I read a great article the other day about strange Danish expressions that might throw you off guard if you are not properly prepared.
I especially like the part about the expression nå that, depending on the way it is pronounced, can express just about anything. I decided to try to list as many different kinds of nå’s as I can think of, as the original list was far from complete. I won’t guarantee that my list will be exhaustive, but here it is.
1) Nå used to express surprise
Nå can be used to indicate that you have just received a piece of information that has somehow forced you to reevaluate the world around you and your place in it.
Example: If someone tell you that turtles can breathe through their butts you may properly respond nå and raise your eyebrows.
2) Nå used to express that you could not care less
Nå can be used to express that the information you have just received is absolutely irrelevant to everything related to your existence.
Example: If someone tell you that turtles can breathe through their butts you may properly respond nå and shrug your shoulders.
3) Nå used to express that you finally get it now
Nå can be used to express that the information you have just received has cleared up a lot of confusion and that you feel a little stupid for not realizing whatever it was for yourself.
Example: When someone tells you that the reason Chandler specifically don’t want Ross to know about him and Monica is because Monica is Ross’ sister you may respond nååh… and go home and watch Friends from season one.
4) Nå used to express your disapproval
You can use nå to indicate that you are not particularly fond of the state of affairs just described to you.
Example: When someone tells you about the rapidly increasing inequality in wealth distribution, you may respond nå and put on a serious face.
P.S. The way you employ nå during a conversation may help your interlocutor determine to what extent you are Donald Trump.
5) Nå used to express your approval
You can use nå to indicate that the information you have just received has restored some of your faith in humanity.
Example: When someone tells you that J.J. Abrams guarantees that Jar JarBinks won’t play any part in the new Star Wars trilogy you may properly respond nå and breathe a sigh of relief.
These were the five most important kinds of nå I could think of, but I’m sure there are more. If you can think of any, please share in the comment section.