Perhaps not surprisingly, today’s posting is inspired — once again — by the World Cup. After all, I’ve been watching the Dutch coverage of the matches, so I’ve been hearing a lot of basic terms used repeatedly. This is how I started learning Italian years ago, as well. This is going to be a quick posting, since it’s half time of the Chile-Honduras match and I don’t have much time.
One of the terms that I’ve definitely learned in the past week has been wedstrijd (match), in part because it’s said a lot, and in part because I kept mishearing it in the past and wondered why they were talking about websites (with a strange accent) so much during matches. A similar word is spel (game). Is spel used more for “games” in general, while wedstrijd is used more for sporting/football “matches”?
Spelen (to play) is the verb of the day, or perhaps of the month. It’s definitely being used extensively! There’s also speler (player). The problem comes when de spits (striker) is buitenspel (offside), ruining a goeie kans (good chance) at a doel (goal). One last question: spits is listed in my dictionary as both de and het. Is it interchangeable?
Rustig (quiet, calm, tranquil) is one of those Dutch words that I’ve seen regularly, but never remembered to look up the definition until recently. In fact, if it hadn’t been for the election yesterday, I would have written about it for my Woordenboek Woensdag entry. But now, I’ve just come across a piece on the Dutch Word of the Day website about stilte (silence), and now I’m curious and vaguely confused.
I know rustig is an adjective or adverb, while stilte is a noun, but there’s also the adjective form stil (silent, quiet, still). Are rustig and stil interchangeable or is one used in certain instances versus the other? Is rustig used more for happy or peaceful silence, with stil used more for tense, sudden, or eerie silence?
Who knew something that I like could be so stress-inducing!
I slacked a bit over the past few weeks on my Woordenboek Woensdag entries while my parents were here, but I’m trying to get back into the swing of things. I haven’t been doing much proper studying, but I’ve noticed recently that I seem to understand a little bit more of written Dutch and occasionally a bit more spoken Dutch, as well. I’m also trying to put together more sentences now, even if only in my head. Whether walking around town or lying in bed, I have little conversations in my head and try to see how much I can do in Dutch. Some times I do ok, other times I get stuck very easily. Of course, whether I’m right is a whole other issue!
Speaking of being wrong, this leads me to the words of the day: verkeer and verkeerd. They’re annoyingly similar but with very different meanings.
Verkeer (as seen in the photo above) is the word for traffic. We spent a lot of time in traffic last week coming back from dropping my parents at the ferry in Europoort, near Rotterdam. The drive there was quick and painless. The drive back took hours and was incredibly frustrating. Still, it gave me a topic for tomorrow, as you’ll see. Fortunately, I don’t have to deal with verkeer much in het dagelijks verkeer (in everyday life, or “in the daily traffic”), outside of fietsen verkeer (bike traffic).
Verkeerd, on the other hand, is an adjective or adverb meaning wrong. I suspect this is a word I should learn, since I’ll probably hear it a lot as I eventually try to speak more Dutch. Iets verkeerd uitspreken is what my dictionary lists as the phrase for mispronouncing something. I’m not quite sure how to use that, though. Would it be: Ik uitspreek iets verkeerd. ??
So, two more words for my slowly growing vocabulary. Let’s hope I can keep them straight and ultimately avoid both traffic and being wrong!
I’ve been at a loss for what Dutch word(s) to write about today. I’ve been looking things up and listening to more Dutch tv broadcasts, but there have been no real breakthroughs for me and no words that strike me as particularly fascinating. So I figured I’d just write about random things that I’ve looked up, particularly since I have looked up the Dutch word for random (willekeurig) and found out that spullen is the Dutch word for things.
Spullen is the plural, while spul is the singular. When I saw it used in a sentence, it confused me at first, because I thought it was a verb. After all, the infinitive form of most regular Dutch verbs does end -en. Of course, -en is also a common way of making nouns plural. Obviously, I didn’t understand enough of the other words in the sentence to figure out through context and location. Rather than get frustrated at myself for getting confused, I prefer to simply look at it all as a way to make sure I will probably not forget spul(len) from now on. Baby steps!
The other random word of the week is (de andere willekeurig woord van de week is) mogelijk. This goes along with my other m~lijk words that I can’t keep straight. I’m getting much better with makkelijk (easy) and moeilijk (difficult), but then mogelijk would pop up and get me all discombobulated again. Using my own personal word associations, I’m trying to remember that mogelijk means possibly by singing Björk’s song Possibly Maybe in Dutch: Mogelijk Misschien. Possibly silly, but if it works …