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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 word of the day: Tropenatt 

If it’s been hot and humid throughout the day, then the chances are that a ‘tropenatt’ will follow, making it hard to fall asleep. 

Norwegian word of the day: Tropenatt 

What does it mean? 

Tropenatt means “tropical night” in English. It is formed by compounding the words for tropical and night. 

Given that Norway is a country perhaps more famous for its cold winters than warm weather, you may find it surprising that the language has a word for sweltering evenings. 

A tropenatt is an evening where the temperature doesn’t drop below 20C between 8pm and 8am. Apparently, tropical nights are the most common along the Oslo Fjord. The reason for this is that high sea temperatures in the area contribute to the frequency of tropical nights. 

Why do I need to know this? 

Seeing as the winters in Norway are so cold, homes in the country are designed to hold heat as much as possible. Therefore, if you see a tropenatt mentioned by anyone or in the forecast, you can probably expect an uncomfortable night’s sleep. 

However, if you’ve adopted a few Norwegian habits or home design cues, you may be prepared to combat warm sticky nights. 

This is because Norwegians (and Scandinavians as a whole) will sleep with two single duvets rather than one double one. 

This helps one deal with a tropical night as single duvets allow people to regulate their temperature better when they sleep. Poor temperature regulation and struggles with a large shared duvet contribute to a worse night’s sleep, according to experts.

Use it like this: 

Det er kjempevarmt i dag, og ifølge værmeldingen skal de bli tropenatt I natt også. 

(It’s super hot today, and according to the weather forecast, it’s meant to be a tropical night tonight too.)

 Jeg var så varm i natt. Det var 30 grader og tropenatt. 

(I was so hot last night. It was 30 degrees and a tropical night.)