Monday, November 10, 2008

Five Embarrassing Mistakes I've Made In Dutch

So you don't have to...

1)"Mag ik de spleet erwten soep?" = Not, 'can I have the split pea soup,' but 'can I have the split pussy soup.'


2)"Jij hebt volkoren gelijk." = Not, 'You're completely right,' but 'You're full-grain right.'

3) "Ik hou van kersens" = Not 'I love cherries' but 'I love cherrieses'

(darwin bell)

4) "Ik doe mijn beest" = Not, 'I'm doing my best,' but 'I'm doing my beast.'


(After hearing someone's age)

"Oh, je ziet er niet uit." = Not 'oh, you don't look it,' but 'Oh, you don't look good.'


Anonymous said...

I used to get quite embarrassed, but now I just laugh when I make these kind of errors (which occur more frequently than I'd like to admit).

The latest one was: "Ik heb mijn grootouders op een luxe kruistocht gestuurd." = Not, "I sent my grandparents on a luxury cruise," but "I sent my grandparents on a luxury crusade."

lola granola

Toby Sterling said...

@Lola Muesli _ the 'luxe kruistocht' drew a good laugh at my office, tx for that & thoughtful remarks on Obama.

Anonymous said...

omg I totally relate to this. "mogen wij een vlees rode wijn", niet: fles.

The back of the hill said...

As a relative once said, "heeft iemand mijn spektakels gezien?"
[Not 'has anyone seen my glasses?', but 'has anyone seen my flabbergasting displays?']

Best one I can remember: "Ik heb haar bij je kantoor af laten vallen".
[Instead of dropping her off at your office, I let her lose weight there.]

Both locutions proved baffelijk to native speakers.

Toby Sterling said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Toby Sterling said...

@3continentfamily _ Raw beef -colored red wine, zou net kunnen.

@back_of_the_hill _ We have met the spectacle and it is us.

This is inspiring me to put up two more, not mine, but a friend of mine:

(at a jewelry stand:) 'Ik wil een steen met een echte mening' =not 'a really meaningful rock' but 'a rock with a real opinion.'


'Laten wij beneden de straat lopen' =Not 'let's walk down the street', but 'Let's walk beneath the street'

Catherine Maia Podulke said...

Once I sent a neighbor away saying my husband was "ongesteld". (Not, indisposed, but, he has his period.) Got a lot of laughs over at their house. Our neighbor told him about it later, between chuckles.

Toby Sterling said...

@ainslee _ reminds me of the first joke I ever got in Dutch: what's red and hangs in the air? Een ongesteld vraag.

Esther de Jong said...

My son had a good one; he called the baker’s wife a vuilnisbaker.

Anonymous said...

In Spanish, embarrasado apparently does not mean 'embarrassed', but 'pregnant'.
I have been 'muy embarrassado' far too often.

---Grant Patel

Toby Sterling said...

@Esther _ Trash-baker? I don't get it, unless he was trying to say Mrs. Baker.

Colin Brace said...

Back in the day, I once asked at the melkboer for "een ons besneden kaas".

Toby Sterling said...

@Collin _ Hahahahaha I think we have a winner. "Circumcised cheese."

It reminds me of another one of mine, not nearly as good.

"Ik wil de beledigd kaas" = I want the insulted cheese, not 'I want the medium-aged cheese.'

Laura K. said...

those all had me laughing! No one has told me my blunders (thank you people) so I'm not aware of mine and I've lived here for 7 yrs. My biggest embarrassment was today when I brought my son to school and was talking to the teacher about my upcoming vacation. I was explaining my son would not be there on Dec 17 because he would be coming with to the airport and for SOME REASON (happens somtimes) I couldn't remember the word for airport so I said he was coming with to the AIRPLANE.. she knew what I meant though. Such a simple word for me to forget.

Toby I meant to contact you before we went to Amsterdam but didn't think of it till we were there. We had to get a passport for Zoë made at the American Consulate on the 6th and I was like. crap! I should have arranged a meeting! Oh well..

If you did see us, we'd have been hard to miss.. bright green futuristic stroller and all!

Anonymous said...

HIlarious ! I should think about my own cockups now :)

Unknown said...

when me and my wife where still living in Holland and the dogs where barking very loudly at night she opened the window and yelled with all of her might.. Kop op!

Made me laugh because Kop op is an encouragement ofcourse :D

She ment to yell: kop houden! (shut up).

I've made many many mistakes here in the u.s. I used to call the opryland hotel the oprahland hotel.

Toby Sterling said...

@Marc Kop Op! Hahahahaha it's imagining the scene that's so good.

I put this one elsewhere on the site, but: when I got my Dutch citizenship, I swore my oath to obey the constitution: "Zo waarlijk helpe mij God allemachtig."

My family had to explain the joke to me later...