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?

Samsung Galaxy Y Pro Duos

Somewhere in the summer of 2008, I bought the HTC Hero. This is one of the first HTC smartphones that appeared on the market with Google Android on it. Back then it was an excellent phone for my needs. It came with some amazing features such as touchscreen, built-in camera, GPS and so on. I do had some fun using it, but it was mostly a tinkering device. The camera was pretty crappy too and slow. Anyway, after a few years the phone went into oblivion. In due time however, I had the chance to get my hands on a Samsung Galaxy II and got really impressed with the responsiveness and its vast capabilities. What a delighting user experience! For a long time I had been pondering to get me the sequel: Samsung Galaxy III. It really looks slick and high-end. But apart from the fact that it doesn’t bring anything new to the game, I find these big touchscreens slightly overkill. What I am looking for nowadays is back-to-basics: a numeric keypad because I type a lot and want it to happen flawlessly and fast. So a device that might look a like BlackBerry but one that also comes with Android is in my eyesight. And that’s where the Samsung Galaxy Y Pro Duos (also called Samsung GT-B5512) comes into picture. This is actually a low-end, affordable smart phone (Y stands for young) but it has all the default modern day capabilities one requires (except for a large touchscreen). Moreover, it is the follow up of the Samsung Galaxy Y Pro (GT-B5510 aka Samsung Galaxy TXT). Plus, it can carry 2 SIM cards at the same time. You can switch seamlessly switch between them, active-passive mode. The phone also has a front VGA camera. Furthermore, the Samsung Galaxy Y Pro Duos comes with WiFi, HSDPA, GPS and 2 SIM cards. It also has a 2.6” TFT (320×240) screen and contains a 3MP camera. The device weights about 110 grams. It is surrounded by a metallic rim and in general the device seems to be robust but the back cover is plastic and can be easily damaged. As a result, I also bought me a leather sleeve.

It took me some effort to find a store where the phone is sold. See, it is not so common to find dual SIM devices in Europe. Contrarily, in Asia and the Americas, these phones are commodities. Of course, if your phone can support 2 sim cards, why would you buy a separate phone? BYOD. I checked in Mediamarkt if they sell the phone, but they didn’t. After verifying again a week later, they informed me the advice price is some 189 euros. On the Tweakers pricewatch, there is currently one webshop shipping the Y Pro duos: belsimpel.nl. The order was fulfilled in a day! One cave-at: they only ship within The Netherlands. It was neatly packaged and it came with some clear instructions. Still, I failed to switch the language from Polish to English at first and I managed to block 2 of my SIM cards.

When you startup the phone, the numeric keys are highlighted and this has a cool effect. The screen only supports 256000 colors. Still better than my HTC Hero, but nothing compared to high-end models. Overall, the screen seems to be responsive enough. I have been already using it with multiple applications running at once and it works for me. Being an Android 2.3, I hope I can get it upgraded some time in the near future using a custom ROM as I don’t expect any official upgrades anytime soon. I also checked if the front camera works with Skype for video calls but it doesn’t. Fring to the rescue! I also observed that when you launch a song through Blue-tooth after receiving, it is not automatically added tot your playlist. Anyway, that’s about it, my excitement. I am sure the Samsung Galaxy Y Pro Duos will give me a lot of pleasure, after I get my SIM cards unblocked of course. 😉