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 the problematic characters, but found that this only works in some cases. Then I came up with the idea of substituting other characters with the same sounds, and it works well. For example 谢谢 becomes 泄泄 (泄 [xiè = to leak) and 话 (huà) – language, becomes 画 (huà) – picture. It’s not ideal, but it works and I’ve learnt some new characters, or re-learnt ones I should already know.

If I can work out how to add subtitles, I might do so, but it should be possible to work out most of the non-English bits from the English bits.

I’ve also posted these films on YouTube.

This entry was posted in Chinese, Dutch, English, Language, Language learning.

8 Responses to Double dutch and lost dragons

  1. Simon,

    Cool videos 🙂 If I’m not mistaken, you can actually add subtitles to the videos in Youtube itself. I’ve heard the functionality is a little clunky, but the option is there if you want to try it.

  2. PS – I’m glad you went with “泄泄” and not “泻泻” to mean thank you 🙂 Hehe.

  3. TJ says:

    How does the memory really work with kanji (hanzi)?

  4. I believe the reason certain characters couldn’t be entered, is because the system is set up to only accept traditional Chinese. 谢 is 謝 in traditional Chinese, whereas 泄 does not change, and is therefore accepted.

  5. Drabkikker says:

    Haha, great! The Dutch is quite perfect, apart from the two following points:

    1. Ik kom uit Venus: uit is not the preferred preposition here. If you refer to something that you can stand on (such as a planet or an island), you use van; if you refer to something which you live in (such as a city or a country), you use uit.

    2. The translation of ‘Do you by any chance serve rhubarb in this restaurant?’ (or so I presume the phrase is meant to be understood) is severely mangled. From what I can make of it, the ladybot is saying Deint u om het even welke rabarberinstallitie bij dit restaurant? This is incorrect in the following respects:

    Deint u is most likely the result of a misspelling of Dient u, which does indeed mean ‘do you serve’; but not in the sense of serving a meal, but rather serving, e.g., a king. The phrase to use here would be Serveert u. Deinen is a common Dutch verb, but it means ‘to rock / to sway’, as in the movement that a boat would make when crossing waves (or the movement that elderly people make when listening to traditional Dutch folk music);

    om het even welke is in itself a correct translation of ‘any’, but you wouldn’t use it in this context, since it has the meaning of ‘any which one, I don’t care’. Better to use toevallig (‘by any chance’), misschien (‘perhaps’), or ook (‘also’, used as a politeness particle);

    – Concerning rabarberinstallitie, all I can guess is that it’s a misspelling of rabarberinstallatie, but I do not see what the intended meaning was, since it means ‘rhubarb installation’.

    – Finally, bij dit restaurant should be in dit restaurant.

    So, summarisingly, I would recommend the translation Serveert u misschien (/ toevallig / ook) rabarber in dit restaurant?

  6. Drabkikker says:

    Ah, I’ve located the source of the rhubarb mistranslation: Now it also becomes clear where the enigmatic installatie came from: it is one of the possible translations of ‘plant’, but, alas, the one that means ‘factory’.

  7. Simon says:

    Drabikker – that is indeed where I found that phrase. I assumed it was good Dutch and didn’t check it. Doh!

  8. Drabkikker says:

    @ Simon:
    A quick scan through the blog shows that in fact none of the phrases are even remotely good Dutch. The intended meanings are quite funny, though.

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