In this clip from the film The Thing (2011), Sander Halvorsen's speech is interrupted by a bearded guy (Lars?) who stands up and shouts something in Norwegian. I gather he says something to the effect of "we found an alien", but I'm having trouble making out his exact words.

What does he say (in Norwegian), and what's the best English translation?

  • 1
    The last word sounds like "skål", which means "cheers" (or, I guess "let's drink") Oct 19, 2015 at 1:22
  • @WadCheber That second edit of yours could be something for an answer maybe?
    – Rand al'Thor
    Oct 19, 2015 at 1:25
  • I'd say he's shouting words Oct 19, 2015 at 9:11
  • 2
    For the rest of this movie, if you wanna understand what the Norwegians are saying, the subtitles are very poor, giving totally wrong meanings in a lot of cases. I have clarified it here: scifi.stackexchange.com/a/125987/64504
    – Fiksdal
    Apr 24, 2016 at 11:06
  • @JasonBaker "Skål" litterally means "bowl." I guess they used to drink out of bowls back in the days :) Or maybe the words or "glass"/"cup" and "bowl" were the same.
    – Fiksdal
    Apr 24, 2016 at 11:08

3 Answers 3


He says "Vi har funnet et jævla romvesen! Skål!". An accurate translation would be something along the lines of "We've found a fu**ing alien! Cheers!".

Some interesting facts:

  • The word "romvesen" does not literally translate to "alien". An alien refers to anything that does not belong or is not native, like a mexican in Norway. However, norwegians use the term "fremmed" (strange/stranger) or "utlending" (foreigner) to describe people. "Romvesen" literally means "space creature" ("rom" + "vesen", extra-terrestrial being), and this is why "alien" isn't a perfect translation - but it is likely that any and all norwegians would translate "romvesen" to "alien".
  • The man is speaking a dialect. Some words are pronounced in a strange way, and this is probably why people are having a hard time separating each word.
  • The term "jævla" is a pretty strong curse word, which is a reference to the devil ("djevel" -> "jævel").
  • The norwegian letter "æ" is pronounced just like the A-sound in "sad" or "handicapped". If you look closely, the "æ"-letter is acutally just an A and an E put together.
  • The norwegian letter "å" is pronounced just like the OU-sound in "four" as well as the O-sound in "for".
  • 8
    Velkommen til Stack Exchange! :-) Excellent answer; I was hoping to attract some 'experts' (i.e. Norwegians) for this one. Let's teach these Stack Exchangers something about Norwegian!
    – Rand al'Thor
    Oct 19, 2015 at 10:15
  • 5
    I would perhaps move the "fucking" in the English translation, rendering it as "We've fucking found an alien!". Translation is not an exact science, but if the sentence didn't mention an alien at all, it would probably be rendered, in English, as "We fucking found it!", not "We found the fucking thing!"; i.e. the expletive is related to the difficulty of finding the thing, not the thing itself. Constraints on Norwegian grammar makes that sentence less clean and idiomatic if the emphasis is properly placed, but in English it works well. Oct 19, 2015 at 13:15
  • 3
    @WillihamTotland, I think ... I would not move it. "javla" in this context can also mean that it's incredulous that such a thing is found, at all. Oct 19, 2015 at 14:18
  • 1
    "The norwegian letter "æ" is pronounced just like the A-sound in "sad" or "handicapped"." The first 'a' in handicapped or the second? ;)
    – Kevin
    Oct 19, 2015 at 15:54
  • 1
    What a coincidence the user name is random norwegian guy Oct 19, 2015 at 22:23

Being a Dane, I am only partly qualified at answering this. But here is my take:

Norwegian (may be a bit off on the spelling):

Vi har funn et djevelen romvesen


We have found a devil alien

The meaning being more along:

We have found a fucking alien

The transcription and translation might benefit from the insights of a true Norwegian -- or fjeldabe as we say in Denmark ;). God film for øvrigt...

  • 3
    Norwegian "romvesen"... homophonic to German "Raumwesen", which would translate to "space being". Sometimes the similarities and differences of the indogermanic languages crack me up. :-D
    – DevSolar
    Oct 19, 2015 at 8:22
  • 3
    Apparently Danes sound like Norwegians speaking with a potato in their mouths ;-)
    – Rand al'Thor
    Oct 19, 2015 at 10:18
  • The syntax seems a bit weird, we don't really use "djevelen" in that context. Might have a look at the clip when I get back home and see if I can elucidate further on your answer.
    – eirikdaude
    Oct 19, 2015 at 11:59

I don't know how to speak Norwegian, but according to the subtitles, the English translation is:

We found a fucking alien! Cheers!

By slightly altering the dialogue to "We have found a fucking alien!", we get a Norwegian translation of:

Vi har funnet en jævla utlending! Skål!

As I said, I don't know how to speak Norwegian, but this is very similar to what I think I hear in the clip. I'm not sure about the word "utlending" - it could also be "utenomjordisk" or "romvesen".

  • 2
    Was it a Mexican alien they found? Otherwise your translation is wrong.
    – eirikdaude
    Oct 19, 2015 at 6:09
  • 3
    The thing is that "we get a Norwegian translation" makes it sound like it's a real translation instead of a machine assisted guess. So I think everyone would be happy if that fact was made transparent, like "Google Translate gives us:" or something to that effect.
    – Moyli
    Oct 19, 2015 at 9:51
  • @Moyyli I think it's pretty obvious it is a machine translation as he states at the beginning of the answer that he doesn't speak Norwegian
    – user13267
    Oct 19, 2015 at 9:59
  • @WadCheber "I haven't done anything that would require excusing" - except getting the answer wrong ;-) I later got a couple of answers from real Scandinavians, who correctly identified the final word.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Oct 19, 2015 at 10:19
  • 3
    @randal'thor - Getting a word wrong doesn't mean I need to be excused for anything.
    – Wad Cheber
    Oct 19, 2015 at 21:58

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.