Tuesday, October 29, 2019


There's an advertisement on television based on the premise that people just cannot recognize the language of the Netherlands. Which is probably correct; when I speak Dutch to someone, another person will ask what that language was that we were using.

This man is very bendable, and he needs a hug!

It shows a business conference with a translator who speaks passable Dutch. A person familiar with the Netherlands will automatically find several things bizarre, the very first one being the idea that a translator is needed; Dutch people overwhelmingly speak decent, even excellent, English, the younger generation has probably been familiar with the tongue since their early teens. Pop songs, television programs, textbooks, and technology combined have left them limp but bilingual.

Deze man heeft een knuffel nodig.”

Knuffel means 'hug', in case you were wondering. The subtitles clarify the haphazardness of the translations.

As you probably understand, translation requires more than mere conversational ability. Even conversation often requires more than that.

A textbook that introduces the American student of Netherlandish to the term “knuffel” is a wondrous thing. There are not many contexts in which that word will be used. Remembering it until it is time to inappropriately use it, even if one forgot it's exact meaning, is talent.

That translator needs a supportive knuffel.

He's an idiot of genius level.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.

No comments:

Search This Blog


Quite unsurprisingly, very many of my Facebook friends are in relationships with felines. It is unclear who the dominant player is in those ...