Dutch Language Blog

Archive for January, 2011

Kids these days say the darndest things Posted by on Jan 30, 2011

Awhile ago now, I was talking to one of my friends about whether there was any Dutch hip hop I should be covering for this blog.  I probably asked with a little bit of a smile, because the idea of Dutch hip hop is funny.  He mentioned De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig and Die Antwoord, though…

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Questions and Question Words Posted by on Jan 27, 2011

In Dutch there is a distinction between ‘yes/no’ questions and questions beginning with a question word (also known as interrogative). Both situations require that you invert (reverse position) the subject and the verb. This is because Dutch is a verb second (V2) language. Meaning that, in the main clause, the verb is found in the…

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De or Het? Knowing When to Use Which Posted by on Jan 25, 2011

In Dutch there are two definite articles (words that mean ‘the’).  These are de and het.  The article de is for masculine and feminine nouns.  These are also known as common nouns.  The article het is for neuter words. Knowing when a word is common or neuter is one of the challenges in learning Dutch, as…

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Tinkebell: A brush with contemporary art in the Netherlands Posted by on Jan 23, 2011

This past week, a new editorial by Rutger Ponzen in de Volkstrant revisited the Tinkebell phenomenon.  I’d never heard of her before, but she’s a Dutch artist (Tinkebell is, predictably, her pseudonym; her real name is Katinka Simonse) who has made herself famous (at least in Holland) by making art about animals that has tended…

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Grocery Shopping in the Netherlands: A Blood Sport Posted by on Jan 21, 2011

Yesterday evening, we went grocery shopping. While there are several different shops in our neighbourhood we tend to go to the nearby Albert Heijn because it is easy to get to and we know where everything is within the store, well usually. Grocery shopping, I must admit, is not one of my favourite pastimes in…

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Hallo, Mestreech Posted by on Jan 16, 2011

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I don’t live in one of Holland’s four big cities – Rotterdam, Utrecht, Amsterdam and Den Haag – grouped together like a big happy family up North. Instead, I live in Limburg. This little southland of outliers has its own distinctive culture – and, in many cases, its…

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Hoera! Ik Ben Jarig! Posted by on Jan 14, 2011

Wednesday was my birthday. Birthday’s in the Netherlands have always been an interesting phenomenon because of the cultural differences associated with them. Congratulations on the Birthday of Your Mother’s Cousin’s Hairdresser’s Dog When it is your birthday, not only do you get congratulated but everyone associated to you does too. The whole day, whenever…

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