- zij zijn zijn azijn = they are his vinegar.
- onweer: storm (un-weather)
- ouwehoeren: to chat / shoot the shit; or to talk bullshit (to old whore)
- vrijetijdskunde: a real university degree, roughly entertainment studies (free time -kunde)
- litteken = scar; lid teken = sign of membership
grammar - some constructions are difficult to understand
adjectives and adverbs
Dutch is very expressive in the sense of adjectives and adverbs everywhere.
"Ik weet heus wel dat ik hartstikke zielig ben"
W2W: I know very~ well that I extremely~ sad am.
FINAL: I know quite well that I am extremely sad. [Notes: there are many words synonymous to 'heus' and 'hartstikke', and these particular choices have their own connotations which are not expressed.]
"de trambestuurder zag er de lol al lang niet meer van in" (original: "de bestuurder van tramlijn 4 die voor de derde keer de tractors met aanhangers op zijn route tegenkomt, ziet er de lol al lang niet meer van in.")
W2W: The tram-driver saw there the fun already long not more of in.
FINAL: The tram driver didn't see the fun in it, and hadn't for a long time. [Notes: the NL implies a continuous past.]
Other unnecessary words: "voorlopig" "even"
"Al eeuwenlang wordt er van alles in de gracht gegooid"
W2W: already century-long is there of everything in the canal thrown.
FINAL: all century, all kinds of things have been thrown in the canal. [Notes: the tense translated imperfectly, since the EN hints at completion whereas the NL implies that nothing has changed.]
"'s middags is het hartstikke heet, maar dan koelt het weer af."
Reading 1: in the afternoons it is pretty hot, but then it cools down again.
Reading 2: in the afternoons it is pretty hot, but then the weather cools down.
This depends on the ambiguities of "het" ("the", "it") and "weer" ("weather", "again")
English constructions that are hard to translate
"We can show that wherever English differs syntactically from the other Western Germanic languages - German, Dutch, Frisian – it has the same structure as the Scandinavian languages." Here are some examples:
I have read the book. Eg har lese boka. German and Dutch (and Old English) put the verb at the end. Ich habe das Buch gelesen.
- Word order: In English and Scandinavian the object is placed after the verb:
This we have talked about. Dette har vi snakka om.
- English and Scandinavian can have a preposition at the end of the sentence.
I promise to never do it again. Eg lovar å ikkje gjera det igjen.
- English and Scandinavian can have a split infinitive, i.e. we can insert a word between the infinitive marker and the verb.
The Queen of England’s hat. Dronninga av Englands hatt. "All of this is impossible in German or Dutch, and these kinds of structures are very unlikely to change within a language. The only reasonable explanation then is that English is in fact a Scandinavian language, and a continuation of the Norwegian-Danish language which was used in England during the Middle Ages." "But why the inhabitants of the British Isles chose the Scandinavian grammar is something we can only speculate on," says Jan Terje Faarlund.
- Group genitive: