Ex. 03.08: Domestic Partners – Culture
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According to recent statistics from SSB, 26% of couples are samboere. The word samboer is a great example of a Norwegian word that has no good English equivalent. What is a samboer? It is the name for a live-in girlfriend or boyfriend. On official documents in English, sometimes the terms “cohabitant” or “domestic partner” are used, but those words don’t always signify a love relationship and they certainly are not words you would use to introduce someone. “This is Ben, my cohabitant” just sounds awkward. Some people use the word “partner,” but others reserve the word “partner” to describe someone in a same-sex relationship, so that can be confusing as well. The term samboer, however, can be used to describe someone in either a same-sex or a straight relationship, but the couple must live together and be in a love relationship.
Having a samboer is so common in Norway that the word samboer is often listed on forms that require a civil status along with other words like enslig (single), gift (married), skilt (divorced), or enke/enkemann (widow/widower). However, while some laws have been passed to protect the financial and legal rights of samboere and their children, there are still many advantages to being married, especially when it applies to taxes, inheritance after a partner passes away, and dividing assets when a couple breaks up. As a result, many samboere create and sign a legal contract that spells out what will happen in the event of a death or the end of the relationship.
If you take the two parts of the word samboer separately, you will understand the meaning better: sam means together and you just learned bo (to live/ reside). So, together it means people who live/ reside together.
Complete the exercise below by choosing the correct statements.CorrectIncorrect