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  5. "Boken handler om mange ting."

"Boken handler om mange ting."

Translation:The book is about many things.

August 7, 2015



I cant get a handle on this word


Read the book. The book handles this word.


Om is "about"......... How does "handler" fit in the sentence. The only definition for handler I can get is "trades"???????


Some phrases do not translate literally. Think "deals with..."


Hot damn it makes sense now!


and even in English it is similar: "to deal" as well originally means "to trade" (--> dealer), and here one could use "deals with" in the sense of "is about".


this is the same construction as in German, where the word "handeln" (Norwegian: handle), which originally translates as "trade" is used in "handeln von" (Norwegian: handle om"). The difference is the preposition (von/om).


Actually, I was reminded of German 'sich handeln um', which I think has pretty much the same meaning as 'handeln von' in this case, but is a direct cognate of the Norwegian (except that Norwegian doesn't use the reflexive sich/seg).


"sich handeln um" is used in expressions like "Es handelt sich hier um ein Verbrechen" ("what we have here is a crime"). If you talk about the contents of a book (or whatever) you don't use that, but the irreflexive "handeln von". So it is a direct cognate.


Thanks for the correction! I got my prepositions confused. :-)


Is 'handler' just straight-forwardly the 'correct' vern or does it sound as figurative as 'the book handles many subjects' in English?


It's the most natural way of expressing it in Norwegian. A slightly more formal way of phrasing it would be "Boken omhandler...".


I might be wrong, but is "å handle om" a phrase meaning " to deal with" / " is about". And "å handle" means to purchase ? Can someone please confirm ?


"Å handle" can mean both "to shop", "to trade", and "to purchase". It's a bit of a chameleon!

It can also mean "to act":

"Han handlet i god tro."
"He acted in good faith."

"Å handle om" translates as you described.


Doesn't å handle mean to buy too? I used "handlet du melk" for "did you buy milk" and irresponsible asked me to use kjøpte instead. Maybe wrong spelling?


Hvis eg sier (i can deal him) så må eg si (eg kan handle han)?


Men hvis du sier "eg" du kan ikke si "hvis," fordi "eg" er nynorsk, og "Hvis" er bare bokmaal.


Could I translate this as "The book tackles many things"? This was marked as incorrect.


This is a perfectly good English sentence, but the verb 'to tackle' doesn't mean quite the same thing as 'to be about'. When a book or article "tackles" a subject, that generally implies that the subject is a very extensive, difficult, or complicated one, and can also imply that the subject matter might be socially, politically, or culturally sensitive or controversial.

To be quite proper about it, a book would also probably tackle a subject rather than a thing. 'Thing' would certainly be understood, but it sounds a bit generic.


Why can't I say "The book treats many things"?


That sentence doesn't make sense in English. 'Treat' doesn't mean the same thing as 'to be about'.


That is an old-fashioned and now unusual way to say it. (And I think it needs a preposition, "treats of" or "treats on" I think? That may be incorrect, as I said, it's very unusual today.)

Regarding its origin for that usage, the online dictionary says: ORIGIN Middle English (in the senses ‘negotiate’ and ‘discuss a subject’): from Old French traitier, from Latin tractare ‘handle’, frequentative of trahere ‘draw, pull’. The current noun sense dates from the mid 17th century.


It doesn't need a preposition. And it is not old-fashioned at all. Note we are not talking about the noun "treat", but the verb "to treat".


At some stage meanings become personal, poetic and just stylistic. It's the beauty of words... like a woman, they can be different on each occasion.

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