Dutch Language Blog

Archive for August, 2021

A Sterk Verhaal: What’s Strong About This Dutch Story? Posted by on Aug 30, 2021

In this post, we’ll explore the curiosity of the Dutch word sterk verhaal (“strong story”, a tall tale). What’s sterk about it? And by extension, what’s tall about the English story? Let’s explore. Skiing in Yugoslavia This weekend, I told the sterke verhaal that my dad told me many times. It’s a fun one, so why not! Back when Yugoslavia…

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Er en daar: The (not so) confusing Dutch versions of “there” Posted by on Aug 27, 2021

er en daar there that pronoun proposition

Like many other languages, Dutch has a differentiation between er and daar, which in English both translate to “there”. So what is that difference, how can you keep them apart, and what do you use when? “There” is the culprit Like the English word “some”, which has quite a range of translations in Dutch, “there” seems to be the reason…

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We or Wij? How To Use Dutch Personal Pronouns Posted by on Aug 16, 2021

Jij Personal pronouns

Persoonlijke voornaamwoorden (personal pronouns) in Dutch are pretty straightforward. There’s ik, jij, hij/zij/het, wij, jullie and zij. But then there are also je, ze, we and ze (plural). What are those? Basic personal pronouns in Dutch Before we get to that difference, let’s start with the basics. Ik – I Jij – You Hij/zij/het – He/she/it Wij – We Jullie – You (plural)…

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What’s “some” in Dutch? Posted by on Aug 10, 2021

A few days ago, a friend of mine who’s learning Dutch right now told me about how een paar, enkele, sommige, wat, een beetje and soms are confusing, because they all mean some! I was taken aback – is that true? I had never thought about how confusing that can be. She gave me some examples, and I…

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Curious Dutch Words: Are You The Hostage Or Hostage Taker? Posted by on Aug 2, 2021

In Dutch, we have a pretty straightforward rule. If the word ends with -aar, that means that this person does whatever verb it is derived from: makelaar is a realtor (from makelen). An aarzelaar is a hesitator (from aarzelen). A handelaar is a trader (from handelen). A gijzelaar is a hostage (from gijzelen). But wait… gijzelen means to…

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