Spørsmål angående engelsk
kan stilles til språkrådgiver Stewart Clark, Studieavdelingen,
tlf. 73 59 52 45 eller faks: 73 59 52 37
In most cases, the use of the definite article
in Norwegian and English is similar. One problem is the difference
between a noun being used in its general and specific
senses. Take the word industry as an example. When
it is written without the definite article: «Industry
must survive», this means industry in general. When
it has the definite article: «The industry must survive»,
this means a specific industrial sector. Translated into Norwegian,
both phrases will use «industrien». This distinction
applies generally. Here are some
staff (all employees)
life is good (in general)
modern society (in general)
music calms (all types)
the staff (those in a specific organization)
the life of Brian (a specific one in
the geological society (specific group)
the music of Brahms (his
Remember even though there is a definite article
in Norwegian, nouns in a general or abstract sense do not
have «the» in English.
Reference lists and indexing
If an index of books, journals and papers puts
the titles first and some of these start with «The»,
it is common to use the first main word in the title to decide
the alphabetical order. For example, The Complete Plain
Words is indexed under «C» but written The
Complete Plain Words. The same applies to proper names
in English. When indexing The Hague, it will be written «The
Hague» but will be under «H» in the index/reference
list. For institutions, «the» is normally omitted
as the first word in the title. Universities are
referenced as «University of...», even though
they may really be «The University of ...» and
they should be listed under «U».
When there is no «The» as the first
word in a title/name, a lower case definite article is to
be used in running text: «This is the Norwegian University
of Science and Technology», but not otherwise.
Per cent, percentage
Per cent (Norw. prosent) means rate per
hundred and may be an abbreviation of the pseudo-Latin per
centum. It is always read as «per cent» and
written as two words in British English, but as one word in
American English. The ISO standard 31-0 (1992) states that
there should be space between the numerical value and the
unit. Therefore write 35 %, not 35%.
Percentage (Norw. prosentandel) is a
rate or amount in a hundred. Percentage is followed
by a singular or plural verb according to the noun that is
involved: «20 % of his income is used for rent».
«80 % of the houses are to be redecorated». Do
not use percentage to mean someor a lot. Note that
is written in one word in both BE and AE.
Degree certificate, transcript
Degree certificate (here, Norw. eksamensvitnemål)
means an official document that states the degree awarded
by a specific university: «Norwegian universities tend
to send the degree certificate in the post instead of formally
awarding it in person on degree day as in many other countries».
Transcript (here, Norw. karakterutskrift)
in the context of higher education means the official record
of a student's work showing the courses taken and the grades
awarded: «He asked for the English version of his transcript
from the University of Oslo».
A brochure called «Det Skjer», March
2000 is published by Trondheim Aktivum partly for our foreign
visitors and boasts of an «english summary» (non-capitalized).
I suggest «Norwenglish puzzle» would be more accurate.
Among the places you must go, we have: «Nidarosdomen
was started built in the late, early middleages...this is
also the place for Norway's royal crowning and weddings».
If you cannot wait for a Royal wedding in Nidarosdomen, another
attraction is the
giddy «Tyholt-tårnet»: «Just outside
the town someone built a big tower from where you on a clear
day can overlook the whole citycentre of Trondheim. Actually
you can sit down up in the tower an enjoy lunch or dinner
while the tower spins around»