Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Practical Dutch for The Dutchless

Do you want to impress your Dutch friends Bart and Anouk conquering their highest estimation and perhaps (I said perhaps!) a second cookie at Their next coffee invitation?
Is this that you really want? Are you sure you want? Well, you made your choice.
I made some research and I can help you. Try with the following sentences.

Niet bij de pakken neer zitten
Don't sit down with the packages
(dank je wel Jasmijn)

They say this meaning
"Don't give up".

I guess this idiomatic sentence comes from Their Gouden Eeuw (Golden Age), between 16th and 17th century. At that time They were all merchants, navigators, entrepreneurs, businessmen. In that period a man sat down with the packages was certainly a loser, a creep, a defeatist, an atypical Dutch. Nowadays the sentence could be referred to all the foreigner students who have unsuccessfully tried to open a Dutch bank account at Abn Amro or Rabobank losing their patience and their bike in the meanwhile.

De Gouden Middenweg
The Golden Midway
(dank je wel Jasmijn)

They say this meaning
"We've found an agreement starting from two opposite points".

This is because one of the main characteristics of those Dutchmen and women is that They are after all reasonable people.


They say this meaning
"Hey you asshole, don't you see this is supposed to be a romantic candlelight dinner? Kick yourself away and leave us alone in our idyllic courtship".
Instead of insulting the waiter who's just trying to be nice and gentle, asking if everything is tasty and ok, They say whispering or gnashing this useful expression. Even if you're alone having a Sunday Nederlands ontbijt (Dutch breakfast) in a Cafe don't be afraid to sound cold or impolite: use the M word. The waiter will understand you and He will surely appreciate your Dutchness.

Alsof er een engeltje op je tong pist
Like an angel pissing on your tongue
(thank you Ying)

They say this meaning
"Oh God, this beer is unbelievably delicious"

I don't know how old this expression is and if you can use it with wine and non-booze beverages as well. Yet, according to my source, who is currently based somewhere between Singapore and Philippines, it seems that the expression become particularly popular during the last edition of the Lowlands Festival.

No comments: