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Norwegian expression of the day: Takk for maten tale

The takk for maten tale is up next. No need to groan because we have all the background and helpful hints you need to make a winning speech.

Pictured is a chalk board with today's Norwegian expression.
We've not just got the meaning of the expression, but also some tips if you're put on after dinner speaking duties .Photo by Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

Why should I know this?

If you’re asked to hold a takk for maten tale, it would be helpful to understand what it usually entails. The tradition behind this Norwegian party speech can be both formal or informal. So read the room and perfect your pronunciation. 

What does it mean?

Directly translated to English, takk for maten tale means “thanks for the food speech”. Unlike other words and expressions that get lost in translation, this one is spot on. Takk for maten tale is a speech given at formal events, such as weddings, a julebord, or a confirmation to thank those involved who provided the food for the occasion. It is usually held after dessert is served and all other speeches have been given.

The speech’s primary purpose is to thank those involved who provided the food for the event. However, many of those chosen to give the address also feel pressure to make it more personalized by adding small jokes and antidotes.  

Tips for holding a takk for maten tale

Keep it short and sweet. Remember, the speeches are usually held when attendees are ready to stretch their legs and move on to the next stage of the party. 

You don’t have to go through the whole menu. Instead, pick out the items you heard others raving over or focus on the main dish. And make sure you know how to pronounce the names of the persons involved and the food correctly before you give your speech.

Involve the crowd. If you’re nervous about being front and centre, invite others to join you. For example, a well-known children’s song in Norway can be incorporated into your speech to keep the mood light and everyone engaged.

Ok, so the speech is not often held at the most captivating time. But remember, the guests are on your side. They want you to enjoy yourself and end the dining portion of the evening on a high note. 

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Norwegian expression of the day: Grevens tid 

Is it a good thing, or a bad thing, if you manage to do something in the "counts time"? Let's find out. 

Norwegian expression of the day: Grevens tid 

What does it mean? 

As mentioned in the intro, “grevens tid” literally translates to the “count’s time”. The count’s time means arriving at a good or lucky moment or achieving or preventing something, typically at the last minute. 

Catch a vase just before it hits the ground, or make it to the station just in time to catch your train? Then you did it in the count’s time. 

The term is said to have originated in Sweden and refers to Count Per Brahe Dy, who became governor of Finland in 1637. It was customary for a count to arrive late to events during the period. This is because, typically, the highest status one held, the more likely they were to come later. 

However, these days the saying isn’t used to describe when someone arrives “fashionably late” to use an English expression. 

Use it like this: 

Nå kom du i grevens tid 

(You came just at the right time.)

Du kom i grevens tid, jeg skulle akkurat til å ringe!

(You came just at the right time, I was just about to call you!)

Nå kom du i grevens tid! Vi skulle akkurat til å spise! 

(You came just at the right time, we are about to eat!)