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Folk, Norway (Norge/Noreg), Norwegian (Bokmål/Nynorsk)

“Eg ser” (Bjørn Eidsvåg)

Live performance of “Eg ser” 2008 (YouTube)
Country: Norway (Norge/Noreg)
Language: Norwegian (Bokmål/Nynorsk)

Passe Gal

“Eg ser”
Bjørn Eidsvåg
Passe gal (1983)

Eg ser at du er trøtt,
men eg kan ikkje gå alle skritta for deg.
Du må gå de sjøl,
men eg ve gå de med deg, eg ve gå de med deg.

Eg ser du har det vondt,
men eg kan ikkje grina alle tårene for deg.
Du må grina de sjøl,
men eg ve grina med deg, eg ve grina med deg

Eg ser du vil gi opp,
men eg kan ikkje leva livet for deg.
Du må leva det sjøl,
men eg ve leva med deg, eg ve leva med deg.

Eg ser at du er redd,
men eg kan ikkje gå i døden for deg.
Du må smaka han sjøl,
men eg gjør død til liv for deg, eg gjør død til liv for deg.
Eg har gjort død til liv for deg.
Eg har gjort død til liv for deg.

“I see” (English translation by ORS, 2011)

I see that you are tired
but I cannot go every step for you
You must go them yourself
but I will go them with you, I will go there with you

I see you have this pain
but I cannot cry every tear for you
You must cry them yourself
but I will cry with you, I will cry with you

I see you want to give up
but I cannot live life for you
You must live it yourself
but I will live with you, I will live with you

I see that you are afraid
but I cannot go to death for you
You must savor him yourself
but I make death into life for you, I make death into life for you.
I have made death into life for you.
I have made death into life for you.

Vocabulary & Etymology

trøtt  – tired; Dan. træt; Swed. trött
skritt – step ; Ger. der Schritt; Dan. skridt, trit; Swed. steg
sjøl self; Dan. sig
vondt – pain
grine – (verb) to cry; Swed. (central/northern dialect) grina
tåre – tear;  Dan. tåre; Swed. tår; Ger. die Träne
redd – afraid; Swed. rädd
smake  -(verb)  to savor, taste; Swed. smakka; Dan. smag; Ger. schmecken


1.  Pronunciation

Usually I do not try to explain pronunciation, but rather prefer to observe the lyrics naturally, the way they sound sung and they way they look written.  However, like the other Scandinavian languages, Norwegian uses the same alphabet as English but with very different pronunciation.  Here are some the examples in this song:

-eg,-ed , [aei] like English –ay as in “say” or “play”
ex: eg (I), deg (you), med (with)

ki, kj, ky, tj ~ ç, ∫ like English “sh” or perhaps German –ch in “ich”
ex: ikkje (not)

sj, sk, ski, sky, skøy ~ ∫, more like English “sh”
ex: sjøl (self)

gj [y] ~ silent
ex: gjør (to make)
2.  Bokmål and Nynorsk

In his video on Bokmål comprehensive series of Introductory Overviews of the Germanic languages, Dr. Alexander Arguelles explains why Norway has two different written forms, or rather two orthographies.  Historically, from 1370-1814, when Norway and Denmark were one kingdom, Norwegians spoke their vernacular language (of West Scandinavian origin) but wrote Danish (East Scandinavian).  In the 19th century, Nynorsk was developed based on standardization of West Scandinavian dialects.  In the 20th century, a series of spelling reforms standardized Bokmal to distinguish it from Danish.   Bokmal has been known as “book language”, “Danish-Norwegian”, the “national” language, and is more common than Nynorsk.

Norwegian has often been called “Danish spoken in Swedish”; in other words, Norwegian shares phonology with Swedish, but lexicon with Danish.

This song is written in Nynorsk.  See Dr. Arguelles’ video here for further explanation.  Examples of spelling differences include:

Nynorsk eg (Bokmal jeg) “I”
Nynorsk ikkje (Bokmal ikke) “not”
3.  Pronouns

Personal (and Object in parenthesis)

1-   I (me)        Jeg (meg)           We (us)      vi (oss)
2-  You (you)  Du (deg)             You (you)  dere (dere)
3-  He (him)   Han (ham)       They (they) de (dem)
She (her)   Hun (henne)    They (they)  de (dem)

*There are also reflexive pronouns, which take the same form as the object pronouns except in the 3rd person where it is “seg” for both singular and plural (masculine and feminine)

Demonstrative pronouns (this, that, these, those) also exist in Norwegian, but in a different way:

Near (“this”) : denne (m/f singular), dette (neuter, sing), disse (plural)
Far (“that”): den, det, de

*This pattern is based on the articles: en (m singular), ei (feminine singular), et (neuter singular)
3.  Verbs
For the most part, verb conjugations in Norwegian are very “regular”.

Infinitives  : å Stem–e/@
Present: Stem-er/r
Past: Stem-et/a, te/de
Past participle: Stem-et/a,  -t/d

Ex: To see
Infintive: å se
Present: ser
Past: så
Past participle: sett

Ex: To be
Infinitive: å vaere
Present: er
Past: var
Past participle: vaert

Ex: To do
Infinitive: å gjøre
Present: gjør

Like the other Germanic languages, Norwegian has auxiliary (helping) verbs, conjugated here in paranthesis (present, past, past participle)

ville ~ want (vil, ville, villet)
skulle ~ will probably (skal, skulle, skullet)
kunne ~ can (kan, kunne, kunnet)
måtte ~ must  (må, måtte, måttet)

Examples from the song:

Eg kan ikkje gå… (I can not go à I cannot go)

Du må gå (You must go)

Eg ve gå  (I will go)

Du vil gi opp (You will give up)
Guitar chords
Em, G, Cmaj7, B7  (2x)
Em  A   D-D#dim  (2x)
Em G Cmaj7 B7




  1. Pingback: Foreign Language Music Turns 2! | Ripe Ideas - February 15, 2012

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