Thursday, 22 March 2012

Gooien : to throw

This is intriguing for me as a Northerner. When I was told how this curious-looking word was pronounced and what it meant I couldn't help but see a link with Geordie. Gooien is pronounced as "Hoyen" (hear it here) which is very similar to the word used in the North East for throw: "hoy". Although Geordie differs from Standard English mostly in it's accent there are some old words that exist with deep roots into Nordic languages and this might be one of them.

Gooien : to throw (or hoy in the North East).

Reference: (Scroll down to 'hoy')

Dekken : to cover

Dekken means to cover but can also be used as "de tafel dekken" or to lay the table.

In order to help us remember this meaning it is useful to look to the etymology of the English equivalent "to deck".

deck (v.)  "adorn" (as in deck the halls), early 15c., from M.Du. dekken "to cover," from the same P.Gmc. root as deck (n.). Meaning "to cover" is from 1510s in English. Replaced O.E. þeccan.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

An Englishman's Difficulties with Dutch

An Englishman's tale of learning the Dutch language, covering spelling and some of what he perceives to be peculiarities

What is Spelling?
The Open Syllable
The Voiced Consonants 
The Long Vowels 
The IJ disaster 
The -isch Stupidity 
A Larger Example

Steven Pemberton, CWI, Amsterdam

Vlaanderen en Nederland samen?

Should Flanders and The Netherlands get together?


Having landed in Belgium with a good knowledge of the culture and fair fluency in French I wanted to increase my chances of getting a job and communicating with my Flemish friends by learning the Dutch language. Although I'm still a beginner I thought I'd document some of the things I learn with a view to help others on a similar path.

There are lots of similarities between Dutch and English but where there aren't I hope to show links, tips or tricks to help the beginner learn or retain some aspects of the Dutch language which might seem daunting.