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Double Dutch

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27580.  Thu Oct 20, 2005 11:14 am Reply with quote

There's quite a bit on the Netherlands in the outer reaches, but I wanted to log this before it gets forgotten:

Better yet in Baarle-Hertog -Nassau on the Dutch-Belgian borrrder.

"Orange portions within green portions represent exclaves of the Netherlands
completely surrounded by Belgian territory which are in turn completely
surrounded by the territory of the Netherlands....
For many years the shops in Belgium were open on Sundays, those in the Netherlands not with the exception of those in Baarle. Taxes in Belgium and The Netherlands differed sometimes a lot, so one could go shopping between two tax-regimes in one single street. And don't forget the Belgian chocolate, you could not find that quality in The Netherlands. With the coming of the European Union some of those differences disappeared. To make the enclaves visible for the visitor, the little plates with the house numbers are made to look different: ovals with the Belgian colours and rectangles with Dutch colours. Officially a letter goes by post from Hertog over Turnhout to Brussels and than by air to Amsterdam, and for the last part of the journey over Tilburg to Nassau. But if you use the letterbox in the next street, the letter doesn't leave Baarle at all!"

and it's worse in Cooch-Behar!

because it's in a different thread. Posted by BobTheScientist

32915.  Sun Nov 20, 2005 9:41 am Reply with quote

its flat! or is it?

39480.  Thu Dec 15, 2005 5:42 am Reply with quote

I heard somewhere that Dutch is the hardest language to learn. But then, it would depend on your native language. If you were German, for example, it shouldn't be too difficult.

39489.  Thu Dec 15, 2005 6:41 am Reply with quote

If you were Dutch, it'd be even easier!

39504.  Thu Dec 15, 2005 7:29 am Reply with quote

Fair point

gerontius grumpus
39520.  Thu Dec 15, 2005 8:16 am Reply with quote

Dutch is a lot like Old English in a lot of ways.
Not altogether surprising I suppose. Some English dialect words are similar to Dutch because they share the same ancestry.

The bit about enclaves of Holland in Belgium reminds me of the way many English counties were dispersed throughout each other until quite recently. A piece of Durham in the North of Northumberland, a piece of Berkshire in Gloucestershire and a piece of Gloucestershire in Worcestershire to mention but a few.

52214.  Thu Feb 16, 2006 8:58 pm Reply with quote

Celebaelin put this on another thread, so I'm repeating it here, in the delicious hope that we could get either Michael Palin or one of his buddies on the panel.

Did you know that palin is Dutch for eel?

I haven't checked that he's right though!

52219.  Thu Feb 16, 2006 9:49 pm Reply with quote

'Tis true (follow the link). I had a schoolfriend (surprising as that may seem, but I did) of that name, Palin I mean. I knew Michaels as well of course, I mean I'm not Michaelist or anything, in fact some of my best friends are Michaels, but in this instance the Palin in question happened not to be a Michael. Not that anyone I know held that against him in any way, no sireee, not that I'm aware of at least.

52258.  Fri Feb 17, 2006 6:07 am Reply with quote

If you were Dutch, it'd be even easier!

Or an Afrikanner



52336.  Fri Feb 17, 2006 9:30 am Reply with quote

Or 60% of a Belgian, although I guess it might depend which 60% ...

To speakers of English, Dutch is really quite easy to learn. Very much easier than French, for instance.

52346.  Fri Feb 17, 2006 10:01 am Reply with quote

I found dutch very difficult, as the pronunciation is very different to how it is spelt (at least from my POV). I found French pretty easy, to be honest, so much so, that I managed to get my 'O' level grade B (which my teacher thought that I would never get, and was tempted to be down for a CSE class, instead).



Mr Grue
52352.  Fri Feb 17, 2006 10:05 am Reply with quote

It's interesting how Dutch is a negative affix:

Dutch uncle
Double Dutch
Going Dutch

um... Dutch cap?

I'm sure there were more when I started.

52356.  Fri Feb 17, 2006 10:11 am Reply with quote

Dutch courage.

52361.  Fri Feb 17, 2006 10:17 am Reply with quote

Brewer's also gives Dutch defence, meaning a sham defence, and in Dutch, meaning in trouble, or under suspicion, and Dutch talent, meaning brawn rather than brain, which I hadn't heard of. There are a few others which, like Dutch courage, are based on the idea that the Dutch are drunkards. It suggests that some of the negative ones (including "I'm a Dutchman if I do" as a strong refusal) may go back to the 17th century Anglo-Dutch Wars.

52373.  Fri Feb 17, 2006 10:37 am Reply with quote

Tas wrote:
I found dutch very difficult, as the pronunciation is very different to how it is spelt (at least from my POV).

You may have a point there. It's Dutch pronunciation that's a bit odd rather than the spelling (which was reformed in 1947 to remove a lot of silent letters, especially ones that "looked German").

For an English speaker with school German, Dutch is very easy to read, perhaps not quite so easy to speak. If you had learned it from the same age as which you began French, I would still maintain you would have found it the easier of the two.

Now, on strange things Dutch. I once read that the Dutch Army has a Union. As a result of this, should you wish to invade the Netherlands do it on a Sunday. The Union fixed it so that soldiers got Sundays off.

True or urban nonsense?


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