Full fart

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Advertisement at a train stop in Oslo:

Photograph courtesy of Alexy Khudyakov

"Mest fart for pengene" means "most speed for the money". From that, you can figure out what "Full Fart" means. If you haven't already guessed, this is an advertisement for a mobile broadband service.

This reminds me of the Swedish word "fartlek" ("speed play"), a type of athletic training.

Petter Solberg, the well-known Norwegian rally and rallycross driver, is famous for his special brand of Norwegian style English, where — among other humorous habits — he uses Norwegian words that he thinks mean the same thing in English as they do in Norwegian, but are often quite different.

I can't figure out all of the Solbergisms collected in Wikiquote and copied below, but my favorite — one that I can explain — is "It's not the fart that's kill you, it's the smell." Here "fart" is "speed", as above, while "smell" is Norwegian for "bang", as when your car slams down on the road after leaving the surface upon going over a bump.

  • It's not only only to win this race (Norsk: Det er ikke bare bare å vinne dette løpet)
  • Det begynner å bli moro (artikkel i vg.no)
  • But but, it's not only only (Norsk: Men men, det er ikke bare bare)
  • When I came around the corner, it all went to hælvette
  • I came with a great fart and disappeared as a prick in the sky
  • I had a stop in the start
  • I drivved and then it was a sving and a sving til, så a stein and pang – I drivved rett in the juletre.
  • He is my wife in the car.. ehh… no sex(om kartleser Phil Mills).
  • I had bad pigs in my dekk (artikkel i Her og Nå)
  • I don't know what you call it in Egland, but in Norway we call it "air condition!"
  • I absolutt love Krister Bredsten Sangolt!'
  • The Henkini is a really vakker oppfinnels, it only shows what a man can takle and what a woman can nøye her with.
  • It's not the fart that's kill you, it's the smell.
  • The rat was loose.
  • In Norway we rape after dinner…… and then the girspak got broken.
  • It was a moose in the engine.
  • Can you strø her, it's very glætt!
  • It was a very crap swing. (sagt for å beskrive en krapp sving) (crap=dritt)
  • I came around a sving, and veltet on the tak.
  • I had a very big fart, and suddenly I fucked off the road.
  • We have a good kåk (cock) were we sleep!
  • I tried to screw the rat in the place (Han forsøkte å skru rattet på plass igjen, fordi det hadde løsnet under en etappe.)
  • It vås so møtch dog on the vindøv


  1. Howard Oakley said,

    September 16, 2014 @ 3:25 pm

    Fartlek training is also more widely known as Interval training. I recall a delightful misprint once when it was programmed as "fartle k training", which seems often more appropriate.

  2. Jonathon Owen said,

    September 16, 2014 @ 5:21 pm

    As I learned on Twitter recently, there used to be a Swedish car magazine called Fart.

  3. Gunnar H said,

    September 16, 2014 @ 5:57 pm

    Hah! Some of these are quite funny. I like the one with "bad pigs in my deck" ("The studs in my tire were bad").

    "I fucked off the road" is presumably a garbled – by Solberg or the transcriber – version of "føyk" (meaning "I barreled off the road").

    The transcription problem posed by this sort of mish-mash is quite interesting. Here we have meaningful English, Norwegian, incorrect/meaningless English (English near-homophones or false-friends of the intended Norwegian words), English words written phonetically according to Norwegian spelling (presumably indicating heavily accented pronunciation), and Norwegian words naively adapted to "English-sounding" pronunciation. And it's not always clear which is which.

    I imagine this is a problem linguists dealing with recordings of multi-lingual and code-switching speakers must often face. Apart from just transcribing phonetically (leaving interpretation to the reader), is there a standard way to handle this? A type of notation or other method to disentangle what he's actually saying?

  4. Jerry Friedman said,

    September 16, 2014 @ 6:12 pm

    I can guess why chess is popular in Norway these days, but it's the name of a mobile-phone service?

  5. mira said,

    September 16, 2014 @ 7:10 pm

    This reminds me a little of Stanislav Rezac trying to speak English and German at the same time. "Gut race today, very gut wetter, y kein problem, mein ski is good prepared".

  6. Halvor said,

    September 17, 2014 @ 1:40 am

    Thanks for these Solberg quotes, some of which I hadn't seen before. I have often quoted the "It isn't only only, but but" ("Det er ikke bare-bare, men men…", meaning "It's no small thing, but what the heck"), and the "fart" problem is well known. They illustrate well the two main sources of the fun: direct translation of idiomatic expressions ("only only" and "but but") and the use of English words with similar pronunciation, but different – and sometimes embarrassing – meaning. Most of the examples are of the second type. I hadn't seen the one about disappearing like a "prick" (dot) in the sky, though I once did make an American blush when I talked about "the prick over the eye" (prikken over i'en), literal meaning "the dot over the 'i'", referring to "the final touch". Calling the steering wheel a "rat" (Norw. ratt) makes for some fun, and so does the one about "raping" (belching, burping) after dinner, and calling a mouse a "moose" (Norw. mus), and a house a "cock/kåk". Some of the others are just fun (at least we think so) because he mixes so many Norwegian words into his English, without any specific source of misunderstanding.

  7. Lars said,

    September 17, 2014 @ 1:59 am

    Scandinavian fart is a doublet from Middle Low German of the native færd, derived from the common Germanic verb fare/fara, and originally meant journey, but now also speed.

    Danish elevators often have the text I FART — under way — on the red in-use light (example). Anecdotally, during a visit by Queen Elizabeth (II) somebody realized at the last second what the English reading would be, and sticking plaster was applied.

  8. Gunnar H said,

    September 17, 2014 @ 2:22 am

    the "fart" problem is well known.

    Although the confound should only apply to writing, since the Norwegian word "fart" is pronounced rather differently (with a short vowel). The Swedish pronunciation bears a closer resemblance to the English word.

    However, if Solberg adapts his Norwegian words to sound more English (as "glætt" and "opplevels" indicate), I suppose he might be modifying /fəʈ/ (my best amateur attempt at the Norwegian pronunciation) into /fɑːt/.

  9. Jeffry House said,

    September 17, 2014 @ 10:11 am

    This snack is fremtiden for Englisk!

  10. TonyK said,

    September 17, 2014 @ 10:11 am

    If it's schoolboy humour day, you should know that the village of Windpassing, in Schweinberg, Austria, is just 2km from the A1 Autobahn (Ausfahrt Oed).

  11. Vanya said,

    September 17, 2014 @ 3:26 pm

    Yes, well, if you're in Windpassing, it is only about a 2 hour drive east to the village of Fucking.

  12. Lane said,

    September 18, 2014 @ 5:21 am

    A common word in Danish shops (which should probably be near-identical in Norway and Sweden) is "Slutspurt", meaning the dash ("spurt") to the end ("slut") of a sale. It makes me double-take, and makes my 13-year-old cackle.

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