Dutch Tongue Twisters

24 Apr

Happy Easter to everyone!

The weather here in Amsterdam has been absolutely perfect for the last week or so, in the mid-70’s (F) and sunny. Contrast that to the tornados and storms back in my hometown of St. Louis, and I feel very lucky.

While I’ve taken a break from my Dutch classes, I have been working nearly every day on my Dutch using Rosetta Stone. I’ve come across 2 sentences that have taken me quite a bit of practice to be able to wrap my English-speaking tongue around. Give them a go and see if you can say them:

1). Zij zijn mijn vrienden (zij = eye, but with a z in front, zijn = like sign, but with a z instead of s; mijn = same as zijn, but with an m; vrienden = like ‘friend’ but with a v at the beginning and an ‘in’ at the end). Translated, the sentence means “They are my friends.” This is the easier of the 2 sentences. The letter combination “ij” is the Dutch version of the letter “y”. For instance, the Heineken Brewery is called the “Heineken brouwerij”

2). Omdat ik het koud heb (Omdat = “Ohhmm-DAT”; ik = rhymes with “pick”; het = rhymes with “set”; koud = sounds like “cowed”; heb = “hep”, like “hip” but with an e in the middle). Translated, the sentence means “Because I am cold.”

Roxy and I went to the Dappermarkt yesterday to do some shopping, and I attempted to do it all in Dutch. This was working fine until I realized I couldn’t remember the Dutch word for “of” (it’s “van”). I have trouble with this word because “of” is a Dutch word meaning “or”. For instance, if you want to ask someone if they’d like coffee or tea to drink, you would say: “Wat wil je drinken, koffie of thee?” I went to ask for 1 kilo of potatoes, but I also screwed up and used the German word for “one” instead of the Dutch one. So I literally asked her, “Can I have (non-Dutch word) kilo or potatoes?” She smiled and replied in English. Dammit. I did manager to purchase some walnuts all in Dutch though, so the trip wasn’t a total waste.

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Posted by on April 24, 2011 in Spreek'ing Nederlands


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