different things. It kinda of means that in this context and in this placement in the sentence, but by itself it just means enough. That’s why it’s so hard to explain. You can’t say, ‘he will enough be gone this weekend’ so they try to rearrange the definitions when they translate it to English. In this context it just adds a different feel to the sentence instead actually meaning anything. There are quite a few words like that in Norwegian that mean one thing by themselves but when they are used in a different place in the sentence they change the overall feeling of the sentence instead of imparting actually dictionary meaning. They can change it to show excitement, make the sentence apologetic, or just kinda of fill a space. You get used to it if you are around people who speak like that, but otherwise it’s pretty difficult to have a set rule that marks how and when to use them


I am English and I don't understand what this translation means. Does it mean: "...he will have left by the weekend" or "...he will be away at the weekend" ( or "away for the weekend" )or.....? The translation you give doesn't make sense in British English.

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I think "away for the weekend" is the closest. But maybe it is more natural in English to say, "Unfortunately, he will likely not be here on the weekend". What do you think?


For the English, "away for the weekend" sounds more natural. Thank you!


The ‘nok’ is just a modifier. It means he will unfortunately be away this weekend. The ‘nok’ adds a certain emphasis to it. There a few different words you could put there which change the meaning from being apologetic to meaning more like, ‘yeah I’m pretty sure he will gone this weekend’, or ‘probably gone this weekend’ The biggest indicator of which it is, is usually the inflection to your voice. So of course they dint really get it perfect here.


The English translation sounds quite awkward and would not be said here. I would say "Unfortunately, he has probably gone away for the weekend".


I do not like this sentence. Word order is very confusing. Just getting that off my chest.


I keep realizing that Duo corrects absolutely none of my typos. "svart" instead of "svært", "dessvere" instead of "dessverre", and many more. It's quite misleading.


I think it's only on listening exercises, but it is very annoying!


I noticed that this doesn't happen, or at least very rarely, with the mobile app, while it is very frequent with the desktop version.


"he is probably already away for the weekend" would be more usual in English, but this is not accepted. We wouldn't say "gone on the weekend" - perhaps that is normal in USA?


"He is perhaps unfortunately away for the weekend." was marked wrong. "gone on the weekend" is not a normal English way of speaking.

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