Takk for alt!
How to Thank People in Norwegian
If Norwegians are bad at saying “please”, we are pretty good at saying "thank you". We thank people for virtually everything. But we don’t like to SAY “Thank you for Everything”! You’ll see why as Tor takes you through the Do’s and Don’ts of Thanking People in Norwegian.
Right off the bat, let us look at two obligatory thank yous:
Takk for sist - Thank you for the last time (...that we were together – I enjoyed it)
I talk to my students a lot about this expression. Saying Takk for sist when you meet someone again puts you at the required level of politeness and human interaction. It signals that you remember the person(s) in front of you, and that you’re able to comment on the fact that you have spent time together in the past.
Takk for maten - Thank you for the food
Unless we eat alone (and perhaps even then!) we Norwegians always - ALWAYS - say Takk for maten as we finish the meal.
Perhaps it is a remnant of the past when people went hungry; nowadays saying it is virtually a reflex action. Not to say the phrase has lost its meaning, on the contrary:
You thank the person who cooked the food, you thank the people who shared the meal with you, perhaps you thank some higher being for providing you with sustenance…
You also signal that you’ve had enough to eat, which can be a LIFE SAVER in some Norwegian families…
It's a good idea to use Google to find the origin and usage of words and phrases. You get literally thousands or millions of examples of how a word is used in everyday Norwegian:
I’ll start us off
If I look up:
Takk for det Thank you for that
also used ironically, as in “Thanks for nothing”
I find the information above, and also that it was the title of a hugely popular comedy series in the early days of Norwegian television.
Other common THANK YOU phrases
Now you Google some of the phrases below…
See where it takes you – to some theater show? A movie? A famous author? – to more information about the usage, for sure!
Mange takk Many thanks
Mange takk, doktor Many thanks, Doctor
Tusen takk A thousand thanks (no other number really works)
Takker Thanking you
Takker og bukker Thanking and bowing
An upbeat way of expressing extra gratitude and good manners. Notice that we only SAY that we bow, we don’t necessarily DO the bow. That would just be awkward.
Takk for skyssen Thank you for the lift/the ride
Strange but heartfelt ways of thanking:
Du skal ha så mange slags takk Directly translated: You shall have so many kinds of thanks
This is when someone has done you a huge favor, you are thanking on your own behalf or maybe you’re thanking on behalf of someone you love
Jeg får vel si takk I guess I should say Thank you
Takk for det gamle!
We say it on New Year's Eve. Short for thank you for the "old" (i.e. past) year.
Nei, takke meg til…
A hard one to translate, it means something like: "I much prefer..."
Samaneh (in the illustration above) says to Tor:
Takk for altThank you for everything
This is what we say at funerals(!). We also write Takk for Alt on wreaths and on tomb stones. So perhaps not the best way of ending a date night…
Other funeral phrases include:
Takk og farvel Thank you and goodbye
Takk og adjø Thank you and adieu (French for good bye)
(In other words: better make sure the person in front of you is proper dead before you say any of these phrases to them !!!)
So – to finish up, we'll say:
Tusen takk for denne gangen A thousand thanks for this time
Takk for nå! Thank you for now
Post your "thank you's" in the comment section below!