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Tag Archives: dutch

Showing Respect in Dutch: Invaliden and Handicaps Posted by on Jan 3, 2022

Mindervalide handicap disability invalide

When I grew up, a person with a disability was known in the Netherlands as an invalide. This doesn’t mean they are “invalid”, of course. It comes from French invalide, which in turn goes back to Latin invalidus – the opposite of validus, which means strong and healthy. So to say that having a disability makes you invalid, in other…

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The Dutch Word of the Year: Prikspijt! Posted by on Dec 27, 2021

Vaccination vaccine COVID coronavirus woord van het jaar prikspijt word of the year

We’re nearing the end of the year, so it’s time to talk about the word of the year again! Every year, the woordenboek (dictionary) publisher Van Dale organizes the vote for the Woord van het Jaar, and everybody can vote on their favorite word from a list of candidates. This year’s: Prikspijt! (“jab regret”, regret over getting…

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Curious Dutch Words: Why is a boterham called a boterham? Posted by on Oct 29, 2021

You wake up in the morning, take a shower, and then it’s time for breakfast. As a good Dutch person, you’ll have een kopje koffie (a cup of coffee) and, of course, een boterham (a slice of bread). But here’s the weird thing: de boterham means “the butter ham”. Yeah, really. But why? Previous posts in this series: Curious Words…

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Curious Dutch Words: Kidnapping By Mistake: Vergisontvoering Posted by on Sep 30, 2021

vergis vergisontvoering mistake curious Dutch words

Ontvoeringen (kidnappings)! Not a fun thing, but they happen. Often with the intention of using the gijzelaar (hostage) as a negotiation chip or for blackmail. There’s a clear intention behind the act. But somehow, the Dutch found the word vergisontvoering (mistaken kidnapping). How does that work, and how is this a word? Previous posts in this series…

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Practicing Dutch from Home Posted by on Apr 8, 2020

Next week, those of us living in the Netherlands and Belgium will reach the 1 month mark of social distancing. Although Belgium and the Netherlands have taken different approaches, the idea of limiting social interaction to flatten the curve is at the core of each strategy. For those of us learning a language, social distancing…

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Big Surprises In The Dutch Provinciale Statenverkiezingen Posted by on Mar 25, 2019

Last Wednesday, thousands of stemgerechtigden (voters) flocked to the hundreds of stemlokalen (polling stations) all over the country to cast their stem (vote). Or, perhaps, the plural stemmen is more apt, as the Dutch actually had two verkiezingen (elections)! One vote for the waterschapsverkiezingen (water board elections) and the other for the Provinciale Statenverkiezingen (Provincial States elections). Today, the official results will…

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Vuurwerk: Should it be restricted? Posted by on Dec 31, 2018

Oudejaarsavond (New Year’s Eve) and vuurwerk (fireworks) are inseparable in the Netherlands. No jaarwisseling (turn of the year) without the loud knallen (bangs) and bright kleuren (colors) of the vuurpijlen (rockets) and rotjes (firecrackers)! However, this vuurwerk also has a dark side. Every year, there are hundreds of accidents with these dangerous producten (products) that lead to ernstige letsels (serious injuries), from losing fingers to losing eyesight. Should, perhaps, vuurwerk be forbidden? Or is…

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