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Norwegian expression of the day: Hva er i veien?

Agnes Erickson
Agnes Erickson - [email protected]
Norwegian expression of the day: Hva er i veien?
Caption Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Unsplash / Nicolas Raymond/FlickR

If you're looking a bit down in the dumps, don't be too surprised if somebody asks you this.

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Why should I know this?

If someone asks you hva er i veien? it usually stems from concern or curiosity. It’s a request to give more details about a specific emotion, problem, or obstacle you may be having. 

What does it mean? 

When directly translated to English,  hva er i veien? means, “what is in the road?”. The literal translation may be used if you are in a car, see something on the road, and ask, “what is in the road?” Though usually, hva er i veien? means “ what’s wrong?”. It is an expression that can be used in both casual conversation or in a professional settings. 

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In the metaphorical sense, the "thing" in the road that people may ask you about is referring you to the thing that's stopping you from being your usual self. 

Your boss can notice a dip in your work performance and ask, hva er i veien? 

Your friend can see you wipe away tears and ask, hva er i veien?

Norwegian synonyms

Er det noe galt? - Is there something wrong? 

Hva skjer? - What’s happening? / “What’s the matter?”

Use it like this

Hva er i veien med deg? - What’s the matter with you?

Kan ikke du fortelle meg hva er i veien? - Can’t you tell me what’s wrong?

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