Norwegian expression of the day: Takk for sist

Norway might not be known as the most polite society. Though 'takk for sist' is the exception, and ideal for when you meet someone you probably don't know well enough to have a full conversation with.

Takk for sist.
Takk for sist is perfect for social situations where you may not know somebody well enough for a full conversation. Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Unsplash / Nicolas Raymond/FlickR.

Why do I need to know this? 

Part of learning the Norwegian language is learning about common phrases used often during the introductory stages of a greeting.Takk for sist is both a polite and easy to use expression to familiarise yourself with. 

What does it mean? 

Directly translated to English, takk for sist means “thanks for last”. It is really a kind of acknowledgement meaning, “thanks for the last time we saw each other”. If you say takk for sist to someone, it’s an acknowledgement that you two have previously met. It’s also a great interlude to bring up a shared experience or event. 

Takk for sist can be used in many situations. For example, a professor can say it to a classroom full of students before beginning their lecture. 

If you run into a friend of a friend you met at a party last week on the T-Bane or “subway”, you could say takk for sist.

It can also be used with a close friend or family member you haven’t seen in years. 

It is, however, not common to use this polite expression with a colleague or friend you meet daily. 

How do I respond to takk for sist?

Takk for sist isn’t a question. It’s more of an interlude to further conversation. Common responses you can use for takk for sist include.

selv takk – thank you as well

I like måtte – likewise

takk det samme – thanks the same to you

A polite answer back is common. However, it is also acceptable to choose to smile and nod and move on to a new topic of conversation.

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Norwegian word of the day: Syden  

It’s the time of year when Norwegians will start chatting about going to the “the south” more and more. 

Norwegian word of the day: Syden  

What does it mean? 

Syd is a more traditional and outdated way of saying south in Norwegian. These days sør is the most common and widely used way of saying south and is the form used when giving directions. 

By adding “en” to the word, it becomes “the south”. 

The word is an informal way of describing a holiday. However, it doesn’t just describe any holiday, it means a getaway to another country further south than Norway. 

But, not just any country further south than Norway, because otherwise, that’s most of the world. For example, spending your holidays in the Shetland islands wouldn’t qualify as heading south. 

The saying refers to warmer climates, more or less exclusively. Furthermore, it’s commonly used for “typical” Norwegian holiday destinations such as the Canary Islands, Greece, Turkey and Cyprus. 

If you find it slightly confusing, then don’t worry, plenty of children without a solid grasp of geography do too. For example, if told by their parents that they are going to “syden” for a holiday, some children will assume this is a country, rather than an expression. 

There isn’t really an equivalent English saying. The closest is used to describe the migration of birds seeking warmer weather in “heading south for the winter”. 

Use it like this

Jeg gleder meg kjempe masse til sommerferien, for da skal jeg til Syden. 

 (I am really looking forward to the summer holidays because then I am headed to “the South”. )

Anna: Hva skal du i sommer Karen?

(Anna: What are your plans for summer, Karen?)

Karen: Jeg skal til Syden!

 (Karen: I am going to “the South”)