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‘100’ (from 0 to 100 years in 150 seconds) from Filmersblog on Vimeo.

A little on the Dutch-Dutch side, but this Fleming-to-be found the 80 year olds Dutchies reading their ages absolutely adorable.

What better way to learn to count ’til your Dutch-hearts-content than by counting on up to the happiest 100 year old you’ll find!

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“Waar is de Meisje” (Where is the girl?) is currently causing all sorts of controversy throughout Flanders and The Netherlands due to its Dutch-teacher infuriating use of the word ‘de’ (the, masculine) instead of het (the, feminine/neutral).

This is hip-hop for echt denken!

Your move, Kanye.

Dutch lesson of the day:
Nederlandse meisje: “Wow! Super! Die (pronounced dee) is dik, man!”
Young Dutch Girl: “Wow! Great! That is really fat, man!”

All these years of Dutch classes are finally paying off.

Reading through my blog stats, I found that the majority of visitors aren’t coming to hear about which Belgian beer I fancy or where I want to get my next pizza. Rather, they’re coming from a google search for my son has a large penis, which brings unsuspecting surfers to one of my all time favourite Flemish television sketches: This is my son, and he has a very large penis!.

For reference, the dutch word for penis is penis, or Lid (literal translation ‘member’), as it is referred to in the sketch.

So whilst I’m on a burger-roll, the word burger in Dutch actually means citizen.

The more you know.

PS WHERE WILL THIS BLOG GO NEXT

This week is back to work week for most Flemings, and as such this may be of use to at least two of my readers: late 90s computer terminology in West Flemish.

Just what every Ghentleman needs!

  • Windows 98:
    Routte 98 (ah en ne-heh-de)
  • Turn computer on:
    Steg maar aan (1:10)
  • Backspace:
    ker e ke weere (1:30)
  • Print:
    Dru-en (means to print, but also to poo!) (2:14)
  • Hard disk:
    harder ploder (hard surface) (2:25)
  • Shut down:
    Je mucha mullon (literally translates to ‘Keep your mouth shut!’) 2:30

Now that that is done, I’m taking the week off to go Skiing! See ya suckers!

There’s Flanders and there’s there’s West Flanders, just as there’s Flemish and West Flemish, a beautifully cute dialect of Dutch that even after four years of study is still a complete mystery.

Where-ever possible words are changed, warped and mumbled, and grammar reversed a few hundred years. All G’s are pronounced as H’s, which makes words like geld (money) and held (hero) orally equivalent.

The above video comes from an old Flemish television show, and documents the protest of a West Fleming over four weeks, complaining about how the West Flemings are always subtitled on Flemish television. The video concludes with the Flemish broadcaster stopping with their subtitling ways, and instead moving on to overdubs instead.

This all reminds me of the first time I saw an Australian subtitled in an American program, at first it felt quite odd – however when I compare the situation to West Flemish I am ever so thankful that I am able to understand even a little from the written text!

Of the 1.6 million people that speak West Flemish, at least one has taken the time to write over 4000 articles on the West Flemish wikipedia. How about that.

Zij is mooi naakt in het winter licht - "She is beautiful naked in the winter air"

Every fridge in the world has been defiled at least once with magnetic poetry, and since this Christmas my dear Gent-le fridge is no longer an exception. The twist (at least for me) is the language of said poetry – all Dutch, all the time.

Whilst waiting for my morning coffee to brew I take a little time out to put together the words I can (ie, the words I know) to make as logical sentences as I can. It’s a surprisingly stupid way to learn a language, in fact it is really just a Where’s Wally style hunt for the correct article (Dutch has two – ‘de’ and ‘het’  or properly conjugated verb, however two weeks later the novelty still hasn’t worn off.

Apparently the past week has been ‘Haiku week‘ here in Ghent, with the waterways of rivers lined with haikus in French, Dutch, English and German.

This morning I took my car in to get serviced, and despite my four years of trying to learn the ins and outs of Flemish couldn’t for the life of me understand what my dear mechanic was trying to say. To be fair I don’t really understand mechanics in my own language, so it may not be entirely fair to blame the man for his refusal to speak Standard Dutch*.

So, to commemorate Haiku Week and my babling mechanic, I present my first, and quite likely last, Ghent haiku:

The man from Ghent speaks,
Though I understand nothing.
Four years of Dutch, why?

Emotional. Epic. Haiku.

And now here it is in Dutch! Print it on your bubblejet and stick it on a shirt!

Het Gentenaar spreekt,
Maar ik heb niet begrepen.
Vier jaar les, waarom?

near red light district in ghent :)

After three years of weekly lessons, I still regularly confuse the Dutch words for ‘whore’, ‘rent’ and ‘listen’.

Incidentally, my favourite sentence in Dutch is ‘Listen, rent a whore here!’

Try it out for yourself:
‘Hoor, huur een hoer hier!’

In related news, my new Dutch school is in the same street as Gent’s red light district.