Monday, March 5, 2012

Norwegian Talking Hands

We are in need of a Norwegian translation here. Anybody out there speak Norwegian? If so, your help would be greatly appreciated. We can see that it has something to do with the language of the hands. I understand one of them to say "I will always be true to you", but I couldn't tell you with any certainty what the rest of them represent. Of course it might be more fun to make up meanings. In that case I will say that the two black-cuffed hands on the right (jeg falder tilfeie) means 'I fold tinfoil.'

In any case it's a wonderful card.  Thanks to my neighbor, Marilee, who graciously lent me this card to post here. Here's the back of the card.


  1. What a unique and beautiful card!

  2. I think the hand signal that Christine referred to actually means "I would like the squid dinner special please"... This is an interesting and unique card, although it unfortunately reminds me of a bronze sculpture of childrens' hands (just their hands, on what looks like a tray- think John the Baptist's head)in a park near our house that makes me recoil every time I pass it. I have seen books of different culture's hand gestures, it would be great to be able to pick up a postcard of them for reference when traveling!

  3. That's a cool card. I wonder whether any of them are in standard sign language. Actually, I don't know whether sign language is different in Norwegian than in English.

  4. such an interesting poatcard!!
    it really is cool!

  5. What a fascinating and lovely postcard.

  6. It is a very unique card. I can't help but think of the Happy Hands Club from Napoleon Dynamite, though.

  7. Lucy Corrander told me about this one. The language is very old-fashioned and stiff/romantic Norwegian, more like Danish. I'll give it a try:
    The banner says "The Hand Language"
    From Left to right:
    1. row
    Look our, we are being watched
    I give you my heart and hand
    What I have I hold on to
    I follow you because I trust you
    Come when the time is right (or Be here at the the right time)
    2. row
    Oh, forgive me
    Keep me still in your favour
    I am forever faithful
    I fall before you (I'm not sure about the last word here)
    3. row
    Not so storming. It hurts!
    Let me hear from you soon. I am getting bored
    Do not be angry. I love only you.
    Come with me. Stand firm.

    The reverse side is rather more difficult, but it is addressed to a Mr. Benjamin something in Kristiansund (a town on the north/western coast of Norway and is a New Years greeting from someone whose name I can't read, in Ålesund, a nearby town.

    I can't guarantee all this, but it ought to be rather close.

  8. I didn't pick up the Alesund address. That is an interesting town in a spectacular setting, I visited it in the late 90's. Most of it burned down in 1904 leaving 10,000 homeless, but was quickly rebuilt with help from Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany, almost exclusively in the art nouveau style (a slightly watered down version, since it was all done in few years...). If I read the date correctly on this card as 1916, it was still something of a 'new' town at that point.

  9. Christine, I've seen French versions of this card. I've often thought of blogging about how quiet it must have been back then cause folks let their hands, stamps, flowers, fans and a slew of other items do their "talking" for them:)



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