Archive for the Category: Dutch

Snails and corner shops

I have been learning Dutch for just over a week now and am enjoying it and finding it interesting. I can guess the meanings of many of the words I encounter as they are similar to German and/or English, but some are completely different. For example, I just learnt that shop is (de) winkel /ˈʋɪŋkəl/, […]

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Also posted in English, Language, Words and phrases 1 Comment

Nederlands

I’ve decided to learn Dutch this month and want to see how much I can learn in a month. I haven’t learnt any Dutch before, but can understand it a bit as I speak English and German. I’m using online resources, including courses on Babbel and any others I can find. I will also be […]

Also posted in English, German, Language, Language learning 6 Comments

Thumbs and inches

I discovered today that the French word for thumb, pouce, also means inch, which makes sense as the length of the inch is apparently based on the width of a man’s thumb. Related expressions include: – se tourner les pouces, se rouler les pouces = to twiddle one’s thumbs – manger sur le pouce = […]

Also posted in Afrikaans, Czech, English, French, Italian, Language, Slovak, Words and phrases 14 Comments

Partners, other halves and significant others

There was some discussion last night at the polyglot conversation group about the words boyfriend and girlfriend and their equivalents in other languages, particularly in Dutch. In English the words boyfriend and girlfriend seem to indicate someone who is relatively young, so don’t seem quite appropriate for use by more mature couples when referring to […]

Also posted in English, Language, Welsh, Words and phrases 13 Comments

The combed giraffe sings like a saucepan

I came across a number of interesting French idioms today in this article in The Guardian, including peigner la giraffe (combing the giraffe), which means to waste time on a pointless task, and chanter comme une casserole (to sing like a saucepan) or to sing terribly. It also mentions a Dutch idiom, broodje aap verhaal […]

Also posted in English, French, Idioms, Language 7 Comments

Free online language course to give away

I’ve been given free access to the online courses offered by Online Trainers to give them a try, and have one course to give away. The languages available are English, French, Spanish, Italian, German and Dutch. If you’re interested, just drop me an email at feedback[at]omniglot[dot]com and I’ll send you an access code that gives […]

Also posted in English, French, German, Italian, Language, Language learning, Spanish 2 Comments

Spreek je Nederlands?

Today’s post comes from an email sent in by James Eglinton. I have met many non-native English speakers who speak English with no discernible non-native accent. I know Dutch people (with Irish spouses) who can pass themselves off as Irish in Ireland. I know French people who speak faultless British English, I have heard a […]

Also posted in Language, Language learning 25 Comments

Double dutch and lost dragons

I’ve been playing with Xtranormal today and have made a couple of new films: Double Dutch (in Dutch and English) Where’s my dragon? (In Mandarin and English) When you use Mandarin the system refuses to accept some of the characters you type in, including some common ones like 谢 (thanks). I tried substituting pinyin for […]

Also posted in Chinese, English, Language, Language learning 8 Comments

Spincop

William Caxton introduced printing into England, and also translated a number of literary works from French, Latin and Dutch. Within his translations he used words he picked up while learning and practising his trade in Germany and Belgium, including spincop, from the Dutch spinnekop (spider), and okselle, from the Dutch oksel (armpit). The English word […]

Also posted in English, Etymology, French, German, Italian, Language, Latin, Spanish, Welsh, Words and phrases 9 Comments

De bouche à oreille

Last night we were discussing how to encourage more people to come to the French conversation group and we concluded that word of mouth is probably the most effective way – all the posters we put up around Bangor last Saturday have yet to bring hordes of new recruits. We also thought that the French […]

Also posted in Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Language, Spanish 17 Comments