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Using "na" as an interjection?  
von ThomasC0928, 2011-01-09, 15:11  like dislike  Spam?  72.28.178...
Sorry, clicked submit too early...  #568124
von ThomasC0928, 2011-01-09, 15:12  like dislike  Spam?  72.28.178...
Sorry, clicked submit too early...  #568127
von ThomasC0928, 2011-01-09, 15:13  like dislike  Spam?  72.28.178...
My question is:
What does it mean when sb. Uses "na" as an interjection, for example: "na!"?

Thanks for your help!!
von wandle (GB), Last modified: 2011-01-09, 15:18  like dislike  Spam?  
Sorry, clicked submit too early...  -- when that happens, click 'Edit'.
Context?   #568129
von Lisa4dict (US), 2011-01-09, 15:17  like dislike  Spam?  
That requires a lot of context.  Even then it may be a matter of intonation.  
It can be a warning, a challenge, resignation, agreement, confirmation, and a host of other things.  Including, as I recently learned, a soothing sound.
wandle  #568130
von Lisa4dict (US), 2011-01-09, 15:20  like dislike  Spam?  
ThomasC0928 isn't logged in.  The Edit function only works for registered users when they are logged in.  <Paul explained that is to prevent people from futzing around with other peoples posts.  For unregistered users there's no telling who's who.>
Standing by itself, it demands a statement or an explanation from someone. I'd try "Well!" and see how it sounds.  #568133
von MichaelK (US), Last modified: 2011-01-09, 15:42  like dislike  Spam?  
But na has different meanings if followed by something: Na gut; Na ja; Na hör mal; and so on.
MichaelK  #568140
von Lisa4dict (US), 2011-01-09, 16:11  like dislike  Spam?  
In my experience those different meanings can also be conveyed by a different intonation of a single "Na!"  Used as a warning sound it also doesn't require any addition nor an explanation.  
Someone got caught with their hand reaching towards the cookie jar. > Na!
Someone got challenged to a fight and looks as though they are backing down. > Na!
A teenager tells his mom he's going to do what he wants no matter what she tells him. > Na! (The tone going down, indicating resignation.  Level tone, clipped, meaning "You'll see where that will get you.")
I agree that "Well!" might work in most cases.
Then there's the question-marked "Na?"  #568144
von Baccalaureus (DE), Last modified: 2011-01-09, 16:27  like dislike  Spam?  
That invites the other person to say something, here a "So?" might work.
If, e.g., someone remembers the "Asterix and Cleopatra" comic book, there is that final scene, when Cleopatra inaugurates her new palace: she cuts through a red ribbon and hands her scissors back to Caesar with a "Na?" (and Getafix comments "Das war ein tolles "Na").

It can also serve as a greeting, leaving the obvious question ("Wie geht's?") unspoken. This is very informal and works between peers only.
von wandle (GB), Last modified: 2011-01-09, 17:04  like dislike  Spam?  
The Irish use 'now' similarly on its own with a wide range of meanings, but perhaps not equally wide.
The English also use 'now', but less than the Irish.
Lisa4dict: That's right, thanks for explaining!  #568215
von Paul (AT), 2011-01-09, 21:02  like dislike  Spam?  
Lisa4dict: Hmm, I was talking about different meanings entirely, not just the warning sound.  #568241
von MichaelK (US), Last modified: 2011-01-10, 03:23  like dislike  Spam?  
Na gut is a quick, emotional agreement or acquiesence; Na ja is a qualified recognition of what's been said, often followed by aber and Na hör mal is a disagreement, often with a demand for further information. But of course, that has nothing to do with the original question about the stand-alone exclamation Na!. So I may have confused matters with my aside.
Your comments on the "warning sounds" are correct and well taken. I enjoyed hearing myself say na! in different intonations as described by you. Others in the house (humans and cats) thought it a bit odd...:-)
von uffie (GH/KI), Last modified: 2011-01-10, 00:57  like dislike  Spam?  
they probably thought - na, was macht der denn da? ;-)

but Bacca also raised the important point of it being used in questions
ufriend: :-)  #568253
von MichaelK (US), Last modified: 2011-01-10, 03:47  like dislike  Spam?  
As to the questioning Na? brought up by Bacca: my all-time favorite as a kid was Na und? Drove my parents to distraction, God rest their souls. :-)
context  #568255
von ThomasC0928, 2011-01-10, 03:47  like dislike  Spam?  72.28.178...
4;wandle: haha sorry bout that; I really should make an account.

As for the context, I was hanging out with a couple of German friends a few days ago, and my mom found out I failed a calculus test and forgot to turn in a (relatively big) history homework assignment, so she decided to call me up and yell at me. When I hung up my phone, I expressed "Verdammte Scheiße!" (not that I was having a great day up to that point anyway.) Then one of my friends expressed "Na!", and then I proceeded to explain what I was so pissed about. From there things went on, and I never understood the actual usage of the word as an interjection.
reprimand   #568258
von Lisa4dict loggedout, 2011-01-10, 06:57  like dislike  Spam?  99.11.160....
"Watch your language." Most likely.  But as stated above the intonation is key.  The long form would be Michael's "Na hör mal!"  > "Now, now!"
von uffie (GH/KI), Last modified: 2011-01-10, 09:35  like dislike  Spam?  
in your context he probably wanted to say : what's up? (I can't imagine your friends would have minded your language ;-)   )
Depending on intonation, I would understand a "Na!" when another person has just cursed, as a reprehension of sorts.  #568309
von Baccalaureus (DE), 2011-01-10, 11:10  like dislike  Spam?  
This can vary in intensity, even be ironic, especially when tripled to "Nanana!"
that's true  #568335
von uffie (GH/KI), Last modified: 2011-01-10, 13:26  like dislike  Spam?  
im Tonfall von "da haste auch wieder Recht" ..

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