Double Dutch

In Holland it means using two different types of contraceptive but I've ways know it as something that is confusing ("This is all double Dutch").

Learning Dutch has been both good fun and hard. Good fun because its learning something new and talk in a different language but difficult because everyone speaks English and you never know the exact words to say in Dutch. I can't exactly have a conversation with Renate after a hard days work "Hallo Renate, Ik ben Antony", its more like "ok, and so the person's foot has rotted away because they weren't taking their medication correctly.

P1040611Everyone in the Dutch class were there learning Dutch for themselves rather than having to learn it as part of living in Holland. We came from a wide area including Estonia, Bosnia, Iran, Iraq, Romania, Thailand, Turkey, Colombia and of our me from New Zealand. Our tutor Peter did a great job although I can imagine the frustration at times.

We took a couple of trips to help us with our integration. One to a Kaasboerderij (cheese farm) and the other to Den Bosch.

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Learning Dutch I felt like I was 2 years old again learning new words, asking "what is this", "what is that" all the time like my nephew Sam. My first Dutch word book (a gift from Renate's parents) is a picture book like something from Richard Scary.

It started off easy enough where you can pretty much substitute words in Dutch for English "Ik ben Antony" is "I am Antony" but it quickly gets a bit more complex:

  • When telling the time you say its "half tien" (half ten) its actually 9:30 and 8:40 is worded "tien over half negen" (10 minutes over half past eight).
  • Many words have several completely different meanings. An Ezel is an esil but also a donkey.
  • Squirrel translates to Eekhoorn (pronounced Acorn) where as an Acorn is Eikel which is also the head of a penis.
  • Shop sales on Monday (Easter etc) are called Sale Sunday but on Monday.

There are also lots of funny literal translations so here are just a few:

  • Letter box (brievenbus) translates to "letter bus".
  • Pocket (kontzak) translates to "bum sack"
  • Snail (slak) translates to "slug" but a slug translates to "naked slug" (naakt slak)
  • Hospital (ziekenhuis) translates to "sick house"