Archive for the 'dutch' Category

OK, konijntje, het is je dag vandaag

My friend Ashley sent me an article yesterday, and I meant to mention it. Apparently, a bunch of Dutch people (including the Prime Minister and heir to the throne) went over to New York to celebrate the 400th birthday of New York City. Way to trade places with me, guys. I’m guessing they went shopping, too.

I think the Dutch are still kicking themselves for selling New York for $24. (Stupid, stupid, stupid.) This explains why they constantly remind me that Harlem is named after Haarlem and Brooklyn, my hometown, is named after Breukelen. Oh, well.

Anyway, today’s song was a hit in Holland earlier this year. I still love it. It gts good after 0:15. And if anyone can recommend some new Dutch techno/nederrap, I’d appreciate it!

Download Konijntje (Remix) by AKA The Junkies

de Volkskrant Gorilla

I can’t read half of them, but I like the cartoons by “Gorilla” in the Volkskrant, which is a major Dutch paper. Gorilla is a collective of designers.The cartoons are very wordy and shamelessly photoshopped, but that’s how I like them. (This one is about how the Dutch are best suited to survive climate change. Oh, how I miss those Big Friendly Giants.)

PS 24 Oranges is amazing!

I miss my thesis, y’all.

No really, I do. I was proofreading it a few days ago and I had to resist doing some serious revisions. I’m too tired to fix anything and I need some distance, but it felt good to plunge through it again.

Epic moments of nerdiness this week:

There was a fun “deleted scene” that took place in an Anarchist run squat/ common brothel. I’ve been tempted to reinsert it.

I’ve gotten two summer internships for the summer that are in some way connected to public radio. (Symphony Space + Storycorps)

I’ve replaced the tackiness of Amherst Confessional and the Daily Jolt with online British newspapers such as the Daily Mail and the Guardian. And it’s worked.

I choose the Dutch language option on facebook, and now my wall is called “het prikbord.”

I’m considering getting a PhD. in English. Eventually.

Dijken to Watch Out For

Dutch Word of the Day
Deze mouwen zijn lelijk.

These sleeves are ugly.

It’s a shame because other than that, it’s a hot shirt. It from Uniqlo, Japan’s better dressed/priced answer to the Gap. They’ve actually made a bid to purchase Barneys which blows my mind. You can read about it here.

Anyway, Uniqlo has a series of graphic tees from artists and graphic designers it looks all well and good. Most of the designers are from Japan, but there is a shirt from Toko, a Dutch group from Rotterdam. “Duik in de Dijk” means “Dive into the Dike”, and is a reference to the Oostzeedijk (east sea dike?) section of Rotterdam.

I like the font, I like the Dutchness, but dang it: I hate the sleeves.

I can has automat?

Dutch Word of the Day
om te beweren: to pretend
Zij moeten ophouden bewerend te Febo zijn.
(Update: The correct sentence is “zij moeten ermee ophouden te doen alsof ze Febo zijn”. )
They must stop pretending to be Febo.

(By the way, could someone fire me a correct sentence? This can’t be right.)

So there’s a Febo-esque automat on Saint Mark’s Place called “BAMN!”. It looks like a cleaner, pink version of the one’s I saw in Amsterdam. It’s all coin operated, which is all well and good when you’re dealing with euros, but a little hassle with dollars. (Since single and 2 euros are all in coins, whereas we have single dollar bills and cumbersome numbers of quarters, dimes and nickels.) The funny thing is that they have “krokets” with the Dutch spelling. I’m tempted to buy one in order to dissect and compare it with the one I tried in Holland. (Note the singular.)

I can say this now without any bias: Antillean krokets are ten million times better than the Dutch ones. They’re more solid, taste better and won’t drip when you bite into them. The Dutch ones have this soupy pale filling that I can’t stand. The only good thing is their exterior. As for their New York counterparts? Stay tuned.


Dutch Word of the Day
eendracht: harmony, concord (old word)
Eendracht maakt macht.
Harmony makes power.

The church near my house has some of the best signs ever. There was “Who’s Your Daddy”, “The Beloved People, Part 7” and now they randomly threw some Dutch on me with “Eendracht maakt macht”. At first I thought it was German, but my dad said it was Dutch. Unforunately, you can see the typo (sign-o?) that takes out the first “e.” There are too many vowels in Dutch. I’m shocked that they didn’t run out of a’s.

Vijf honderd een worden voor sneeuw

Dutch Word of the Day
spinnen: to spin around
Je spint me recht ronde.
You spin me right round.

I found an overpriced DJ equipment/ vinyl store on the Bowery while wandering away from the Bechdel reading. I don’t know who made this record, but I approve of the cover.

You might be familiar with the “501______Verbs” language book series from Barrons. There’s a Spanish, Italian, French etc. The upside: Barrons makes one for Dutch. The downside: there’s only 201 words. It’s like they just gave up when they weren’t even mid-way. The same series does this to Portuguese, Turkish, and Swedish. Polish gets a generous 301 verbs. Latin, totally dead, gets 501. I wish they’d explain why.

It’s terribly maddening to me. Dutch is as hard to learn as English. It has a million verbs, they just don’t take it seriously enough. The explanations in the intro are very good, I just wish it was as comprehensive as I expected.

Hell naar de Nee!

Dutch Word of the Day:
sluiten: to close
Sluiten tijd…

Closing time…

At least for the Amsterdam chapter. After sitting on the runway for 3 hours, and not getting all of my luggage until this morning, I’m just glad that I made it here. Phew. Once I figure out the groove of this blog now, I’ll be back.

Since there are an infinite amount of Dutch words, those will return as well.


Dutch Word of the Day
er: there, them, it
Ik ben er nooit geweest.
I have never been there.

And by there, I mean a country with a language that doesn’t care to distinguish between the different forms of “it”, but will stress whether something is sitting, lying or standing.

Nothing “is” just “there” here. “Ik ben in Amsterdam” does not exist, but “Ik staat in Amsterdam” does. We made this realization in class very late in the game, and it’s frustrated me ever since. Oh, well.

Exams coming up soon. I’ll be up for air every now and then to post. Tot ziens.

Baby’s First Dutch Pun!

Dutch Word of the Day
bijzonder: unique, strange, particular
Nederlands woorden zijn bijzonder amusant.
Dutch words are particularly amusing.

There’s a huge store on Dam Square called the Bijenkorf (the Beehive). It’s basically the Dutch Bloomingdales. High quality, expensive stuff that’s more fun to look at than pay for. In one of their catalogues, it says “Elke Dag BIJzonder”, which loosely means, “Everyday is unique”, they capitalized the BIJ which the name of the store and the word both have.

This is the first sales pun I’ve noticed. It’s not the most clever, but it’s fun to pick up on things.

The More You Know: Dictionaries

Dutch Word of the Day
woordenboek: dictionary
Ik heb nou een beter woordedboek.
I have a better dictionary now.

Since there aren’t that many Dutch speakers in the world, it is very difficult to find a quality Dutch to English/English to Dutch dictionary. The one I got for class, the Standaard Klein Woordenboek, isn’t that good because it’s for Dutch speakers learning English. It’s small and has limited explanations. For example, if you look up the word for “to know” in Dutch, it tells you “weten, kennen.” These are used in very different contexts, similar to the Spanish saber and conocer. But there is no explanation because there is only one word in English that the Dutch reader would need: “know“.

The New Routledge Dictionary, on the other hand, is a much better bet. It’s made by an English company so all of the noun/ adjective/ verb markings are in English. They also give longer explanations of contexts in which the words should be used.

Routledge is more expensive than the Standaard (37 euro to the Standaard’s 7) but you can go to The Slegte, the used bookstore and get a good deal. I also had these gift certificates as part of the refund for my lousy internet service, so I used that too. Between the gift certificate and my own money, I only paid 7 euro for the Routledge. Totally worth it.

I hear all this music and it breaks my heart

Dutch Word of the Day
Nederrap: Dutch rap
Dit Nederrap is een vers moeilijkheid!
This Dutch rap is a hot mess!

But before I get into that, Happy Easter! Yes, this is a Scientology Church some blocks from me. Yes it is everywhere. My parents and I went to the Madurodam, the Keukenhof and Delft. The first is a miniature replica of Amsterdam, the second is a huge flower garden with massive amounts of tulips, and the last is the place where they make all the lovely blue porcelain that comes from here. I recommend visiting all.

I picked up a “Party Squad” CD today. I asked the guy for some Dutch rap and he gave me this. The good thing is that it’s a compilation from a bunch of Dutch rappers. But it’s a hot. MESS. The beats are really good (most of the time), but they’ll have these hard Germanic sounding parts, and some very English phrases like “This is for my boiz!” or “Fuck dat!” in these thick Dutch accents. The most cringe worthy one is “Het is AAN!”, which is literally “It is ON!”

This one dude on the track “Dat is die shit” sounds like R. Kelly singing in Dutch. WEIRD.

So far my favorites are “Non stop” and “What wil je doen?” but I can’t listen to this with a straight face. Especially with the shoutouts to Amsterdam and Den Haag.

Oh, Dutch Class

Best. Dutch Class. Ever.

The Professor shows up mad late, clearly a little buzzed from this school reception thing before hand, and they usually keep the wine going. He’s just laughing like, “Whoops…yeah, you had a quiz today. Sorry I’m late! OK…for today the class will just be the quiz, and then we’ll head out for drinks!” And then we went to this bar and he was like, “First round on me!”

See, in the Netherlands, it’s all good. In the US, an investigation would ensue.


Dutch Word of the Day
Mmm… lekker haring!
Mmm…good herring!

Lekker is, perhaps, the most abused word in the Dutch language. It’s everywhere. Billboards, on food labels, in ads…basically anything to do with food will have some claim to being “lekker.” Weather (like today’s) can also be called lekker, so can good smells and sounds. It deals with every sense but sight.

Don’t call people lekker. That’s just nasty.

But you know what is lekker? Nutella. It’s SUPER CHEAP here. Jars of it cost about $5-6 at home and I can get it here for less than two euros. I’ve practically been inhaling it out of the jar. Maybe this has subconsciously replaced Crackbucks for me… Uh oh.


Dutch Word of the Day
houd: like or love, depending on the context.
Ik houd van Vespas.
I love Vespas.

There are so many zipping around here. It’s the perfect place for one, too, especially since there wasn’t a real winter this year.

I also starting to love the way Dutch sounds sometimes. For example, what sounds more fun to hear from a small child?:

a. “This is the kid’s book store!”
b.”Dit is de Kinderboekwinkel!”

The latter one’s just so darn cute!

November 2021
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