Random Dutch language ramblings

The weekend was filled with intriguing conversations. For instance, we happened to talk about learning Dutch. If you have a different mother tongue, Dutch can be very tricky. Here a few examples that we bumped into. What is the difference between “fruit” and “vrucht”? Phonetics doesn’t help much here. “Vrucht” sounds more to the English “fruit” than the Dutch equivalent “fruit” actually does. Linguistically, it is not exactly the same. Let’s look at the Van Dale dictionary:

vrucht de; v(m) -en 1 deel ve plant, ontstaan uit het vruchtbeginsel 2 eetbaar product ve plant: een verboden ~ iets dat zondig, maar aantrekkelijk is

and fruit:

fruit het; o eetbare vruchten

Oh dear.

Luckily there is a Dutch Wikipedia page that explains all. Go figure out what it means if you didn’t know already.

We even have 2 words for syrup: stroop and syrup. Again, they are not the same.

And don’t get me started on Dutch dialects. Orange juice has a few meanings depending on where you are: sinaasappel (referring to an Apple from China), jus d’orange (French origin, but used in The Netherlands) or just plain appelsiensap where I live. Way to confuse people. But I guess that is what builds culture and identity after all. Shall we take a ride on the “schuifaf” or the “glijbaan”?

Do you think of anything else?

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