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Norwegian word of the day: Kjære

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
Norwegian word of the day: Kjære
Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Unsplash and Nicolas Raymond/FlickR

Today's Norwegian word of the day is kjære, which roughly translates to 'dear' or 'beloved' in English.

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Like "dear" in English, kjære can be used to address almost anyone in a letter or email to be polite, although it's not compulsory to use it, and younger generations might find it too formal. 

Kjære can, in theory, be used to address close family members, friends, or partners. But be warned that it may come across as overly affectionate or outdated, so only use it if you're sure it's appropriate. If in doubt, hei, is nearly always the best choice. 

In everyday spoken Norwegian, kjære should probably only be used to greet people you are very close to. 

Kjære is related to the noun kjærlighet or "love". You can also holde noen kjær (hold someone dear). 

Kjære can be used as a suffix, such as the word folkekjær, which means something loved by the people. This is similar to "national treasure" in English. 

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If you want to say you love someone, you would usually say jeg elsker deg (I love you). To be in love in is å være forelsket. 

To tell someone you love them in a more platonic or familial way, it's best to use glad i deg (meaning, I love you). 

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