Double Dutch

This week I finally finished the Russian course I’ve been working through on Memrise, and am giving Russian a break for now. I may go back to it at some point, and try to get a better grip on the grammar, which I still find hard, even after three years of studying a little every day.

I promised myself that I’d start learning a different language once I’d finished the Russian lessons, and have decided to learn some more Dutch. I know a little already, and can understand it to some extent thanks to my knowledge of English, German and related languages. So it’s easier for me than Russian. I’m just learning it on Duolingo at the moment, and may try other apps as well.

I like the weird and wonderful phrases that come up on Duolingo, and expect there’ll be plenty in Dutch. A couple of very useful phrases that came up today were:

Pardon, ik ben een appel
Excuse me, I am an apple

Nee, je bent geen appel
No, you are not an apple

Perhaps a good way to start a conversation.

I’m collecting these on Omniglot, of course.

5 thoughts on “Double Dutch

  1. There are two Dutch nouns that are spelled ‘appel’. The other one is stressed on the final syllable, as is the English ‘appeal’.

  2. The phrase “Double Dutch” in the U.S. refers to jumping rope with two ropes. I think it was originally African American Vernacular English. Is that expression known in other parts of the world/are there other terms for this?

  3. According to The Phrase Finder, Double Dutch, as in skipping (jumping rope) with two ropes, was once popular in the UK, but I’m not sure if it still is, and whether it’s still called Double Dutch here.

    Double Dutch can also refer to nonsense, gibberish, or a language you can’t understand. Apparently the earliest use in writing was in the phrase “What devil language is that? Is it double Dutch coiled against the sun”. In John Davis 1803 book, Travels of Four Years and a Half in the United States of America and referred to Welsh.

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